Tay Township farmers protest nearby solar project
Farmers in Tay Township took to their tractors today to protest a solar farm.
They’re upset that prime farmland is being used for a solar project.
Neil Wood has been farming his entire life and says growing food is his passion. But these days his attention is on the property right next to his farm, where today several trucks were clearing the way for a solar panel farm.
“The soil over there is better quality soil than what's on my land so I'm surprised that it should be allowed for solar use,” he says.
A group of local farmers held a protest today to voice their concerns with the project. They drove their tractors up and down the road in front of the property in an effort to bring attention to the plan.
Kelly Crossfield organized today's rally. She says her biggest concern is that Ontario is slowly losing its best farm land.
“This is considered prime agricultural land,” Crossfield says. “There are soil classes one to three on the slide, which are our best agricultural soils in Ontario. This is land that should have crops going on it not solar panels.”
Glen Wood has a farm in the area and says they have to stand against the project.
“We are stewards of the land. We are standing up and sticking up for it,” he says. “Someone's got to do it.”
Wood says they’re “not saying solar energy isn’t good. We’re saying put it in the proper spots like on rooftops.”
Scott Warnock is the mayor of Tay Township. He says the township doesn’t support of the solar panel project the way it stands, but there isn’t much they can do.
“Under the green energy act we are really out of the loop we are not part of the approval process,” he says. “We have passed a motion that says we are no longer a willing host for either solar or wind farm development. But that doesn't do anything to stop the ones that are currently in the approval stage or have been approved by the province of Ontario.”
No one from the company behind the project was available for comment today.
The farmers say they have now sent a letter to the Lieutenant Governor and Ontario’s ombudsman asking for the project to be put on hold. The group wants their concerns heard and the project reviewed before it moves any further.