The United Counties has released a new economic development profile of the area, citing a well-educated and bilingual population as benefits to setting up shop in Prescott and Russell.
The UCPR says it will use the 44-page document as a way to attract new businesses, especially in the areas of agriculture and food processing, among others.
Also mentioned in the plan is green energy. The profile says sustainable energy is a growing industry in Prescott and Russell, and encourages businesses to “use the vast land to produce alternative energy like solar power and lead the way in a region that can potentially generate an energy capacity of 150 megawatts.”
That’s an interesting inclusion, considering how much animosity exists in Prescott and Russell regarding green energy. Green energy projects have faced a lot of opposition in this area, and not just from citizens’ groups – The Nation Municipality has said it does not want to be home to new wind energy projects, and just a few months ago, in July, Prescott-Russell council passed a resolution originally supported by Champlain Township, asking for a moratorium on new green energy developments. The resolution was critical of the goverment’s promotion of such developments, and argued such projects have contributed to high electricity costs in Ontario.
The current process for new energy developments has been suspended by the province, so new solar and wind projects, besides what have already been approved, may not be on the immediate horizon. But, if the counties want to be branded as a welcoming home for sustainable energy projects, perhaps council should revise its political position on green energy.