Perhaps the greatest compliment this wind action group has heard yet came last evening when a community member got up and said that too often, views on wind turbines can be very polarized, but that the panel discussion at the April 13th meeting was the most reasoned and informative he had heard yet.
And that was the tone of the evening. Reason. Information. Shared experiences. Truth.
To sum up:
Dr John Harrison, who has addressed international conferences on noise issues, said that there is a serious disconnect between Ontario’s regulations for wind turbine noise and what engineers and health experts know. He concluded that all things considered, i.e., low wind potential, the number of homes and families that could be exposed to the noise etc., he cannot understand the rationale for a wind turbine development in North Gower. “Why they keep putting these things on top of people in Ontario is beyond me,” he said.
Carmen Krogh documented health effects throughout the province being experienced by people living with wind turbines; she dealt with industry denial, likening their response to that of the tobacco industry which denied any ill effects from tobacco use for decades, despite medical research.
Lawyer Eric Gillespie spoke on the Ian Hanna case, the challenge to the legitimacy of the Green Energy Act in Ontario…legislation that has removed the powers of municipalities to plan and to protect their citizens.
Brampton Realtor Chris Luxemburger discussed results of his now six-year-old study of 600 properties in the Shelburne-Melancthon area which revealed the negative effects of industrial wind turbines on property value; he will soon release results of a new study, which involves 18,000 properties.
And last, retired teacher Stephana Johnston travelled for hours from her Long Point Ontario home to share experiences of living with industrial wind turbines. “The effects Dr Harrison explained to you are for ONE turbine,” she said. “When you have 18 of them around your house as I do, the effect multiplies. … I can tell you, no one in the wind industry is living with 18 turbines around their house.”
And now a correction: the CBC interviewed Prowind’s Bart Geleynse prior to the meeting and he said that the complaints of people like Stephana Johnston are “psychosomatic” and a “reaction to something new,” “largely based on emotion.” The Prowind sales rep then claimed that the “majority” of the medical community says there are no health effects from wind turbines. This is not at all true: the biased review commissioned by the wind development lobby says that, but other studies clearly identify ill effects from the constant noise and vibration from wind turbines.
Finally, Mr. Geleynse said that Prowind has got approval for its environmental assessment and will have the turbines operating by 2013. THIS IS NOT TRUE. In fact, according to our legal advisor,Prowind does not have environmental approval for the turbines proposed for North Gower-Richmond, and no decisions have been made by the Ministry of the Environment in Ontario. Further, Prowind has NOT been granted a Feed In Tariff contract with the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) and in fact this project is on a waiting list for transmission capacity. Mr Geleynse’s remarks were aimed at persuading citizens to believe this is a “done deal” and nothing further can be done about it.
Mr Geleynse also told the CBC that he had asked to speak at the meeting and was “turned down”. Not really: it was explained to him that we had a full panel of speakers on the issues (it was not a debate) and he was welcome to attend (but didn’t).
We would also like to correct the impression left by the story in The Ottawa Citizen that Councillor Glenn Brooks did not attend; he was in the audience though not at his reserved seat.
Two hundred plus people attended and more than 100 news signatures on the petition calling for health studies.
To get in touch with the North Gower Wind Action Group, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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