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Posts Tagged ‘Amaranth’

Well, we never stopped, really.

Premier Dalton McGuinty will be facing angry rural municipal councillors at the Ontario Good Roads conference beginning this weekend.

Organized by the  Multi-Municipal Wind Turbine Working Group–which is headed by Mark Davis, Deputy Mayor of Arran-Elderslie–the event will be a Walk Out on Dalton as the Premier stands up for his speech to open the conference. (In Ottawa we don’t have much hope of any representatives standing up for us, as the vice-president of the Rural Ontario Municipal Association or ROMA is Doug Thompson…he won’t likely abandon his position to act for us in North Gower and Richmond. But we can hope.)

The organizers acknowledge that such an action will be a first at a conference that is known for its bonhomie but they also say it’s about time. At last year’s conference, Mayor of Amaranth Don McIver met with then Environment Minister John Wilkinson to talk about what’s happened to Amaranth since the turbines started spinning in his community in 2006 (people are sick, property worthless, homes abandoned) and followed up with a letter. It was never answered. He sent another. No answer. Wilkinson of course was roundly defeated in the October election, but for his department to ignore a sitting Mayor is appalling.

Now, says Davis, it’s time to act. “Why not?” says Davis. “McGuinty has walked out on us.”

Here is a story from QMI today. http://www.lfpress.com/comment/2012/02/24/19422056.html

Rural Ontario set to blow up at McGuinty

By Jim Merriam, Special to QMI Agency

Last Updated: February 25, 2012 12:00am 

It won’t be the legendary gunfight at the O.K. Corral but next week’s meeting between Premier Dalton McGuinty and rural municipal leaders is shaping up to be a major confrontation.

The issue involves shunning Premier Dad at the Good Roads convention in Toronto.

One organizing group is urging delegates by letter to greet the premier with respect.

However, the Multi-Municipal Working Group on Wind Turbines isn’t backing down on plans to walk out on McGuinty’s speech if a one-year moratorium on installation of wind turbines isn’t announced before the meeting.

The Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA), which sponsors “Good Roads” in partnership with the Ontario Good Roads Association, suggests such a walkout would be shortsighted.

“We invited the premier to our conference, we appreciate his decision to come, and we will respectfully listen to what he has to say,” says the ROMA letter, hoping for the final word on the subject.

The working group’s chair will have none of it. In his written response, Mark Davis, deputy mayor of Arran Elderslie said, “There are times you must stand up and be counted. You must do things that you believe are right for the people you represent. I firmly believe this is one of those times.” ROMA’s letter looks back at its successful history to discourage a walkout by the folks concerned about the way wind power has been forced down the throats of rural residents.

“As a group, Ontario municipalities have worked very hard over many years to build a relationship with the Government of Ontario that is based on open doors and frank discussion. The mature and respectful relationship that makes these exchanges possible provides us with our greatest opportunity to achieve meaningful progress.” But members of the six-county wind turbine working group are more interested in what ROMA has done for them lately?

“ROMA must be aware of the depth of these (wind turbine) concerns and we hope to hear at the conference the steps that ROMA, like the other organizations representing rural Ontario, has taken to represent concerns of its members on this issue.” ROMA goes on to list the issues it is discussing with the province including the global recession, economic development, funding for roads and bridges, the costs of emergency services and the Drummond report.

In response the anti-turbine group has a list of its own, pointing out those who have serious doubts about the “green energy program and wind turbines.” This includes the Ontario Auditor General who said the turbines are not replacing coal-fired plants nor cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

“They (turbines) require additional fossil-fuel gas generation back-up because their production is unpredictable, intermittent and cannot be stored.” This means consumers pay twice for wind energy, adding skyrocketing electricity costs that are a real threat to jobs.

Also joining the anti-turbine movement is the Ontario Federation of Agriculture that represents 38,000 farm families.

In addition 79 municipalities have called for a moratorium on wind turbine installations.

The working group also points out that the province responded within hours to a light rail transit motion by Toronto council, but there has been no meaningful response to rural concerns about wind turbines.

In summing up the fighting words ROMA attempts to speak for all Ontarians: “Ontario residents are counting on us to work co-operatively and productively.” The conclusion from the working group is quite different: “There are many reasons to walk and very few not to.”

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Email us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca and please donate to our efforts. You may donate securely by Interac or PayPal.

The North Gower Wind Action Group is a member of Wind Concerns Ontario http://www.windconcernsontario.ca

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But don’t take our word for it.

We could quote you the research studies that have been done–epidemiologist Dr Carl V. Phillips says there are enough of them that it is beyond a shadow of a doubt, and the World Health Organization has documented serious health effects from “environmental noise”—but let’s go to the Township of Amaranth in Ontario.

Almost six years ago now, the Township welcomed industrial wind turbines, believing the promises of jobs and green energy. They thought they were doing the right thing.

How’s that working for them? Not so well.

Here from a letter to the Minister of the Environment from Mayor Don McIver, the results of living with industrial wind turbines on one community.

“There is no question that the impact of wind turbines and the transformer that connects this power to the grid have negatively affected the health and wealth of neighbouring residents. The Council of the Township of Amaranth is opposed to any further wind turbine projects until the negative impacts of the current wind farm are corrected.”

Families have become ill and have had to leave their homes, the Mayor writes; efforts have been made to alleviate the noise and the low frequency sound, and have failed (we know there is no proper methodology to measure turbine noise–all the setbacks etc are based on “modelling”).

“The setbacks in the Green Energy Act are not sufficient to protect the health and wealth of neighbouring families. The 5 km setback in the lake directly invalidates the setback of 550 metres on land.”

Tha Mayor’s letter has never been answered.

For in-person accounts, go to http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com/video-testamonies/

to see videos of Ontario residents who have been living next to industrial wind power generation facilities.

This is no joke.

E-mail us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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Today, apparently, is “global wind day” which in Ontario is being celebrated because the province is supposed to be a centre for “green” energy and green jobs and a clean, green way of life. One of the events scheduled is the celebration of the completion of the giant Talbot wind project, by Enbridge/RES. The news release is below.

CALGARY, ALBERTA–(Marketwire – June 13, 2011) – Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB) (NYSE:ENB) and Renewable Energy Systems Canada Inc. (RES Canada) will celebrate the completion of Enbridge’s Talbot Wind Project on June 15, 2011, Global Wind Day.

The celebration will include a ribbon cutting with members from the Chatham-Kent community, and an announcement of several investments in the community. MPP Pat Hoy (Chatham-Kent-Essex) and Chatham-Kent Mayor Randy R. Hope will take part in the festivities.

Meanwhile, Wind Concerns Ontario has unearthed correspondence from the Ministry of the Environment dated 2009, which indicates the Ministry was issuing certificates of approval for industrial wind power projects when it had no “methodology” or equipment or trained staff to enforce any regulations concerning turbine noise. The correspondence is between Ministry staff. Go to http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com to see a PDF of the letters.

Apparently the scene on Global Wind Day near Shelburne Ontario is not nearly so festive (you recall we presented text from a letter to the province from the mayor of Amaranth about the health problems and loss of property value in the area), with properties for sale and deserted. Here is an account from someone who lives there: Turbines are spinning in every direction.  People are sick.  People can’t sleep at night.  People have been bought out.  People are leaving because they can’t stand it anymore.  Places looked fallen down and/or deserted all over the place.  Or they’re for sale–and good luck with that!

Since it is “Global” Wind day, let’s go farther afield; how about Australia, where the complaints of illness from wind turbine noise and vibration are so pronounced that in the Waubra area, the collection of symptoms is now known as The Waubra Syndrome. A report from the government on health effects is due out this week , but an Australian phsyician specializing in cancer research said that Australia should expect a rise in fatal diseases due to the low frequency noise (vibration) produced by industrial wind turbines. The story is here: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/turbine-health-effects-are-blowing-in-the-wind/story-fn59niix-1226075277052

“Global Wind Day”: a celebration of what the quest for profits at any cost has done to communities and people.

E-mail us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca and follow us on Twitter at northgowerwind

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As we mentioned recently, some people think opposing industrial wind turbine developments is “sensationalizing” the effects, and that the turbine developments can’t be as bad as we’re making out.

Here’s a letter from today’s Orangeville Citizen. Now, with 100+ turbines in the area already working, and 100s more planned, these people know what they’re talking about.

This is why we’re doing what we’re doing: informing the community about what could happen to North Gower and Richmond.

Note that in the letter, the writer talks about some 232 homes within 4.5 km of the turbines… in North Gower that number would be MUCH higher.

Thank you Mark for pointing out to the reporter, Wes Keller, that our home is not the only one to fall under the shadow of the proposed Industrial Wind Turbines. Unfortunately you are making an understatement when you say 30 or more other homes, as there are actually 232 homes in the 4.5 km radius that will be affected. Along with you and the other residents, we formed WCORHE (Whittington Coalition for Our Right to a Healthy Environment) and together we made a map of the 232 homes and their locations in respect to the proposed wind turbines. This map was then submitted by MPP Sylvia Jones to the Ministries of Environment and Energy.

We do sympathize with the local homeowners who have their houses up for sale and can’t sell them due to the turbine proposal, but unlike them we plan to be here for generations to come. Not only will our home fall under this shadow but so will our family spinach farm operation in which all of our family members participate. Our family, as well as the other 232 homes and their residents are all in protest of these pending health hazards and the devaluation of our properties.

Our WCORHE group opposes WPD’s (the wind project developers) misleading information which they gave at their first information meeting held at the Orangeville Fairgrounds Oct 12, 2010.

The information maps at their meeting were so far out of date that they didn’t even show our home or many other recently built residences on them.

We are objecting to WPD’s underhanded tactics which included denial of globally documented health issues and outdated maps that had no correct information as to the number of homes affected or their proximity to the proposed Industrial Turbine sites.

Betsy Collins Mono-Amaranth Townline

northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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This from today’s Wellington Advertiser, re: farm owners who have leased property for wind development. Just the facts:

Farmers now wanting to opt out of wind leases

by David Meyer   The Wellington Advertiser

ELORA – Centre Welling­ton council’s committee of the whole heard on Monday after­noon that several farmers who signed lease agreements for wind farms near Belwood are willing to back out of them.

A delegation led by Dave Hurlburt, Laura Humphrey, Gerry Ellen and Darryl Burnet came to council to ask for its help in opposing the wind farm planned by Invenergy that sur­rounds much of Belwood and reaches into Dufferin County. They represented a group that is opposing the proposal for up to 35 wind turbines.

Hurlburt acknowledged coun­cil has no authority over the project because the pro­vincial Liberal government took it away and gave it to the Ministry of Environment, but he said, “We feel this council has a strong role to play” in op­posing it.

Humphrey cited new information coming forward regularly about the health risks wind turbines might pose, which could cause things like sleep disorders, headaches and numerous  other medi­cal concerns.

She compared the wind tur­bines and health issues to smok­ing, and noted it took years to convince people that smoking was dangerous.

“We need to repeatedly study wind farms to see if they are safe for human health,” Humphrey said.

She added there are impacts on animals and said the site of the wind farm is very close to what has locally become known as “tornado alley,” where there have been several tornadoes over the years that caused millions of dollars in damage in Wellington County.

Hurlburt said part of the pro­cess forces Invenergy to consult with the local council, and he wants council to oppose the project and insist that a letter of opposition is included in its report to the MOE.

The group also asked that if the project is approved, trans­mission lines be buried and that heavy development charges be placed on each turbine. The group asked that council get all the local area roads improved before heavy machinery is allowed to travel over them. It also asked that the company be forced to provide letters of credit for decommissioning the turbines, and to insist on a 4-to 5-km setback from all private airstrips.

The group also asked council to join other munici­pali­ties that supported the Mapleton resolution to seek a provincial moratorium on all such projects until health studies are com­pleted. Council has already done that.

One of the more sur­prising requests was that farmers be allowed to opt out. Councillor Fred Morris asked if that is possible.

Hurlburt said it is. He ex­plained many of the con­tracts signed by farmers to accept wind turbines on their prop­erty had been signed near­ly four years ago – and with another company. Invenergy is the third and latest company involved in the project.

He said what farm­ers accepted four years ago has changed greatly, including the size of the wind turbines. As well, he said, many farmers had no idea the effect the old pro­posal would have on the com­munity. He said they had no idea of the number of turbines that would be part of the plan and, “If asked today, they probably would not sign.”

Darryl Burnett said, “Not only would they not sign, they want out.” He said at least “five of 15 farmers [in East Gara­fraxa] would back away” if they could.

He said that in East Gara­fraxa, he has heard from a coun­cil member there that Invenergy officials had told that council it would not stop farmers who want to change their minds about placing wind turbines on their properties.

Hurlburt said he wants Centre Wellington to council to get a similar commitment from Invenergy for the Belwood area land­owners.

He added that the group is “really frustrated” not only by the public open house forum that was used as a public meet­ing, but because the provincial Liberal government has taken the decision away from local councils.

As for the meeting, “It was no public forum; it was a one-way street,” Hurlburt said.

Lobby effort

Mayor Joanne Ross-Zuj told the group it has council support. She said she had met with Revenue Minister and Perth Wellington MPP John Wilkinson last week about the issue, and he had told her that resi­dents need to lobby John Gerretsen, the Minister of Environment.

Ross-Zuj told the group, “Whatever it takes – email, a stamp – get it to the MOE as individuals. Gerretsen knows what to expect from council. If that’s where they want it to go, make sure they hear from you.”

Residents also bom­barded Centre Wellington officials. Ross-Zuj said she received over 100 letters and all the writers are going to get a reply that they should lobby the MOE.

“That starts today,” she said. Those 100 letters we received should go down there.

 Contact information for Gerretsen was handed out at the meeting. He can be reached by mail at: The Honourable john Gerretsen, Minister of Environment, 77 Wellesley Street West, 11th Floor, Ferguson Block, Toronto, Ontario, M7A 2T5, or by email at minister.moe@ontario.ca, or be telephone at 416-314-6790, or be fax at 416-314-7337.

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To get in touch with the North Gower Wind Action Group, email us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

Special event Tuesday April 13 at the Alfred Taylor Centre in North Gower–YOUR unique opportunity to hear the facts from the experts in Ontario!

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This is an interesting news article from the Orangeville area of Ontario. The public is coming to understand what the impact of the Green Energy Act is, and they’re fighting mad!

http://www.orangeville.com/news/local/article/651293–turbine-proposal-stirs-up-angst-in-east-gary

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