Posts Tagged ‘famers leasing land for wind farms’

This is a few days old, and is also posted on Wind Concerns Ontario, but well worth repeating here. The TRUTH about what wind “farms” are doing to Ontario’s farm families and rural communities.

Note: the letter writer is talking about the Erie Shores wind development, but he lives in Creemore, which is also threatened by several turbine developments.

Here is the article, the actual link follows.

The province sold out on wind energy plan

Letters to the Editor

Property and tax values adversely affected

Posted 5 days ago

To the Editor;

I had to laugh when I noticed the large display ad by the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CANWEA) on the back page of our local newspaper last week. In it, Mayor Lynn Acre describes the utopian benefits of the 26 km-long Erie Shores Wind Farm and encourages us all to come down and have a look for ourselves.

By coincidence, I happened to be performing a test flight on a new aircraft with another pilot over the Erie Shores Wind Farm just the day before our paper arrived. After the morning’s flying, we repaired to a packed local restaurant for lunch wearing our flying kit. It only took a minute for one of the locals to ask if we were flying and if we had seen the wind farm. The ensuing conversations were lively and punctuated with anger and peppered with expletives. They were not so much conversations, as they were forceful warnings about the perils of wind generation. What we heard, in no uncertain terms, from farmers and rural folk, some who had as many as five turbines on their land was this;

1) Wind turbine companies seem to seek maximum control of leased land. And they like to make deals and pit neighbours against each other.

2) Wind farms are very difficult to farm, leaving large areas that are impossible for big equipment to work or spray. All those corners and angles around the towers, transformers and roads turn into weed patches that infiltrate planted crops. “I’ve farmed clean all my life, but in the last three years, fighting the weeds around these things (windmills) has become a nightmare.”

3) The mayor mentioned increased tax revenue and we certainly heard about that. Several people spoke angrily about the fact that the municipality, which has lost a large amount of its industrial tax base, was now recouping it from anyone who had a wind tower or leased infrastructure on their land. No one had told them before they signed up for these towers that their land would be reassessed at commercial/industrial tax rates, not the agricultural rate to which they were accustomed. Several indicated that, “It just isn’t worth it.”

4) The saddest and most bitter pill, though, came from older farmers and landowners who wanted to sell and retire. They said there were only two kinds of buyers for property with towers, wind companies at bargain prices or other wind companies at even less money that want to put up more towers. Nobody wants to live beside the towers.

5) One term repeatedly used by people living with wind towers was disaster, referring to the loss and damage to their lives and farms, their community and the environment.

We heard plenty more in that restaurant but not a word of support for wind power, the wind companies or the politicians who are enabling this disaster. It left the distinct impression that the grassroots are just now starting to lash back against being sold out by our provincial government and its hair-brained, make-it-up-as-you-go energy policies.

It’s good to see CANWEA supporting the newspapers through paid advertising. It’s also good that we have all be invited by the Mayor to head on down to Erie Shores and see it for ourselves. While you’re there, don’t forget to stop and talk to the folks who live with “big wind” so that you can get the real story.


D. Paul Briggs, Creemore

Article ID# 2881126

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North Gower Wind Action Group receives candidates’ responses

Posted Sep 30, 2010 By EMC News

EMC News – Candidates and incumbents running for the upcoming municipal election are ignoring a major environmental issue that is of concern to all Ottawa taxpayers, says a local citizens’ group.

A complex of 190-meter high industrial wind turbines proposed for the south area of Ottawa could have significant environmental impacts, health effects for residents, and a decline in property values for neighbouring homes, says the North Gower Wind Action Group’s chair.

“We received very thoughtful replies from several candidates,” says Jane Wilson, “but most are just ignoring this important issue. That’s a mistake. This turbine development is not going to be good for the environment, it’s not good for our community or for Ottawa as a whole. The city’s tax base could be affected by declining property values if this industrial project is allowed to proceed.”

Ontario’s Green Energy Act removed all municipalities’ planning powers where renewable energy projects are concerned.

Responding to the wind action group’s questionnaire sent out last month, Capital ward candidate and environmentalist David Chernushenko said “The North Gower project appears to be one that is too large, too close to residents, and without sufficient community buy-in.”

Mayoral candidate Mike Maguire said he had been “shocked to learn about the experiences of residents in southern Ontario with industrial wind turbines, the health effects, the reduction in property values, and the negative effects on migratory birds…I object to such developments in principle due to the tremendous cost and their essential inefficiency.”

Rideau-Goulbourn ward candidates Scott Moffatt and Iain J.MacCallum are also skeptical about the development. “It is my belief that North Gower is unlikely to be a suitable location to produce wind energy due to its low potential to produce efficient supply,” said Moffatt.

Sitting councillor Glenn Brooks, who brought a motion to city council last year asking for a moratorium on turbine developments until health studies have been donewhich was defeatedsaid he doesn’t think the Ontario Ministry of Health has enough information on health effects from turbines. “Setbacks ought to be 1.5 km from the nearest house,” he said. “That would likely remove neighbours’ concerns about health and noise.” Current Ontario regulations state that the setback between a turbine and the centre of a neighbouring home can be just 550 meters.

Incumbent Kanata North councillor Marianne Wilkinson thinks the North Gower plan is too close to homes – the separation should be two kilometers.

“I would support a motion to give the City control over planning the location of wind farms with more stringent distances to homes required,” said Wilkinson.

“Industrial wind turbines are supposed to be built only in communities that want them, but nobody asked us,” says Wilson of the wind action group. “Right now, there are 67 Ontario communities objecting to turbine developments for very good reasons. We’re sorry to see that many politicians don’t seem to care about this crucial issue that affects the whole city. The people of North Gower and Richmond need the support of their fellow citizens throughout Ottawa to ensure the province responds to citizens’ concerns on this issue.”

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