Posts Tagged ‘Glenn Brooks’

For those who don’t pick up a newspaper every day, The Ottawa Citizen is now in the process of announcing its recommendations for City Council, presumably with the intention of winding up with their endorsement of a candidate for Mayor.

Today, the Citizen announced that it is recommending Rideau-Goulbourn vote for Scott Moffatt, citing his energy and enthusiasm.

Mr. Moffatt has been interested in the issue of industrial wind turbines proposed for North Gower for some time, and has promised to keep up with developments. He did say to us that he sees no point in proposing another motion at City Council as Glenn Brooks already did that and it was defeated. More than 60 other municipalities in Ontario have passed resolutions, however, markedly different from the one put forward at Ottawa Council in 2009.

Just this month, for example, the City of Ajax and the County of Haldimand passed resolutions asking for a return of local land use planning powers, among other things.

We wish all candidates the best, especially those who took the time to respond to our questionnaire so that Rideau-Goulbourn residents may know where the candidates stand on this important issue.

To email the North Gower Wind Action Group, northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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According to Energy Probe executive director Lawrence Solomon, writing in today’s Financial Post, “the largest grass roots movement in the western world today is no longer anti-nuclear, it is anti-wind.”

We’re proud to be part of it.

Read the reasons why at http://opinion.financialpost.com/2010/10/12/ontario-power-lesson/

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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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In August, the North Gower Wind Action Group sent out a questionnaire with background information and just two questions to candidates for the office of Mayor for the City of Ottawa and all candidates with email addresses running for City council.

The questions were:

1. What are your views on the proposed, large-scale industrial wind turbine project to be situated near the village of North Gower, and south Richmond?

2. If elected, would you put forward a motion to City Council that would ask Ontario to return the planning powers it had prior to the passage of the Green Energy Act (which removed municipalities’ powers to plan for renewable energy developments, and to protect their citizens) and actively work with Council members toward acceptance and passage of the motion?

We admit to being somewhat disappointed in the relative lack of response, but we are happy to report that most of those who did respond provided thoughtful comments, and said they would give this matter more attention in future. Many also provided additional comments.

As our goal is simply to provide information, we offer the comments here as received, and unedited; it is not our intent to endorse individual candidates, but to help voters make their own decisions come municipal Election Day.

Thank you to all who took the concerns of the citizens of North Gower and south Richmond seriously, and who took the time to think about this important issue.

Candidates for Mayor

Larry O’Brien: no response

Jim Watson: no response (Mr Watson’s remarks on the subject may be seen in an earlier post)

Clive Doucet: no response

Andy Haydon: Wind power is a large waste of financial resources and I am unalterably opposed to wind turbines.

Dr Cesar Bello: (1) If there is ample and verifiable scientific evidence to conclude that wind turbines cause serious health problems for some residents (specially children) living nearby; specially for those residents where planned turbines will be only 550 meters away from their homes, I am in favour to make an indeep review of The North Gower-Richmond Project that may lead our new Council to cancel it. (2) I would put forward a motion to City Council that would as Ontario to return the planning powers it had prior to passage of the Green Energy Act…and I actively work with Council members toward acceptance and passage of this motion. My strong commitment is to protect our residents safety and health.

Mike Maguire: (1) I am completely opposed to such a development for two reasons. I attended your information session at the North Gower RA and was shocked to learn about the experience of the residents in Southern Ontario with industrial wind turbines, the health concerns, the reduction in property values and the negative effects on migratory birds. Secondly, I object to such developments in principle due to the tremendous cost of these installations and their essential inefficiency. To choose such an expensive mode of power generation and then mandate that the public have to subsidize their operation is terribly regressive public policy and unfairly targets fixed income seniors, low income families and, small businesses. All-in-all, this is a classic bad idea from a group of politicians who are out of touch with reality. (2) Certainly, the so called ‘Green Energy Act’ is going to cause untold economic damage to the residents of Ontario and sets a dangerous precedent in that it allows un-elected bureaucrats to circumvent the Planning Act – this needs to be amended immediately. I think a vocal Mayor could also organize opposition to the costs associated with such a program and this would have an even greater effect on the overall policy of subsidizing industrial wind turbine installations.

Jane Scharf: (1) 

The risks have not been adequately evaluated by the decision makers regarding the effects wind energy devices especially for the households that are only 550 meters from the site of the wind energy devices. As well local residences need to be involved in the decision making process. Ultimately locate residence should be the ones to make the final decision as to whether the devices can be installed in their neighbourhood. (2)  I am committed to running city hall meetings by Roberts Rules of Order which prohibit the chair from discussion on any motion put forward and voting except in the case of a tie. However I do intend to enter into discussion and vote all matter pertaining to the decision making process itself. Therefore I would pass the chair to another council member when this matter is discussed and voted on..  My biggest concern is the decision-making process in matters such as this that impact the health and safety of a community. I support a motion to return the decision making back to the local constituency and preferably to the community directly involved. Therefore, as a citizen of Ottawa and council member I would strongly support a motion by City Council that would reinstate local decision making for energy projects.

 My concern is that this is one of many examples of top down decision making that violates the public interest that is occurring in the city of Ottawa under the current administration and there is very little movement for reform.

Rideau-Goulbourn Ward 21 (3 out of 5 candidates responding)

Glenn Brooks (incumbent): My response has not changed from last year. (1) The controversy around wind turbines will remain on-going. The
Provincial Medical Officer of Health and the City of Ottawa’s MOH are on
record of seeing no medial problems with a 550 m setback from the nearest
house. Last year I put forth a motion that would have resulted in a moratorium on further construction of wind turbines. That motion failed. Due to Council policy that motion cannot rise to council unless there is “new”
information available.  MOH’s claim there is no “new” information that has
not been reviewed. I personally don’t agree!! Solution:
Setbacks ought to be 1.5km from nearest house that would likely remove
neighbours concerns about health and noise. Property values are another
issue that needs to be address. Personally, I think there would be an

Ian J. MacCallum: I am not a fan of the fan.   We need to stop this wind turbine project it has proven unsuccessful around the world not to mention the health ramifications. Waste to energy is what I think is the answer we have garbage and will always have so lets use it for some good.

Scott Moffatt: (1) Thanks to the NGWAG, I have been informed along every step of the way as to what is going on here in North Gower and around the province.  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.  Health concerns are hard to fight on, as you already know.  There are two distinct sides with each essentially trying to debunk the other at every turn.  This issue will never be won on health concerns.  Those involved in the opposition must turn to the financial framework of the Green Energy Act itself.  So far to date, $8 Billion to produce 1% of energy into the Ontario Hydro grid.  Is this good value?  I have seen my hydro bill continue to rise in the name of Green Energy.  How much can we afford?  The Green Energy Act is not sustainable. (2) As a city councillor, I need to focus on local and city issues that are within my control.  Unfortunately, City Council has already voted down this motion in the past.  Though I do not believe it was pushed very hard, it appears to me that there is little appetite around the current council table to look into this issue.  I will definitely discuss the issue with my peers to get their feelings, explain your side of the argument in a reasonable and cooperative manner and determine a proper course of action.  I cannot and will not make a promise I can’t keep and thus my response to this question.

River Ward 16

Michael Kostiuk: (1) This proposal  needs more study to measure its benefits as well as any potential harmful effects. I am not fully convinced that building these large windmill farms is the right way to generate electricity or to become energy self sufficient.  (2) Yes.

Capital Ward 17

Rob Brocklebank: (1) Until the receipt of your message I had been unaware of the project. My understanding from the material you have provided is that the project in question adheres to the provincial policies with respect to separation of wind generation projects from residences. I question how this project fits with the studies underway with respect to the development of the Village of Richmond. (2) There are many issues in the relationship between the province and the city which need to be considered. In particular a rewriting of the legislation under which the City of Ottawa was established should be reviewed. I have no knowledge of the movement by other municipalities to have provincial law changed but would be interested in learning of such initiatives and the reaction of the province. Wind turbines are not the top priority issue for me in reviewing the relationship with the province but I would be willing to look further into the issue.

I do not accept the idea that all wind generation projects are deleterious to human health. Nevertheless I question the extraordinary premium price which the province proposes to pay for electricity generated by wind turbines.

David Chernushenko: As you may know, I am personally very active in the renewable energy field, having just completed a film (Powerful – Energy for Everyone) which examines, among other issues related to energy, the pros and cons of wind projects. I am glad that you wrote to me, and you can find my responses to your questions below. (1) Although I am generally in favour of wind energy as part of the solution to meeting human energy needs more cleanly and sustainably, I recognize that there are some important impacts that come with large scale wind development, and a number of “potential” impacts, depending on siting, size, scales, etc. In simple terms, I believe that any project must have a significant amount of community ownership if it is to be acceptable to the community, and by insisting on this, the community will be forced to do its homework and come to its own conclusions about (a) what are the real risks/impacts, (b) what are the rumoured risks/impacts, (c) how to mitigate risks/impacts, and (d) whether or not to actually move forward with the project. The North Gower project appears to be one that is too large, too close to residents, and without sufficient community buy-in or actual ownership. All this might be improved without necessarily cancelling the project entirely,but that is your decision, and hard work on all sides lies ahead. (2) Yes, I would definitely put forward that motion and actively work with council to pass it.

 [Comment] Please be skeptical about all the information you are hearing. Be skeptical of industry proponents, and be just as skeptical of opposition groups. Do your own homework, have your own discussions, and make up your own minds. It is too easy to be swayed by highly emotional outsiders. Make this your own process.

Ron LeBlanc: (1).  I would certainly support a low impact, renewable energy developments. 2. yes, if elected I would put forward a motion to City Council that would ask Ontario to return the planning powers it had prior to passage of the Green Energy Act. 

Kanata North Ward 4

Marianne Wilkinson: My view on the North Gower plan is that it’s too close to homes – the separation should be 2 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.

College Ward 8

Ralph Anderson: (1)  I am sympathetic to the situation of the residents in the shadow of those windmills. I am reminded of my only house buying excursion over twenty years ago when living under power lines was not a good selling point. The Ontario government continues to do heavy handed legislation that is convenient for them and those that they choose to do business with. The people usually hear about things way too late. That’s partly a failure in our democracy. The people don’t know what the government is planning to to do to them. The people should have been out front, setting the agenda. At times, it is easy to feel that our governments never intends for the people to know what’s going to happen until it’s too late. There was some media attention. They reported your predicament, but too late.  When elected, I will be generally supportive of democractic good government. I suspect that the Green Energy Act has the right idea. But implementation, as in other wide ranging legislation, will be rushed and bull doze the unsuspecting public in its path. Would I support a motion to regain the lost powers of our community? All you get from me today is a maybe. In passing the buck sideways, I would support a motion by your councillor to “ask” the province to stop this particular project if your issues have not yet received a full and open airing. I would be nice to find a compromise.

Catherine Gardner: (1) I am opposed to the use of wind turbines!  Not only are they unsightly but I feel that they will do more harm to our communities including to the residents, animals (pets and farm), wildlife (land, sea and air) and the environment. I feel that the cost to consumers to install and run these turbines will be far greater than the proposed benefits. (2) Yes, I am opposed to the wind turbines and will work hard to ensure that they are not installed. I will advocate strongly for the protection of all aspects of any community where the turbines may be proposed.

I feel we need to find other alternatives which will provide higher benefits without causing damage to our communities/environments. We must also work towards finding alternatives where the money put into green energy stays within our Communities and Country!

Rideau-Rockcliffe  Ward 13

Rawlson King: (1) I believe that the City of Ottawa needs to protect and preserve its green spaces and the unique character of its rural communities.  Furthermore, I believe that any type of development should reflect the nature of a community and add to its quality of life.   As a consequence, despite the fact that I support green power generally, I would not support industrial-scale energy projects if they are less than two kilometers away from homes in your community. (2) I would not put forward a motion. I believe that the Councillor in the directly affected Ward should put forward a motion.  However, I would support a motion that sought the restoration of municipalities’ powers to plan for renewable energy developments, if introduced.

Barrhaven Ward 3

Derek Hallworth: Not to mention the nearly 7 billion dollar price tag with Samsung. Thanks Mr. McGuinty. Also, thanks for the extra $400 (about) that I’ll have to come up with for electricity. I’m not an expert or engineer of any kind, but I’ve heard these wind turbines will produce a minimal amount of energy (0.3% is a number that I heard on CFRA). The whole Green Energy Act is a sham as far as I’m concerned, thanks to a few tree huggers. The same thing happened back in 2006 in Nova Scotia. I’ll admit that I was unaware that this was happening, but you’d think the higher-ups we elect would have learned something. http://www.windaction.org/news/3003 I have absolutely no political experience at all, but if this is a project that I would have the ability to stop, I would do my best to stop it.

Beacon Hill-Cyrville

O’Neil Brooke:  There are many issues with wind power. For those that think this form of renewable energy will be a magic bullet for our addiction to hydrocarbons, you need to keep researching; wind energy is not going to do it all. That being said we should still continue to develop our wind resources! While we seek to exploit these resources though we need to keep in mind the environmental impacts. The primary environmental impacts wind energy systems have on people is sound and vibration. Imagine having a squeaky machine that runs 24 hours a day disturbing your sleep, your conversations, your quiet enjoyment of your property! If we allow it, these machines can render property virtually uninhabitable. I don’t know about you, but when I am subjected to a persistent low intensity noise, it disrupts my concentration, my sleep and I get head aches. 

It is entirely appropriate for the City to regulate how wind power is exploited within the city limits. As we look at this issue the city should prioritize the development of this resource while ensuring that it’s development does not interfere with other residents and their use of land. The North Gower Wind Action Group may be interested in the City of Ottawa Noise ByLaw. Specifically section 4 and 5…

 Orleans Ward 1

Jennifer Robitaille.(1) I am concern about health-related issues which have been reported in relation to the industrial wind turbines installed across the world.  I have doubts as to the objectivity of professionals reporting that these units have no affect on local residents and their health.  I support green-energy initiatives which are sustainable and do not affect the health on residents or local wild-life. (2) Yes.


To email the North Gower Wind Action Group, northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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A Canadian epidemiologist testified at a Public Service Commission hearing in Wisconsin, on the health effects noted from exposure to the noise and vibration (infrasound) from industrial wind turbines. Note how simple it would be to do actual research on actual people, in his opinion. But instead, the Ontario government proffers a highly selective review paper as “research”, as did the wind energy lobby in Canada.

If the corporate wind developers were truly concerned about the health of Canadians (“Coal is killing people!” [it isn’t.] ) they would pay for a real study.

The link is provided if you wish to view a video of  Dr Phillips’ testimony, and a transcript of his remarks follows.

To contact the North Gower Wind Action Group, email northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

PSC: Please raise your right hand. Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

Carl V. Phillips: Yes, I do.

PSC: OK, spell your name.

PHILLIPS: Carl V. Phillips, C-A-R-L, initial V as in Vincent- Phillips- P-H-I-double L-I-P-S

PSC: All right, go ahead.

I’m an epidemiologist and policy researcher.  I’m specifically expert in how to optimally derive knowledge for decision making from epidemiologic data.

I have a PhD in public policy from Harvard University, and I did a post doctoral fellowship in public health policy and the philosophy of science.

I’ve spent most of my career as a professor of public health and medicine, most recently at the University of Alberta and I currently direct an independent research institute.

I reviewed the literature on health effects of wind turbines on local residents, including the reports that have been prepared by industry consultants and the references therein, and I have reached the following conclusions which I present in detail in a written report that I believe will be submitted [to the commission].

First, there is ample evidence that some people suffer a collection of health problems, including insomnia, anxiety, loss of concentration, general psychological distress, as a result of being exposed to turbines near their home.

The type of studies that have been done are not adequate to estimate what portion of the population is susceptible to the effect, the magnitude of the effects, or exactly how much exposure is needed before the risks become substantial, but all of these could be determined with fairly simple additional research.

What is clear is there is a problem of some magnitude.  The evidence may or may not be enough to meet the burden of a tort claim about a specific disease, but in my opinion it’s clearly enough to suggest that our public policy should not just be to blindly move forward without more knowledge.

The best evidence we have—which has been somewhat downplayed in previous discussion—is what’s known as “case cross-over data,” which is one of the most useful forms of epidemiologic study when both the exposure and the disease are transitory.  That is, it’s possible to remove the exposure and see if the disease goes away, then reinstate it and see if the disease recurs, which is exactly the pattern that has been observed for some of the sufferers who physically moved away and sometimes back again.

With that study design in mind, we actually have very substantial amounts of data in a structured form, contrary to some of the claims that have been made.  And more data of this nature could easily be gathered if an effort was made.

Moreover, people’s avoidance behavior—their moving from their homes, and so forth—is a clear (what’s called) “revealed preference measure” of their suffering.  Such evidence transforms something that might be dismissed as a subjective experience or perhaps even fakery, to an objective observation that someone’s health problems are worth more than the many thousands of dollars they’ve lost trying to escape the exposure.

My second observation . . . is that these health effects that people are suffering are very real.  The psychologically mediated diseases that we’ve observed, and in fact overall mental well being, are included in all modern accepted definitions of either individual health or public health.  It’s true that they are more difficult to study than certain other diseases, but they probably account for more of the total morbidity burden in the United States than do purely physical diseases.  Therefore [they] should not be in any way dismissed.

Third, the reports that I have read that claim there is no evidence that there is a problem seem to be based on a very simplistic understanding of epidemiology and self-serving definitions of what does and what does not count as evidence.  I don’t think I can cover too much of this in the available time right now, but I explain it in detail in my report—why these claims, which probably seem convincing to most readers prima facie [at first glance], don’t represent proper scientific reading.  Moreover, the conclusions of the reports don’t even match their own analyses.  The reports themselves actually concede that there are problems, and then somehow manage to reach the conclusion that there is no evidence that there are problems.

And my final point, as I’ve already alluded to, is it’s quite possible to do the studies it would take to resolve the outstanding questions, and they could actually be done very quickly by studying people who are already exposed.

This isn’t the type of circumstance where we cannot really know more until we move forward and wait for years of additional exposure.  The only reason we don’t have better information than we do is that no one with adequate resources has tried to get it.

That’s the conclusion of my points.

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Grey Highlands council passed its version of what is now known as “the Arran-Elderslie bylaw” which demands that planning capabilities connected to wind energy developments, which were erased by the Green Energy Act, be restored on the basis of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

We will be forwarding this bylaw to City Council in Ottawa, and will need your support in asking them to consider the bylaw. This is in the interest of every citizen of Ottawa, to oppose the removal of democratic rights, and to oppose high-impact industrial developments which are and incompatible and  inharmonious use of the land near homes and schools.

Here is the Arran-Elderslie motion. For others (including Lanark) go to http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com

A By-law to Amend the Municipal Code (Health Provisions Respecting Locating Erecting Wind Generation Facilities)
WHEREAS it is deemed advisable to amend the Municipal Code to incorporate certain health and safety provisions with respect to the locating and erecting of wind generation facilities within the Municipality;
1.         That “Schedule B Protection to Persons & Property, Building Inspection: Health & Safety Provisions Respecting Locating & Erecting Wind Generation Facilities” is hereby added by the addition of Schedule A to this by-law.
2.         That Schedule A attached to this by-law shall form part of this by-law.
3.         This by-law shall take effect with final passing.


WHEREAS the fundamental role and duty of all three levels of government in Canada—Federal, Provincial & Municipal—to take all steps necessary to protect the health, safety and well being of their residents is hereby acknowledged;
AND WHEREAS Section 7 of the CANADIAN CHARTER OF RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS, Being Part I of the Constitution Act, 1982 provides that:

“Legal Rights

7. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.”;
AND WHEREAS the said Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a constitutional provision that protects an individual’s autonomy and personal legal rights from actions of the government in Canada with three types of protection within the section, namely the right to life, liberty, and security of the person. 
AND WHEREAS the said Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms provision provides both substantive and procedural rights afforded to anyone facing an adjudicative process or procedure that affects fundamental rights and freedoms, and certain substantive standards related to the rule of law that regulate the actions of the state (e.g., the rule against unclear or vague laws) such as the locating and erection of wind generation facilities as vaguely provided for in the Planning Act of the Province of Ontario with no locating criteria legislated;
AND WHEREAS no legal principle has been demonstrated by the Province of Ontario about which there is sufficient societal consensus that it is fundamental to the way in which the legal system should fairly operate that there be no locating criteria based on the health, safety and well being of the residents of Ontario, with respect to wind generation facilities, that would identify with sufficient precision to yield a manageable standard against which to measure deprivations of life, liberty or security of the person (R. v. Malmo-Levine, 2003);
AND WHEREAS The “Principles of Fundamental Justice” require that means used to achieve a societal purpose or objective must be reasonably necessary and this principle is violated when the government, in pursuing a “legitimate objective”, uses “means” that unnecessarily and disproportionately interfere with an individual’s rights (R. v. Heywood) as is the case with removing the locating of wind turbines from local planning processes thereby  interfering with normal individual rights respecting local land use planning;
AND WHEREAS the said Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms can also be violated by the conduct of a party other than a Canadian government body (e.g. wind generation companies) with the government needing only to be a participant or complicit in the conduct threatening the right, when the violation of the security of the person with respect to the person’s health, safety and well being would be a reasonably foreseeable consequence of the government, or other body’s, actions;
AND WHEREAS the Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms right to security of the person, consists of rights to privacy of the body and its health and of the right protecting the “psychological integrity” of an individual, that is, the right protects against significant government-inflicted harm (stress) to the mental state of the individual. (Blencoe v. B.C. (Human Rights Commission), 2000);
AND WHEREAS Section 92 of the Constitution Act, 1982 provides further that the “Exclusive Powers of Provincial Legislatures” include: 

“7. The Establishment, Maintenance, and Management of Hospitals, Asylums, Charities, and Eleemosynary Institutions in and for the Province, other than Marine Hospitals. “(responsibility for the health of its residents)

“8. Municipal Institutions in the Province”                     (including local planning limitations)

“13. Property and Civil Rights in the Province. “  (with a responsibility to protect same)

“14. The Administration of Justice in the Province, including the Constitution, Maintenance, and Organization of Provincial Courts, both of Civil and of Criminal Jurisdiction, and including Procedure in Civil Matters in those Courts”

(including upholding Part 1 being the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms);
AND WHEREAS the Government of Canada has established HEALTH CANADA, an Agency whose mandate is to “protect the Canadian public by researching, assessing and collaborating in the management of the health risks and safety hazards associated with the many consumer products that Canadians use everyday” and works with “all levels of Governmental agencies and programmes: Industry, National, regional, and international groups and the Canadian Public”, in pursuit of reducing or eliminating said risks and hazards;
AND WHEREAS the Province of Ontario has established The Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure which is responsible for promoting the development of an affordable, safe, reliable, secure and environmentally sustainable energy supply;
AND WHEREAS the Province of Ontario has established The Ministry of the Environment which is responsible for protecting, restoring and enhancing the environment to ensure public health and environmental quality;
AND WHEREAS the Province of Ontario has established The Ministry of Natural Resources to sustainably manage the province’s natural resources to contribute to the environmental, social and economic well-being of the people of Ontario;
AND WHEREAS on February 20, 2004, Ontario Premier, Dalton McGuinty stated that: “The health of Ontarians is our province’s most precious resource. We share a responsibility to protect it from harm, and care for it in times of need”;
AND WHEREAS the Province of Ontario, through Section 11, of the Municipal Act, 2001, as amended, has mandated broad authority that lower-tier municipalities may provide “any service or thing that the municipality considers necessary or desirable for the public, as follows:

      (2)  A lower-tier municipality and an upper-tier municipality may pass by-laws, subject to the rules set out in subsection (4), respecting the following matters:…

           1.    Governance structure of the municipality and its local boards.
           2.    Accountability and transparency of the municipality and its operations and of its local boards and their operations.
           3.    Financial management of the municipality and its local boards.
           4.    Public assets of the municipality acquired for the purpose of exercising its authority under this or any other Act.
           5.    Economic, social and environmental well-being of the municipality.
           6.    Health, safety and well-being of persons.
           7.    Services and things that the municipality is authorized to provide under subsection (1).
           8.    Protection of persons and property, including consumer protection.  

thereby recognizing the lower-tier municipality’s need and responsibility to provide for the health, safety and well-being of is residents;
AND WHEREAS The Corporation of the Municipality of Arran-Elderslie’s confidence in the safety of the locating criteria of WIND GENERATION FACILITIES, as legislated by the Province of Ontario, is based on the premise that, having done their due diligence with respect to ensuring the health, safety and well-being of their citizens under The Constitution and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, both the federal and provincial governments are prepared to certify the said facilities for location within the Municipality;
AND WHEREAS there is no intention by The Corporation of the Municipality of Arran-Elderslie to prevent or restrict the “use” of wind generation facilities as a source of renewable energy but rather to promote their “use” in a responsible manner to benefit, or at least, do no harm to any individual by such “use”;
AND WHEREAS it is deemed advisable to ensure the continued good health, safety and well-being of all persons living and/or owning lands within the Corporation of the Municipality of Arran-Elderslie in a responsible manner;


1.         That, the Chief Building Official, at his/her discretion, may issue a building permit, in accordance with the provisions of the Ontario Building Code, for the construction of any wind generation facility, when the said application is accompanied by all of the following:
a)      a certificate issued by Health Canada confirming that the proposed type of wind generation facility will benefit, or will not harm, the health, safety and well-being of any resident of The Corporation of the Municipality of Arran-Elderslie;
b)      a certificate issued by the Ontario Ministry of energy & infrastructure confirming that the proposed type of wind generation facility will benefit, or will not harm, the health, safety and well-being of any resident of The Corporation of the Municipality of Arran-Elderslie;
c)      a certificate issued by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment confirming that the proposed type of wind generation facility will benefit, or will not harm, the health, safety and well-being of any resident of The Corporation of the Municipality of Arran-Elderslie;
d)      a certificate issued by the Ontario Ministry of natural resources confirming that the proposed type of wind generation facility will benefit, or will not harm, the health, safety and well-being of any resident of The Corporation of the Municipality of Arran-Elderslie;
e)      a certificate issued by the ONTARIO MINISTRY OF ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS confirming that the proponents of the proposed type of wind generation facility and the Crown have carried out satisfactory, meaningful consultation with all the affected aboriginal groups that is respectful and accommodates their rights as recognized and affirmed by Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982;”
f)        certificates issued by either or both the Saugeen First Nations and Chippewas of Nawash, as applicable, confirming that the proponents of the proposed type of wind generation facility have carried out satisfactory, meaningful consultation with them with respect to the proposed facility.
2.         That before the certificates identified in Section 1 above are issued, the stated Ministries must provide original documentation to the satisfaction of the Council of the Municipality of Arran-Elderslie that the necessary full and complete non-partisan third party, independent health studies on humans are presented to determine safe setbacks and noise limits.
3.         That this by-law shall take effect with final passing.


To email the North Gower Wind Action Group, northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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As we previously noted, the Citizen reporter missed seeing Glenn Brooks at the April 13th information event: he was there for much of the meeting, and has now posted his own news summary on his weekly update. Here it is:

North Gower Wind Turbine Action Group:
About 250 local residents attended the meeting, chaired by Gary Chandler. The speakers were varied and well versed with the wind turbine issue. I was most interested in realtor Chris Luxemburger’s comments. His report, “Living with Wind Turbines”, is a result of a study of hundreds of properties in the Shelburne, Ontario area. His research suggests property values are impacted by the proximity of wind turbines.

If Mr Brooks had had more space in his brief newsletter he might have added that the extended effect on the impact on property values for homes near the wind turbines. Chris Luxemburger said that councils are not looking at the effect of “depreciated tax values” on the tax base as a whole, which will affect EVERY taxpayer in Ottawa, and in other communities where turbines are operating, or planned.

It is interesting to note from news reports across the province that the more council members start reading about the issues associated with industrial wind turbines (health effects, noise in the rural environment, effects on property value etc.) the more of them start to object to the fact that the Green Energy Act has completely removed the democratic process at the municipal level in this province. Cities, towns, villages and townships are now completely powerless to protect their citizens.

(Wind Concerns Ontario has now shipped 5,000 signs “STOP the wind turbines” and “Health studies before wind turbines” across the province. http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com )

A more complex issue is what is going on with the Ontario electricity market. Retired banker Parker Gallant concludes his excellent series in The Financial Post today, with his article “Ontario’s Power Trip: a megaplex of costs.” He concludes that Ontario is hell-bent on destruction with its “green” energy plans. “Ontario’s official tourism slogan is ‘There’s no place like this!’ It’s an appropriate slogan for the province’s electricity market.”

To email us: northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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Just a note of correction to the Ottawa Citizen story about the April 13th meeting in North Gower, Councillor Glenn Brooks was at the meeting, just not in his reserved seat. MPP Lisa MacLeod was represented by her Consituency Assistant Alicia Noonan; MP Pierre Poilievre did not attend.

Mayoralty hopeful Mike Maguire was at the meeting, as was Scott Moffatt, running for Councillor for Rideau-Goulbourn. Another candidate, Bruce Chrustie had planned to come but his father passed away suddenly and he couldn’t attend. (Our sincere condolences.)

Osgoode councillor Doug Thompson was away on city business and unable to attend; mayoralty candidate Jim Watson had two engagements that evening and couldn’t attend, and neither could Alex Cullen, Georges Bedard or Jan Harder. They have asked for a summary of the meeting.

All city councillors were invited but only those listed above responded to our invitation.

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Prowind supplied Councillor Glenn Brooks with an update to the Marlborough wind “farm” project which is on the Councillor’s website. Here is the report:

Marlborough Wind Farm Up-date – North Gower:
“The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) launched the Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff (FIT) program on October 1, 2009 officially marking the beginning of the Ontario government’s long-term action plan for the development sustainable energy generation in the Province. Prowind Canada submitted an application to the OPA for the Marlborough Wind Farm on November 30th in the hopes of receiving a FIT contract by the Spring of 2010. If accepted, the Marlborough Wind Farm will enter into an agreement to sell the power from the wind farm to the OPA for $0.135/kWh over 20years.

The Ministries of the Environment, Natural Resources, and Energy and Infrastructure have also updated the regulations governing the processes of environmental impact assessment and planning approval for renewable energy projects in the Province. This has allowed Prowind to proceed with a more detailed design for the Marlborough Wind Farm, ensuring that it meets or exceeds Provincial regulations and accommodates stakeholder interests.

The Marlborough Wind Farm will be a 20MW facility consisting of up to ten (10) turbines spread over an area of roughly 10 square kilometres. Prowind has exceeded the minimum setbacks prescribed by the Province by placing turbines an average minimum distance of 820m (2,690′) from residences. The turbines themselves will be mounted on tubular towers potentially as tall as 140m (460′) with the blades each measuring approximately 50m (164′) in length. The targeted commercial operation date for the wind farm is Spring 2013.

Updated maps and other information will be available for download in the near future. Please visit our website for updates on the Marlborough Wind Farm project (http://prowind.ca/?page=projects-marlborough), or contact us directly at any time.”
 – Bart Geleynse, Prowind Canada Inc. – 613.258.6700 x 223 bgeleynse@prowind.ca


This must have been supplied before the April 8th release date of the latest round of contract awards from the Ontario Power Authority because Prowind’s Marlborough project did NOT get FIT approval. (Beckwith also did not, but Brinston did.)  In fact, the Marlborough project is now on a waiting list for transmission capacity—according to our legal advisor what this means is, the project cannot move forward until additional transmission capacity is constructed.

Note that Mr Geleynse’s remarks to CBC reporter Steve Fischer on April 13th are also less than accurate: Prowind may have done their environmental assessment but it has not been”approved” by the Ministry of the Environment, and the company does not have a FIT contract, so discussions of a construction schedule are premature. Anyone listeneing to or reading the CBC story should NOT assume this is a “done deal” and that there is no point in opposing the project.

Do keep checking Prowind’s website at www.prowind.ca to view the project map. And keep up with the news across the province at http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com

To email the North Gower Wind Action Group: northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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