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Posts Tagged ‘Health Canada’

Health Canada announced a study into the possible links between the noise and infrasound (the wind industry has denied that there are any links, and that infrasound even exists) and health effects, saying there is a “knowledge gap” and a lack of scientific evidence to drive policy.

And, in other news, Nepean-Carleton MP Pierre Poilievre announced an open letter to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, asking for a moratorium on the North Gower-Richmond wind power project, due to concerns about health and property values.

This is a good forward step, and encouraging that the federal government has recognized the existence of the complaints from people already living with turbines, recognized the role of both environmental noise and infrasound, and recognized that there is a lack of solid clinical research. (The Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario report was simply a literature review, and it too, said there was a need for more research, particularly related to the issue of noise.)

Comments are invited over the next 60 days at

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/consult/_2012/wind_turbine-eoliennes/index-eng.php

The study design will be key: WHERE will the studies be conducted (the turbines in Alberta are not the same as what has been shoehorned into Ontario) and WHEN (some periods of the year are windier and therefore less noisy than others. Other questions exist too, but we are not epidemiologists.
Nepean-Carleton residents may wish to send a comment to Mr Poilievre as he offers support to local residents, concerned about the potential effects on our community.
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We are still reeling from the hypocrisy of Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan’s statements yesterday about Ontario’s power situation, rising electricity bills, and the Ontario government’s plans. The script seems to be following closely the recommendations of the Sussex Strategy Group which advised its “loose coalition” of corporate wind developers to focus on jobs.  People are willing to pay more for electricity the group said in a leaked communications strategy document, if they think it will result in more jobs and investment.

So what did Mr Duncan say? We refer to his appearance on TVOntario’s “The Agenda” the evening after his economic update. His mantra over and over was “cleaner air” and “more jobs”. He pointed to wind energy in particular and talked about “windmills”. The great thing about wind is, he said, after an initial investment once a windmill is “up and built you don’t have to pay for the wind.”

Absolute nonsense: the FIT rate for wind developers now is $0.13 per kilowatt hour, while consumers are being charged up to 9.9 cents per kilowatt hour. And solar is worse, with producers being paid 80 cents a kilowatt hour. Clearly, somebody is paying for something.

He spoke of a power utopia in which all energy is clean but it’s going to cost us a bit to get there. His 10% discount on electricity bills is to help “families be able to afford this transition.”

Ottawa’s Bob Chiarelli followed the playbook in more detail in an appearance on CBC radio’s Ottawa Morning. He said the McGuinty government plans to close ALL coal-fired power generation which is the “equivalent of getting 7 million cars off the road.” He mentioned jobs but kept coming back to health issues, and said Ontario needs cleaner air so people won’t be getting sick and kids won’t be having asthma attacks. “We’re asking the people to be partners in our investment.”

With multiple billions of dollars going to mostly foreign-owned corporate wind and solar developers, that is a significant investment. And one that’s not needed according to people like Tom Adams (former Energy Probe executive director) or Parker Gallant (a former banker) and a host of other experts. And the spectre of people getting sick and dying from “dirty coal”? Not true: Health Canada cannot find any connection between air pollution and hospitalizations for respiratory illness. Professor Ross McKitrick says that the true determinants of respiratory illness are income levels, and smoking.

Ontario’s own figures show that air pollution is on the decline in Ontario. Sources are pollution from the United States’ industry and coal-fired plants, and from Ontario’s own cars and trucks. So, the “equivalent of 7 million cars” being shut down isn’t actually going to take 7 million cars off the road…

The Ontario Power Authority was set to announce a new round of Feed-in Tariff contracts this week and is now saying “late November”. Now that the stage has been set with the ideas of clean air and lots of jobs (also not true), the announcement will like go ahead.

In the meantime, this from a letter from the Township of East Garafraxa in Ontario to Premier McGuinty, referring to the placement of turbines and the effect on that community: “Perhaps he [Energy Minister Brad Duguid] should talk to some of the residents who continue to report health implications and loss of property values and who live daily with the issues of the turbines and related transformers. Some of these people have lived their entire lives on these properties and now face moving to survive. The Province should listen to their concerns of sleep disturbance, dizziness, headaches, and a host of other symptoms, and study the health implications and financial implications to the residents and municipalities.” (Signed by Mayor Allen Taylor.)

We leave it to the pundits to analyze this further but we refer you to Wind Concerns Ontario http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com

for further comments and stories.

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

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