Posts Tagged ‘wind turbines North Gower’


In ads in The Ottawa Citizen and in this week’s Manotick Messenger, the City has invited people in Ottawa’s rural villages to participate in its rural review process and attend workshops. Meetings are planned for: Ashton, Munster and Fallowfield; Kars and Burritt’s Rapids; Manotick; Greely; Osgoode; Metcalfe; and, Vernon, Kenmore and Marionville.

North Gower is not on the list. Why? Because a Community Design Plan was already developed, with plenty of input from the community, and it was approved by Ottawa City Council in January 2008. The plan may be found on the City’s website at:


The problem: a few months after that, Germany-based Prowind Canada appears with a proposal for industrial wind turbines for the North Gower area. Although the explanation is that the turbines (626-foot/190-meter tall structures to generate power from wind energy) will be far away from the actual village, the truth in subsequent years is a bit different: in fact, several of the turbines will be not far from the village boundary, and quite close to many homes in a North Gower subdivision. (What is “quite close”? Since many jurisdictions in Europe are now using a 2-km setback, the turbines will be within 2 km of many homes in North Gower and Richmond.)

Pegged at $20 million, and with industrial structures that will be seen–and experienced– at a distance, this is easily the largest development project ever for North Gower/south Richmond. And yet, it’s not in the Community Design Plan. Industrialization of the area was anticipated and planned for, to be located near the 416 and Roger Stevens.

So, the Community Design Plan is not to be revisited until 2013, but today we have a curious situation: a $20-million industrial power generation project is proposed for the area, but not even contemplated in the current design plan. Is that appropriate? Especially with reports of health effects, reduced property values and abandoned homes in areas where they already have industrial wind turbines?

Questions? Comments? The City is asking for feedback: “Get ready to talk about your village at the workshop.” According to the City’s notices, the telephone number is 613-580-2424 extensions 23463 or 43011, or you may send a fax to 613-580-2459, or email the Planning and Growth Management Department at the City of Ottawa, at plan@ottawa.ca

(Of course, the Green Energy Act supercedes 21 pieces of legislation in this province and has removed the ability of municipalities to plan for renewable energy projects, but that hasn’t stopped more than SEVENTY Ontario municipalities from taking steps to protect their residents: they’re asking for a moratorium on industrial wind development and they are taking what steps they can such as withholding building permits, establishing their own setbacks from turbines, and promising to enforce local noise bylaws.)

“Time to talk about your village”? Indeed it is.


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Now that the corporate wind lobbyists, the corporate wind developers and the urban media are focusing on the Ontario government’s moratorium on offshore wind development, these groups are also calling into question who is really funding the dozens of seemingly grass roots community groups across Ontario—and around the world. In Ontario, they claim it’s the nuclear power folks, or maybe Big Oil.

The truth will surprise them. And here it is:

Yup. All the work we do is with donations, small and large, from people in our communities.

That plus a LOT of volunteer hours donated by hard-working people who truly want to protect their communities, the health of their families, friends and neighbours, and who have spent time doing their own reading and learning to discover the truth.

Wind doesn’t work.

It will never replace coal as a power source.

It will not result in reduced CO2 emissions.

It will not create thousands upon thousands of jobs.

It will not “save” the family farm in Ontario.

It will, however, result in higher electricity bills for people; it will create profits–from taxpayer and ratepayer money–for huge corporate wind developers; and, it will mean more natural gas for Ontario to serve as the necessary fossil-fuel back up for industrial-scale wind turbines. And, it’s causing health problems for the people who have to live near them, who have had no choice in the matter.

Ontario’s rural communities are speaking out.

For news stories through the day, go to http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com

To contact us, northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca and follow us on Twitter at northgowerwind

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In the May edition of The AgriNews: “Prowind is also involved in a project planned for the North Gower area that is meeting with determined opposition from local residents, some of whom are concerned over what they maintain are health hazards posed by the giant turbines.”

“Determined opposition”? Yes, indeed.

And we don’t “maintain” there are health hazards, we know from the experience of other people in this province, in New York State, and in Europe that there ARE health hazards associated with sleep deprivation.

In the article, Prowind’s Bart Geleynse says the company (which has headquarters in Germany) is looking for local people to invest in the Brinston project, a 30 megawatt wind turbine installation. He said it “represents a much lower risk than regular development financing.” That is only because the province is paying such outrageous rates for the power; the minute the subsidies disappear, so does any reason for building wind turbine projects.

In her April 10 column in The Globe and Mail, Margaret Wente wrote: Welcome to the wacky world of green power, where misguided governments have sparked a massive corporate feeding frenzy (at taxpayers’ expense) to achieve little or nothing of any social benefit. …The heart of [the] strategy is to pay massive subsidies to wind, solar and other renewable energy producers–many of them large multinational corporations–for the next 20 years.”

She goes on to quote Britain’s George Monbiot who says, “The feed-in tariffs…are extortionate, useless and deeply regressive. The technologies the scheme will reward are comically inefficient.”

“Determined opposition”? Yes. For so many reasons.

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

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This is national Volunteer Week in which we honour the contributions of so many people to their communities. With regard to industrial wind turbines in Ontario, there is a huge network of people working daily to learn more about the issues, and to communicate that information to people in their towns and villages.

In North Gower, we have an active group and when we have an event  like the information meeting last week, many members of the community volunteered to help. The tables with sign-up sheets  and petitions were staffed by volunteers as was the busy refreshment area.  Others have taken copies of the petition and circulated it throughout their neighbourhoods.

So, a sincere thank you to all.

It’s all about community and making life better for everyone.

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

News daily at: http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com

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MEETING TODAY!!!! The information meeting for North Gower and Richmond, and anyone in Beckwith Twp and the Brinston/Shanly/Winchester area.

Please be sure to sign our contact list so you can get updates on future activities, and the petition!!!

Meeting Details:

Industrial Wind Turbines and their Effects

Tuesday, April 13, 6:30 p.m., Alfred Taylor Centre, 2300 Community Way, North Gower


Our speakers are graciously donating their time to come to Ottawa and share their experiences with industrial wind turbines, and/or their experiences working with people who are living with the turbines. Their presentations will be based on real experience, not merely reviews of literature, or industry-sponsored statements.

Dr Robert McMurtry, professor emeritus, medicine, University of Western Ontario, on health effects

Dr John Harrison, retired professor in physics, Queen’s University, on the nature of the noise and vibration produced by industrial wind turbines

Stephana Johnston, retired educator and rural property owner now living surrounded by 18 industrial wind turbines

Eric Gillespie, lawyer and lead in the quest for a judicial review of the Green Energy Act, which has removed the ability of Ontario communities to plan for themselves and protect their citizens

Chris Luxemburger, Realtor and author of Living with Wind Turbines, the result of a study of hundreds of properties in the Shelburne, Ontario area

Carmen Krogh, former health executive and health professional, now involved in research on the effects of wind turbines.

For more information, please email us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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The Ottawa Sun, Sun Media, The Financial Post and individual newspapers throughout the province such as The Welland Tribune, The Guelph Mercury, The Owen Sound Sun-Times, to name a few—all have come out with statements/editorials on the wind development industry in this province, to wit it is an inefficient and unreliable source of energy, not likely to contribute a great deal to Ontario’s power supply, and will do NOTHING to reduce Ontario’s reliance on coal or natural gas, but which has everything to do with reducing the quality of life in rural Ontario and potentially cause negative health effects, and reduced property values.

Now, The Globe and Mail has weighed in with a review of the situation. From today’s edition, we reprint the following.


From Wednesday’s Globe and Mail Published on Wednesday, Apr. 07, 2010 12:00AM EDT Last updated on Wednesday, Apr. 07, 2010 3:32AM EDT


Wind power is already an important component of Canada’s energy mix, and it will become a more significant source of electricity in the years to come as the pressure builds to shift to clean, renewable power. But wind is not simply benign, and the potential impacts of wind turbines on the environment, the landscape and people’s health need more attention.

There is no question that wind turbines have many positive attributes. They generate electricity without producing greenhouse-gas emissions and they consume no costly fuel. And they can be assembled quickly and inexpensively compared with many other energy sources such as nuclear plants or hydroelectric dams. But they are also industrial facilities, and most often are installed in rural areas that do not have other large mechanical objects on the horizon.

As a result, there is controversy when wind farms are first proposed. In some cases the debate over wind power has split rural communities and caused intensely bad feelings among neighbours. The lines are drawn between those who will collect rental payments for leasing their land to wind developers, and those who will get nothing but must look at the looming turbines day after day. Municipalities are having a tough time keeping some control. In Alberta, a wind developer threatened a legal challenge when the Pincher Creek municipal district council tried to put some limits on wind farms in the area. In Ontario, the province’s new Green Energy Act makes it easier, and faster, to build wind farms with little input from municipal governments.

There are many legitimate concerns about the impact of turbines on the environment. Some opponents claim the landscape is spoiled, others say property values are reduced, and some are concerned about the impact on birds and bats. Prince Edward Island was wise to tighten up its environmental impact guidelines recently, to make sure that the public is properly notified of wind projects and that transmission lines leading to them get sufficient study.

A further divisive issue is whether there are negative health impacts from living near turbines. The wind industry vehemently rejects claims that turbines can cause health problems. A recent survey, sponsored by wind energy associations in Canada and the United States, found there is no proven direct correlation between the sounds made by turbines and adverse health effects. But the study did no original research of its own, and it did acknowledge that turbines can be annoying, and that annoyance can lead to stress and disturbed sleep.

This is an area that needs far more study. There are hundreds of people around the world who report severe health problems that they relate directly to the presence of nearby turbines. It is not good enough to reject them all as cranks, and ignore their concerns.

Serious research into the health concerns surrounding wind turbines, and proper environmental assessment, are needed before the machinery now dotting the landscape in many provinces becomes even more ubiquitous.


“It is not good enough to dismiss them as cranks” … “serious research”.

At last, and hear, hear.

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It’s ON: after months of planning and organization, our public information meeting is ON for April 13th, 6:30 p.m., at the Alfred Taylor Centre in North Gower. This is your opportunity to hear from people in the know about industrial wind turbines and their effects.
Featured speakers:
Dr Robert McMurtry, professor emeritus of medicine, University of Western Ontario, speaking on health effects that result from noise and vibration produced by industrial wind turbines. He is a former Assistant Deputy Minister of Health.
Dr John Harrison, professor of physics, Queens University, speaking on noise and vibration. Dr Harrison has published many papers on the noise produced by industrial wind turbines and has presented at the International Wind Turbine conference.
Stephana Johnston, an Essex County resident who is living in the midst of 18 industrial wind turbines, telling her story
Colette McLean, Harrow area farmer on farm owner issues
Chris Luxemberger, Realtor and president of the Brampton Real Estate Board, on the effects on property values, based on his study of properties near wind turbines in the Shelburne-Amaranth-Melancthon area
and pharmacist Carmen Krogh, who will share the results of her research and experiences with wind turbines.
Please join your community in this unique and fantastic opportunity to learn about wind turbines!!!! Tell your neighbours!!!
Donations welcome to help us with the cost of this event (hall rental, promotion, etc). Please email for pickup or mail to PO Box 485 North Gower K0A 2T0
In other news, the municipal election occurs this fall: it’s time to make your views known. Ecology Ottawa has the idea that the Green Energy Act is a great idea and we should be asking candidates how they will support renewable clean energy in Ottawa. That’s true, but industrial wind turbines are NOT the answer!!! Go to their website at http://www.ecologyottawa.ca/election/
 and take their survey on environmental views. This is your chance to say that 626-foot structures that will affect human health, wildlife and the water table are NOT the way to go.

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Please note the change to the project map for Marlborough/North Gower/south Richmond, in our Important Documents page. The project map we were using was dated June 2009 and we now have a map dated October 2009. It is different from the one on Prowind’s website, at www.prowind.ca

We contacted Prowind and they maintain that the map on the website is current, but subject to change, so this October map is useful only to see what areas are or were being considered.

Actually it is puzzling that they do not yet know where the turbines will be located, at this stage of the game.

The North Gower Wind Action Group executive can be reached at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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If you are new to learning about industrial wind turbines and the issues (noise, vibration, environmental damage) you’ll know that there are two places that are way ahead of us here in Ottawa, where we don’t have turbines yet (and hope we don’t get subjected to the same conditions as Melancthon, Amaranth, Ripley, Clear Creek…).

One is Wisconsin where setbacks were as little as 300 feet between turbines and houses. The website of the wind action group there has gone ahead and prepared an “A B Cs” of learning about wind turbines, so we won’t botheer reinventing the wheel. They know more about this, anyway. Note that while they are working toward community ordinances to protect health and property values, we in Ontario don’t have that choice: the Green Energy Act took all rights away from municipalities and citizens.

Anyway, visit the Wisconsin website here, and be sure to explore some of their videos.


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