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Posts Tagged ‘Wolfe Island’

Try as they might, the industrial wind developers can’t seem to get people to believe that their giant, noise-producing machines don’t have any effect on property value. Both the Canadian and the U.S. wind development lobby groups have commissioned deeply flawed studies to prove there is no effect, but the public isn’t buying it.

This week, a landmark case in Ontario, where a retired couple, on their own save for their real estate agent, is going head-to-head with MPAC over the assessment on their house on Wolfe Island. The island, as you may know, now has 86 industrial wind turbines—the people there were told there would be about 20. The Kenneys had retired to Wolfe Island, hoping for a few years on the formerly beautiful island (it looks like a power plant now–oh wait, that’s exactly what it is), hoping for the value of their property to increase modestly, providing them with some more money for later years in their retirement.

Not to be.

This story comes on the heels of the report of five homes in the Ripley area being purchased by the corporate wind developer, which claimed that some people just can’t adapt to “change” and that perhaps because their view of their favourite “apple tree” has been lost, they are selling out. Insulting … and ridiculous.

Here is the story from the Whig-Standard.

http://www.thewhig.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3109128

By the way, in case you are swayed by the arguments that such sacrifices are necessary for job creation, and for air quality in Ontario, two facts: 1. only 3 jobs were created on Wolfe Island and the net result of the wind power generation project has been a decline in the Island’s economy; and 2. Ontario has very good air quality—what persists comes from south of the border and from CARS. That said, today, May 5th, air quality is “good to moderate” in Ontario, including Toronto which is “very good.” http://www.airqualityontario.com/reports/summary.cfm

The North Gower Wind Action Group Inc. is a community group in the North Gower-south Richmond area of Ottawa, where an industrial wind power generation project has been proposed. We are a corporate member of Wind Concerns Ontario Inc. Contact us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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In a stunning announcement, and obvious move to jettison unpopular government actions before election campaigning truly begins in Ontario, the McGuinty government announced it will not proceed with plans to construct industrial wind turbines in the Great Lakes. Citizens’ groups have been complaining for years about the plan, citing concerns about the effect on water quality, about the potential for bird kills, and health effects.

Now, the environmental effects of the onshore industrial wind turbines throughout Ontario, needs to be examined. Here is a report from CTV News.

http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Canada/20110213/wind-farm-moratorium-110213/

northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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Not so long ago, all you heard in the agricultural newspapers in Ontario was how wonderful the opportunities to host industrial wind turbines on your farm property were. The income was going to “save the family farm” we were told, and there would be no difference whatsoever to farming the property; some farm owners were quoted as saying they farm right up to the bottom of a turbine, with no problems.

Today, not so much: in fact the contracts property ownersare signing are confidential (it’s a condition of signing that the property owner cannot discuss terms), difficult to get out of, and contain many clauses that restrict activity. Farm owners have learned that the wind companies retain the right to come on their properties at any time, to remove trees if they need to, build roads, and restrict construction of any buildings on the farm property. (A sample contract is available at the Wind Concerns Ontario website at http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com ).

A round-up of articles and letters from the last week shows a diversity of opinions.

Shane Mulligan, Project Manager for the Local Initiative for Future Energy or LIFE, writes  in Ontario Farmer that every village could have an industrial wind turbine. “Yes, there seems to be evidence that wind farms have impacted the health of some folks, especially in the Ripley area. Wind Concerns Ontario and others have made much of these claims and are calling for more studies, larger setbacks, and suspension of building until turbines are ‘proven safe’. Safe compared to what? Every energy technology carries some impacts and uncertainties, and somebody is always ‘downwind’.”  Mr. Mulligan’s co-operative is at least in favour of community involvement in wind projects, a situation now made impossible by the Green Energy Act.

Economics professor Ross McKitrick writes in Ontario Farmer that Ontario’s rush to build wind turbines as salvation for jobs and the economy is reminiscent of the Brian Peckford Newfoundland government’s 1987 plan to boost the economy by subsidizing the building of massive hydroponic greenhouses. “Cucumbers did start appearing,” McKitrick writes. “The problem was each one cost $1.10 to grow and the wholesale market price was just over 50 cents. The greenhouse went bankrupt and ceased operations by 1990. The jobs vanished and the province was left with $14 million in debts to pay.”

Wind developer salespeople “have found in Dalton McGuinty their own Brian Peckford. They convinced him we can become a world leader, not in green produce but ‘green energy.’ Common sense has been jettisoned and the checks are flowing.

“We already have green energy,” McKitrick writes. “Most of our electricity comes from non-emitting hydro or nuclear generation, at a fraction of the cost of wind- and solar-generated power. By the government’s own data, Ontario air pollution has fallen dramatically since the 1970s through the use of scrubbers and automobile technology.”

“Green energy salesmen bamboozle gullible governments into signing checks in return for empty promises of jobs and growth. As the bills mount, prices rise and the economy sags, the inevitable unravelling begins. It will happen here too. The only question is how many jobs will disappear, and how much economic hardship we will put up with, before having the common sense to shut the scam down for once and for all.”

Last, Tom Van Dusen, who attended the North Gower meeting January 23rd, writes in Ontario Agri-News:

February 2011, Vol. 35, No. 2

AgriNews Interactive http://www.agrinewsinteractive.com

Turbines put wind up opponents
By Tom Van Dusen

The Prince Edward County resident who challenged in Ontario Superior Court the placement of industrial wind turbines hopes to hear a decision within several weeks.Ian Hanna outlined his case Jan. 23 to a coalition of some 125 turbine opponents gathered in North Gower. The next day, Hanna was in a Toronto courtroom making his case.

As a taxpayer, he said he resents incentives being handed out by the provincial “green fairy” to encourage construction of windmills without any scientific basis for their locations.

The meeting was convened by the North Gower Wind Action Group, Beckwith Responsible Wind Action Group and Spencerville’s South Branch Wind Opposition Group, all of which are resisting proposed wind farms in their areas.

To get them in the mood for the discussion, participants upon entering the hall were greeted with a loud background drone said to have been recorded from wind turbines in Maine by a landowner living about 1 km from the nearest one.

If he wins the case, Hanna and his backers anticipate that planned wind power projects will be put on hold across the province until “proper” medical studies are conducted which they expect will lead to minimum setbacks of 1.5-2 km between turbines and residences as opposed to the current 550 metres.

“This will kill many projects plus perhaps force rectification/compensation for built projects,” supporters say in a pamphlet seeking donations to the Hanna legal cause.

It’s the proximity of the industrial windmills and the constant drone they create which can make life miserable for rural residents, said Janet White of Wolfe Island in Lake Ontario south of Kingston which is now home to 86 turbines.

White said “slick” companies have created a rift on the island between residents who accepted windmills on their property and those – such as herself – who didn’t. Few jobs and little in the way of general economic benefit have resulted from the wind power project, the sometimes emotional mother of three children added, stating she feels she’s now living “under the thumb of big industry.”

Hanna’s big bone of contention is with the Green Energy Act which he says doesn’t contain authoritative guidelines for the appropriate siting of turbines because “there’s no good evidence as to when they’ll be safe or not.” His case dates back to early 2009 when environmental attorney Eric Gillespie was retained.

In addition to a multitude of ailments said to be caused by proximity to turbines such as sleeplessness, stress, hypertension, and tintinitus, Hanna and his followers cite livestock health, safety, environmental degradation, and decline in property values among drawbacks of windmills in the neighbourhood.

“People are suffering from living too close to turbines,” Hanna said who allowed that he himself isn’t close to a wind farm. “They’re sick, they can’t sleep and they can’t sell.”

……………….

More people are thinking and learning; that’s all we ask.

northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

You can follow us on Twitter at northgowerwind at Twitter.com

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In advance of our public information meeting, Sunday January 23rd at the community centre in North Gower, co-hosted with the South Branch Wind Opposition Group and the Beckwith Responsible Wind Action Group, we offer the following review of wind power in Ontario. Speakers are Ian Hanna who has launched a lawsuit against the Ontario government, Wind Concerns Ontario president John Laforet about the effect of the Green Energy Act on democracy in Ontario, and Wolfe Island resident Janet White on life in the middle of an industrial wind “plant.”

The truth must be told about industrial wind power development

Last fall, a strategic communications document prepared by a government relations and communications consulting firm was leaked to the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party.  It outlined a  campaign for a coalition of renewable energy developers to fight  opposition to renewable power projects. The writers noted that Ontario residents are expressing “fury” as a result of escalating electricity prices and concern about the cost of renewable energy projects. “It will be critical to ‘confuse’ the issue,” the strategy stated, and referred to “noisy activists” and “editorial positions” to be countered with a coordinated media campaign.

Why are the lobbyists for corporate wind developers worried? Because people in Ontario are mad as hell and not going to take this anymore. As more and more Ontario communities are facing industrial wind turbine projects (often romantically called wind “farms” or wind “parks”) there is rising public opposition to these sprawling industrial installations. To date, more than 50 Ontario municipalities have passed a resolution or bylaw seeking to restore the local planning powers that were removed by the Green Energy Act – the Act that notoriously superceded 21 pieces of legislation such as the Heritage Act and the Greenbelt Act in order to pave the way for renewable projects.

Also last fall, more than 1,000 residents gathered in Fergus, Ontario to protest a planned wind development, and last spring hundreds gathered on the lawn at Queen’s Park. In fact there have been about two such protest meetings occurring every week in Ontario, in towns such as Meaford, Orangeville, in Prince Edward County and the Niagara area. In Ottawa, hundreds of North Gower and Richmond residents signed a petition asking for a halt to wind developments, and for independent health studies.

People have reason to be concerned. As physicians and scientists addressing the recent First International Symposium on the Global Wind Industry and Health Effects noted, there are health effects being experienced around the world by people who are forced to live near the turbines, due to noise and infrasound.  Results from a case-control study of residents in two Maine communities will soon be published, which show a significant relationship between proximity to turbines and impacts on health, using validated health measurements. Ontario’s setback of 550 metres is increasingly at odds with the rest of the world, and was branded by Dr. Alex Salt, a researcher in ear physiology, as “insane.”

We’re being told that closing coal-fired power plants is because coal is dirty and Ontario’s air pollution is “killing people.” The truth? Ontario’s air pollution has been declining steadily for decades. Moreover, more than 90 per cent of air pollution in Ontario comes from the United States and from cars and trucks in southern Ontario. Closing Ontario’s two coal plants will make little difference to air quality.

There is more truth to be told. Wind power is expensive and unreliable, producing power mainly at night when it isn’t needed. And wind isn’t “green”—the construction of these 50-storey monster turbines has significant environmental impact for very little return. The European experience with wind power is also not as advertised: both Germany and Spain now report a net loss of jobs and a negative effect on the economy as a result of their experience with subsidized wind development. The chief benefit is not to the community, but to the bottom line of the corporate wind developers.

Ontario already has renewable power in the form of hydro and the technology exists to improve the effectiveness of existing power generation. As of today, without considering the current IWT plants that are sometimes operating in Ontario, we are one of the cleanest power generating jurisdictions in the world. We don’t need to jeopardize the health of thousands of rural residents and scar Ontario’s beautiful countryside with turbines. It’s time for the truth about wind power.

Meeting: 2 p.m January 23rd, Alfred Taylor Centre, 2300 Community Way, North Gower

northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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From this past Saturday’s Toronto Star, the column by National Affairs editor Thomas Walkom. Amazing.

Walkom: How McGuinty’s windmill dreams became a nightmare

Published On Sat Jan 15 2011

Dr. Robert McMurtry heads up the Society for Wind Vigilance, a new international body investigating wind power. Dr. Robert McMurtry heads up the Society for Wind Vigilance, a new international body investigating wind power.

LUCAS OLENIUK/TORONTO STAR FILE PHOTO

By Thomas Walkom National Affairs Columnist

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if (jQuery('.ts-main_article2_image').width()When Dalton McGuinty embraced wind power four years ago, it seemed he couldn’t lose.

Politically, his support for this infinitely renewable form of energy put the Ontario premier firmly on the side of the environmental angels.

Even more important, McGuinty’s Liberals pitched their commitment to wind as part of a comprehensive, green industrial strategy.

The government would not merely use wind turbines to generate electricity. It would also subsidize firms to build the giant machines for export.

In effect, windmills would be to the new Ontario what autos were to the old — the province’s economic driver.

Critics of the premier’s ambitious schemes were dismissed as cranks and nutters infected with a not-in-my-backyard syndrome.

To ensure that these self-seekers and know-nothings didn’t interfere with the government’s bold plans, Queen’s Park stripped municipal councils of their power to regulate wind turbines.

On paper, the plan seemed a sure winner.

But that was before Dr. Bob McMurtry.

McMurtry is neither a crank nor a nutter. An orthopedic surgeon and former dean of medicine at London’s University of Western Ontario, he is part of the country’s medical and political establishment.

He’s acted as a health advisor to the former federal Liberal government. In the early 2000s, he was a key advisor to Roy Romanow’s royal commission into Medicare.

McMurtry’s brother, Roy — a Red Tory and former attorney general — was Ontario’s chief justice for 11 years.

Bob McMurtry began as a strong advocate of wind power, keen to have a turbine built on the 16-hectare Eastern Ontario farm he bought four years ago for retirement.

As he explained in a telephone interview this week, he hoped to generate his own power and sell the rest to Ontario’s electricity network.

But being a scientific sort of chap, McMurtry began by researching the issue.

What he discovered alarmed him. In particular, he ran into evidence — re-enforced by personal encounters later — that low-frequency humming associated with wind turbines may lead to chronic sleeplessness, stress and even hypertension causing heart disease for anyone living within two kilometres of a machine.

What alarmed him more was that the provincial government did not even monitor this low-frequency noise. As well, under Ontario rules, giant windmills need be no more than 550 metres from any residence.

So in 2009, he made the not terribly radical suggestion that Queen’s Park conduct a proper, arms-length study on the health effects of industrial wind turbines before authorizing any more.

Failing that, he said, it should insist that new turbines be set at least two kilometres away from any dwelling.

The wind industry was outraged. Fearful of being enmeshed in red tape, wind power firms argued strongly against such a study. Their case was bolstered last May after provincial medical officer of health Dr. Arlene King issued a report saying no scientific evidence exists to show that wind turbines harm human health.

McMurtry countered that this is because no one has ever conducted a proper study — which is why he wants one.

Those interested in the dueling scientific arguments can find King’s report on the Ontario government website and McMurtry’s response at www.windvigilance.com.

But regardless of who wins the substantive debate, McGuinty’s windmill dreams have already become political nightmares.

Dozens of rural municipal councils, angered by the province’s decision to take away their regulatory authority, have passed motions of complaint.

Even the Ontario Federation of Agriculture — which represents farmers who rent their land to wind firms — has called for a moratorium on new turbines until a serious health study can be done.

The opposition Conservatives smell blood.

Trotting around through all of this is the unassuming Bob McMurtry.

He heads up a new international body of doctors and scientists investigating wind power called the Society for Wind Vigilance. Throughout small-town Ontario, he is in great demand as a speaker.

“There’s a real level of anger there,” he told me. “Rural Ontario is on fire.”

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IT’S TIME FOR THE TRUTH ABOUT WIND

Public meeting January 23, 2 PM, North Gower, Alfred Taylor Community Centre, 2300 Community Way

The Ontario government says industrial-scale wind power is needed for a “clean” “green” future. What’s really happening in Ontario? Higher electricity bills, HEALTH PROBLEMS, declining property values, the industrialization of rural communities, and NOISE—all for a technology that will never replace coal or fossil fuel power generation.

TURBINES ARE PROPOSED FOR THE OTTAWA AREA. Your community. Come hear the TRUTH about what could happen to your community if industrial wind turbines are built. It’s time to hear what provincial government and the wind developers aren’t telling you.

Speakers

IAN HANNAH: Prince Edward County resident Ian went from being supportive of wind turbines to learning what they are really all about. He now spearheads the legal challenge to Ontario’s Green Energy Act (GEA). This is the eve of his court case in Toronto.

JANET WHITE: Mother and Wolfe Island resident will tell us what it’s like living in the middle of an “industrial wind plant”, with noise and vibration.

 JOHN LAFORET: Wind Concerns Ontario president, speaks on the politics of energy in Ontario, how the GEA has affected democracy in Ontario, and on the need for health studies and science-based setbacks to protect Ontario’s rural citizens.

It’s not politically correct to tell the truth about wind farms…but truth is remarkable in that it can’t be covered up forever.” Mark Duchamp, European Platform Against Windfarms (EPAW)

Wind turbine noise is not masked by background noise. This is a LIE promoted by the wind turbine business.” Dr Christopher Hanning, U.K.

 “The courts are where truth has the best chance.” Ian Gillespie, lawyer for Ian Hannah challenge.

This public information meeting is sponsored by:

 • North Gower Wind Action Group northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

https://northgowerwindactiongroup.wordpress.com

 • South Branch Wind Opposition Group

 • Beckwith Responsible Wind Action Group

http://sites.google.com/site/beckwithresponsiblewindaction/

We are members of Wind Concerns Ontario

http://www.windconcernsontario.org

email: northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca 

Wind turbines don’t make good neighbours!!!!

 

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CBC’s The Current did a documentary on the industrial wind turbines on Wolfe Island, near Kingston, today. Called “Beauty and the Beast” it purported to examine what has happened on the island during the leasing process for wind turbines and now, what the effects has been on the community.

Health problems? Not discussed.

Bird kills? The one farmer interviewed said he farms right up to the base of the turbines and he never sees any dead bodies. (Wow, that’s scientific.) Transalta’s own research on the hundreds of bird deaths? Not a mention.

At the end of the program the message you’re left with is that it’s a “generational thing”. Specifically, anyone over 50 objcets to the industrial wind turbines because they don’t like change. “I can respect that,” said Ian Baines, the developer who began the Wolfe Island project, sold out to the larger developer and who is now planning 100 turbines offshore. But, he said, I think in a generation we’ll see that change is good.

Good for somebody. But not everybody. Expropriation without compensation.

For more information on Ian Baines, and on the future plans for Wolfe Island and Amherst Island, go to: http://www.amherstislandwindinfo.com/wi-shoals.htm

To hear the audio go to http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent and click on featured audio on the right hand; it’s about 23 minutes long. (Forget about commenting, CBC closed the link to comments.)

Email us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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