Radar, Radio, Television or Satellite Interference

radar We have received a number of complaints from people living near industrial wind developments regarding the undesired interference that had appeared on their radio or television after the installation of wind turbines near them.  What do I do, and who do I complain to was the question?

Interference with radio and television communication in Canada is the responsibility of Industry Canada.  Specific sections from the “IC.GC.CA” web site are copied below as well as links to their site.   A few points should be noted.   Until a few years ago, Industry Canada used to send out inspectors to carry out investigations of interference.   With government service downloading, they no longer provide this service, although they still do maintain the responsibility for communication.  The responsibility for correcting the problems lies with the one that caused the problem, but admittedly it is difficult for the layman to identify what is the actual source of an interference, but the booklet available by the link below is useful.  The main thing that you should concentrate on is “did a change in reception occur?”

You do not have to prove that the source of the interference was the wind company, but you should provide truthful statements about changes in your reception that have occurred after the installation of wind turbines or the power lines that carry their output in the vicinity of your home.   It would appear that the path each of you should take would be to file formal complaints as follows:

  1. Complain to the wind company that did the installation in their area.  They are legally required to take corrective action if their equipment is the source of the interference.
  2. Send a copy of your complaint to the Minister of Industry Canada Tony Clement (address, e mail address and fax number below).
  3. Send a further copy of your complaint to the Director of Environmental Assessment and Audits of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Ms. Doris Dumais (address below).  The MOE was responsible for the Environmental Screening Report filed by the wind company, and in some cases, the issue of interference with communications was formally raised in comments filed with the Wind Company, the Director of EAAB of the MOE, and the Minister of the Environment all of whom denied that there would be a problem, and in the case of the Director of EAAB and the MOE stated that the wind company had addressed the complaints raised by citizens in refusing the request for a full Environmental Assessment.

Quoted from industry Canada Web Site:  http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/sf05473.html

There are many facets to the Department’s mission ‚to facilitate the development and use of world-class communication infrastructure, technologies and services‛ .  One of these is the goal ‚to provide timely and equitable access to the radio-frequency spectrum by as many users and for as many uses as possible, with a minimum of interference‛.  However, in spite of our best efforts, interference may occur.

While Industry Canada at one time conducted investigations to identify and locate sources of radio interference, we no longer provide this service. The changing climate in government has caused us to re-examine our role, and consequently, we no longer provide those services that are non-essential or simply, more appropriately delivered by the private sector. The indentification and location of interference is one of those services.

In the event that interference should occur, Industry Canada has produced the following multimedia document entitled ‚Cutting through Radio Interference‛. We hope the examples of interference pictures and sounds will enable you to identify the sources and correct the problems yourself. If professional assistance is required, you should seek out the services of a qualified radio technician.

Cutting Through interference on Am and FM Radio

Send a copy of your complaint to the Wind Company to:

Hon Tony Clement
Minister of Industry Canada
235 Queen St.
Ottawa ON  K1A 0H5
Fax 613-992-0302

Within the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, the people to contact would be:
Ms. Doris Dumais
Director, Approvals Program
Environmental Assessment and Audits Branch
Ministry of the Environment
12th Floor, 2 St. Clair Ave West
Toronto, ON  M4V 1L5

You may also wish to copy:
Minister John Gerretsen
Ministry of the Environment
135 St. Clair Ave. West, 12th Floor
Toronto, ON   M4V 1P5

Bob Stelzer
President and CEO
Electrical Safety Authority
P: (905) 712-5360 F: (905) 507-4712 C: (416) 458-4341