Dalton McGuinty’s green machine is crushing public rights

By LORRIE GOLDSTEIN, Associate Editor,  Toronto Sun

ripleyIt’s never pretty watching people’s rights getting trampled by a government caught up in the latest fad, but it’s happening across Ontario.

The victims are citizens living mainly in rural communities.

Their concerns about the possible adverse health effects of industrial wind turbines are being rolled over by Premier Dalton McGuinty.

We should all pay attention because our rights could be next.

On Thursday, the Legislature is scheduled to debate a resolution by Tory MPP Bill Murdoch calling for a moratorium on wind turbine development in Ontario until the province’s medical officer of health and the government assure the public it’s safe.

That’s unlikely to slow McGuinty, who has already dismissed critics as suffering from “Not-In-My-Backyard” syndrome.

Even if Murdoch’s resolution — prompted by concerns from his constituents in his Owen Sound-area riding — is passed, unlikely given the Liberal majority, it won’t be binding on the government.

And yesterday, a health ministry spokesman told me Ontario Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Arlene King, shares the government’s view, following its review of the existing scientific literature, that a moratorium isn’t needed, suggesting Thursday’s debate is moot.

McGuinty wants to portray himself as a North American leader in developing green energy, given his repeatedly broken and farcically unrealistic 2003 election promise to close all of Ontario’s coal-fired electricity plants by 2007.


He’s using taxpayers’ money to massively subsidize wind — paying 13.5 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity generated from wind turbines (19 cents for offshore projects) compared to the normal cost of generation of four to five cents.

Wind companies are scrambling to cash in, building and proposing thousands of turbines across Ontario, massive steel structures as high as 40 storeys.

The province has been flooded with so many applications for offshore wind farms that Natural Resources Minister Donna Cansfield announced last week it won’t consider any more until next year, just so it can catch up on the paperwork.

Alarmingly, Ontario’s mad rush to embrace renewable energy sources that aren’t viable without massive public subsidies and are incapable, given current technology, of supplying “on demand” power to the grid, is being led by the same two politicians, McGuinty and Energy Minister George Smitherman, mainly responsible for the $1 billion eHealth boondoggle. (Smitherman used to be health minister.)

Hypocritically, many environmental organizations that go berserk over laws limiting the rights of citizens to oppose other power-generation projects for land use, health and environmental reasons — wind turbines slice and dice birds and bats — have lavished praise on McGuinty’s Green Energy Act which does exactly that.

Wind farm opponents last week announced a court challenge of the law, arguing it violates the “precautionary principle” by failing to address the potential adverse health impacts of wind turbines.

Dr. Robert McMurtry, former dean of medicine at the University of Western Ontario, has called on the province to undertake an independent epidemiological study on whether noise and low-frequency vibrations caused by turbines negatively impact on human health.

He says more than 100 people informally surveyed living close to turbines in Ontario — and others all over the world — have complained of such symptoms as sleep deprivation, cardiac arrhythmia, tinnitus, nausea, heart palpitations and severe headaches.

The government, like the wind industry, argues research shows no adverse health effects.

Government regulations specify a minimum setback of 550 metres for turbines from homes. Critics say it should be three to four times that.

McGuinty promised months ago to set up an academic research chair into these issues so Ontarians would have the best scientific information available.

That promise remains unfulfilled. Not hard to see why, is it?

4 thoughts on “Dalton McGuinty’s green machine is crushing public rights

  1. Dr. Arlene King has absolutely zero credentials in the decision making on Wind Noise and Health Concerns regarding Wind Turbines as she is trained in Pandemic research and infectious diseases.

    For McGuinty to appoint anyone to speak on this area of expertise without the proper credentials shows the lack of caring or oversight he possesses and must be questioned by the highest courts of the land.

    To place his constituents in harms way due to his actions in order to create a “megalomaniacs” Industrial complex aimed at nothing more than draining more of our tax dollars from the “Money Pit” is morally reprehensible!

  2. October 27, 2009

    To Whom It May Concern:

    -to quote Ontario Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Arlene King, “with a review of existing scientific literature, a moratorium isn’t needed, suggesting Thursday’s debate is moot.”
    -the pain & suffering I have had to endure, I am still enduring, on account of these INDUSTRIAL wind turbines is now ‘moot’? Not even worth arguing? How can a mere ‘review’ constitute a decision this important; a decision that is currently affecting peoples’ health worldwide; will continue to do so; and with the catastrophic onset of thousands more turbines across our province & lakes, a decision that will have an effect on who knows how many more? Why aren’t we gathering our own ‘scientific literature’ from the wind farms already in Ontario? Where are your moral values, your ethics? How can you, Dr. Arlene King, possibly be the Medical Officer of Health for our entire province when you don’t even care about the miserable conditions people exposed to low frequency noise live with; when you won’t even look into the issue?
    -the inability to sell my property is now moot? Forget about the 10%, 20%, 30% drop in property value – a property is only worth what you actually get when you actually sell it – in my case nothing.

    -and to quote our government, “research shows no adverse health effects.”
    -what research? Nobody has contacted me as to how I’m coping with this wind farm already in my backyard. Why not?
    -why isn’t our government conducting research on the people already exposed to low frequency noise from existing wind farms?
    -why are they not taking measurements of noise & vibrations from our residences, so they know the exact conditions that can be linked to these wind farms and the severe, debilitating ailments they inflict; so they know exactly how close is too close?
    -the MOE tells me they don’t have the necessary equipment, staff, training to measure low frequency noise & vibration. Why not? We can subsidize millions of our tax dollars into wind farm development, yet we can’t come up with any way to monitor & record their effects on the environment, including human beings. Why not resolve this issue once and for all? Are you afraid of the outcome???

    -the government has yet to approach me as to how the turbines I live with have affected me.; which incidentally, are a perfect example of exactly 550 meters away.
    -with the exception of these wonderful people at Wind Concerns & one government MPP, my appeals have been ignored; with no results from government officials who have responded. A sympathetic response is just not enough. Something needs to be done. Somebody needs to take action, to be held accountable; now and in the future.
    -my neighbours and I have been used; involuntarily mind you, as guinea pigs in a horrendous experiment that is still ongoing, one that occurs all day & all night, every day & every night; and the government can’t even be bothered to view the result!
    -they are willing to sacrifice our well-being, our lives for exactly what?
    -they have yet to offer us a place of respite when the presence of low frequency sound becomes intolerable.
    -they have yet to rescue us from this constant, debilitating low frequency noise; and relocate us.
    -they have yet to offer us compensation as a result of our pain & suffering from the experiment they have forced upon us.

    -just this morning a new symptom associated with continuous, accumulative exposure to low frequency noise; a sharp pain in my right knee, enough to warrant expletives when I bend my knee the wrong way. Will this continue? Will I be able to walk? to drive?
    -the more prolonged, the more continuous the exposure; more & more symptoms show up; some of which may never go away.
    -who will be next? Who will be the next guinea pig? Will they come to your rescue? Will they offer you respite? Will they offer you compensation? Probably not – it’s a ‘moot’ point, so it doesn’t bear further investigation!

    -given my scenario, who would want them in their backyard?

    Kay Armstrong
    1575 Lakeshore Rd,
    Clear Creek, Ontario
    N0E 1C0

    FYI – as I write this, the concrete floor of my basement is now shuddering – another ‘moot’ point!

  3. Why would anyone give you a thumbs down Kay.. I do not understand..

    No feelings left I guess..

    Jackie Allan

  4. ….the thumbs down was left by a brainwashed greenie or by the developer themselves. Come to think of it, maybe Dr Arlene King gave Kay the thumbs down herself — like the Roman emperors gave the thumbs down to victims in the gladiator arena!


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