Vote highlights turbine critics’ health concerns

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MPP Phil McNeely, Hell-bent on Vandalizing Rural Ontario

Posted By Bill Henry Sun Times

Local wind farm opponents vowed yesterday to keep pushing for independent studies into the effects wind turbines have on people.

Ontario legislators rejected Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Murdoch’s call to halt industrial wind farm development until the province’s top doctor can assure the government turbines don’t harm people living nearby.

But defeating Murdoch’s resolution won’t stop growing opposition in rural Ontario, or mounting questions over how the big machines affect people’s health, wind turbine opponents said.

“This has just prompted us to push harder,” Mary-Anne DeVries, acting president of Bruce Peninsula Against Industrial Wind, said from Toronto after yesterday’s debate in the legislature. “We’re obviously very disappointed, but we are not ready to quit.”

Despite the defeat, the full gallery of people at Queen’s Park from all over Ontario supporting Murdoch and wanting answers about how turbines affect health sends a strong message to the McGuinty government, DeVries said.

“The push for wind energy seems to override the health of Ontario citizens,” she said by cellphone from a bus filled with Grey-Bruce residents who helped fill the gallery.

Murdoch wasn’t surprised the Liberal majority defeated his resolution, but said by telephone from Queen’s Park it triggered important debate and focused new attention on health questions related to Ontario’s green energy policies.

He said the debate indicated support for his concerns, even among some Liberals, who still voted against the resolution only because of party politics.

“They know I’m right,” Murdoch said. “They know darn well there’s problems, but we have no real democracy in Ontario. It’s called party democracy.”

There’s nothing more he can do, Murdoch said, adding he still believes the government is obliged to study and put to rest questions about turbines and health. He told the legislature that should be done before building any more turbines in Ontario. A moratorium would have prompted answers sooner, he said.

During hearings and research into The Green Energy Act, no evidence was found linking turbines to negative health consequences, some Liberal members said the hour-long debate.

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