BY CHRIS FELL
The Collingwood Connection, November 26, 2009
The list of those demanding a moratorium on the construction of wind turbines in the local area continues to grow.
Grey County Council joined the chorus of folks demanding a moratorium on the construction of wind turbines at it’s regular meeting held on November 24th. County council asked for the provincial government to study the health affects turbines have on people more comprehensively before allowing them to be built.
Former Warden and the longest serving member of county council Howard Greig brought forward a resolution asking for the province to impose a moratorium immediately until health affects are clearly studied.
“There’s no denying – in my mind – these can affect your health if you’re too close to them,” said Greig, the Mayor of Chatsworth. ” We need an independent, third party study to say where these turbines should be so there is no affect on the health of our citizens,” he said.
Greig’s resolution received immediate support from Grey Highland’s Mayor Brian Mullin. Currently there is a large – scale wind turbine proposal for Grey Highlands and citizens in that municipality have been fighting for the province to study the health affects of the massive machines.
“There is a wealth of information out there. Before our landscape is covered with large numbers of these turbines it’s time the province sorted out the wheat from the chafe,” said Mullin, who said provincial regulations on wind turbines aren’t based on any data from what he can tell. “The province has imposed a setback of 550 metres for them. I have not seen the studies used to determine that setback number. I think that number was just pulled out by the bureaucrats,” he said.
The moratorium received wide support from the vast majority of county councillors at the meeting. In a recorded vote it passed 76 – 15. Grey County council has now joined local Bruce – Grey – Owen Sound MPP Bill Murdoch in calling for a moratorium on the construction of industrial wind turbines until studies about their affects on people living nearby are completed. The province recently rammed through the Green Energy Act that takes away local planning authority on energy projects deemed to be “green”.
Southgate Mayor Don Lewis objected to the county’s resolution. Lewis said Southgate has a large wind turbine project right next door to it near Shelburne and he hasn’t heard about too many problems with them.
“Do we have any authority or any right to ask for this? What’s the point? Other than to make us feel warm and fuzzy, ” Lewis questioned.
Both Meaford Mayor Francis Richardson and Deputy Mike Traynor also voted against the resolution proposed by Greig.