Province accused of hamstringing wind turbine opponents

By Sharon Hill  Windsor Star

The province’s Green Energy Act has hamstrung residents’ ability to fight wind turbine proposals for lakes Erie and St. Clair by putting the financial onus on opponents to prove any harm to human health or the environment.

Municipalities need to do hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of studies to fight 715 wind turbines proposed for the two lakes, Gord Meuser, a member of Citizens Against Lake Erie Wind Turbines, told Leamington council Monday.

“This artificial forest pounded into our bay is just wrong,” Meuser said.

He said the sad part is the odds are stacked against the citizens and municipalities under the new act.

“The onus is now on us.”

Meuser was focused just on 165 offshore turbines proposed for Pigeon Bay south of Leamington and Kingsville in three offshore wind farms of 55 turbines each.

But SouthPoint Wind is proposing a total of 715 turbines for Lake Erie south of Chatham-Kent and Essex County and for Lake St. Clair north of Lakeshore.

The Essex Region Conservation Authority is working with local municipalities to see what studies should be done and how much that could cost.

The conservation authority could know the cost within a few days and will meet with municipal representatives again.

Tracey Pillon-Abbs, manager of planning services for Leamington, told council depending on the number of municipalities involved in the cost sharing, the estimated cost could be $5,000 to $10,000 per municipality.

SouthPoint Wind has not applied to the province for the offshore wind turbines. It has scheduled a series of public meetings for March 27 and has a draft application on its website.

Coun. Rick Atkin said he hoped the thinking that the province is going to ram the offshore wind farms on municipalities is wrong.

Leamington Deputy Mayor Rob Schmidt said adequate studies have not been done and the same concerns that at one time saw the province place a moratorium on offshore wind farms are still valid now.

The ban that had been put in place after reaction to SouthPoint Wind’s proposal for 15 offshore turbines in 2006 was lifted in 2008.

Coun. John Paterson said he hoped municipalities could stop the access to the power grid on land. “It’s our natural resource. We’re a waterfront community. Why would we want this destroyed by a wind farm,” Paterson said.

Council agreed with a motion by Schmidt to ask staff to draft a resolution to send to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario to research other options to control green energy projects since it has no power under the Green Energy Act. Schmidt doesn’t want inappropriate uses and conflicts with neighbours over wind turbines and solar projects.

When talking offshore turbines, Meuser said some people assume the 715 turbines is some sort of joke.

But he said there will be offshore turbines in the lakes if research isn’t done to prove there could be negative impacts.

He urged residents to show up for a March 27 meeting in Leamington at the Princess Centre. SouthPoint Wind is holding public meetings across Essex County that day including one at the Lakeside Park pavilion in Kingsville from noon to 2 p.m.

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Other hour-long meetings March 27 include an 8:30 a.m. meeting at the Puce Sports and Leisure Centre, a 6 p.m. meeting at the Harrow arena and a 7:30 p.m. meeting at the Amherstburg Recreation Centre.

9 thoughts on “Province accused of hamstringing wind turbine opponents

  1. It seems to me that some sort of Tribunal is needed.

    If all of the people that have been suffering from turbine placement on land were to ‘testify’ of their serious health issues and show pictures of their homes in relationship to the Industrial turbines near them. I also think we must be able to do a simulation in a fresh water aquarium and a small to scale wind turbine and see what happens to the fish.

  2. The statement about the onus being on citizens to prove impacts on health, the environment and property values is so true…and marks how powerless our own governments and big business have rendered us.
    It will cost us thousands to inform the public of the truth, and then to persuade government not to proceed with poorly sited wind projects.
    In some cases, I fear the only recourse is to take legal action against those who have sacrificed their community, their neighbours and the land for $$$

  3. Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville, Hamilton, and many more take drinking water from the great lakes.

    What happens when 50 years of toxic sediments are disturbed by the construction of 700 turbine foundations and 700 cable channels within a relatively short time.

    Why would the government of Ontario wantonly expose Toronto, Buffalo, Niagara Falls Canada and NewYork drinking water to such a danger?

  4. How many more studies are being demanded at our expense by our provincial bureaucrats? This is total nonsense. Enough studies have been conducted on a global level to prove the fallacy of industrial wind turbines. The wind industry is simply bribing our government and environmental officials. Studies need to be conducted and criminal charges need to be laid against the eco-terrorists!

  5. It is a very strange and crooked world out there…
    as I write this, the current mess of onshore turbines is contributing a laughable 9 MW of a theoretical maximum of 1100 MW. Pathetic!

  6. Wind Energy is a joke…It’s totally inefficent and scars all of rural Ontario including our Lakes, which will look like Post-Industrial junkyards in 10 years…It’s a failed Energy technology.

    It ‘s the Ontario Liberal Government who are total fascists…They are crapping all over rural Ontario…

    I predict that after the next Ontario provincial Election you won’t find a Liberal MPP outside of a major city… excluding Oakville..

  7. By threatening a costly revue by Municipalities to undertake reports showing that these turbines have negative effects on humans, wildlife and land is just another way of scaring off Councillors who don’t have the strength and courage to tell this Government NO!

    That’s all we have to do in one loud and unified voice and that is to say NO!

    Push through bylaws, keep up demonstrations, ignore anything that has to do with the Green Energy Act in an absolute Act Of Defiance!

    If all that fails to stop this mass destruction of our Province…………….do something that is very legal and very effective……………SECEDE!

    In case you need a definition of this go here:

    It is legal and peaceful and removes this criminal government completely from our honest day to day lives!

  8. Quixote………… YOU ARE BRILLIANT!

    I am not going to pay my property taxes on three farms in Clearview Township ! I will not support an illegal government that is assisting an illegal corporate takeover and destruction of my Province. There is a public meeting at our township office in Stayner Ont. (March 22, 7:00PM) We are going to be there in strength to ask for a moratorium. I am going to publicly announce my Secession and rip up my Interim property tax bills!

    I believe that Rural Ontario will follow.

    Thank you Quixote!

    It will be said that wind turbines changed history… indeed they will!

    Somebody call the press.

  9. It’s worthwhile to point out the fact that governments and farmers who allow wind turbines on their property to be sued when individuals do prove health and lowered real estate values do to injuries and visual-pollution leading to lowered real estate prices.

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