NDPs are Pro-Industrial Wind Turbines

[Note:  I’m still waiting for an official response from the Ontario Green Party]

Letter dated March 29, 2010:

Thank you for bringing your concerns about the health impacts of wind energy to the attention of Andrea Horwath, Leader, Ontario’s NDP.

New Democrats believe that wind energy needs to play an important role in reducing our reliance on coal and nuclear and in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. Coal kills almost 700 people a year in Ontario.

Nuclear energy poses a constant risk of catastrophic accidents, nuclear weapons proliferation and poses the unsolved problem of trying to isolate radioactive waste for thousands of years.

We believe that it is important to rigorously study the health and environmental impacts of wind energy. A study by researchers at Stanford University concluded that wind had the least impact on human health, water supply, land, wildlife, and water pollution (see http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2009/january7/power-010709.html).

A September 2009 report by Dr. Ray Copes, Director of Environmental and Occupational Health at the Ontario Agency for Health Promotion and Protection concluded that “there is no scientific evidence to date to demonstrate a causal association between wind turbine noise and adverse health effects”, though it “sometimes may be annoying to some people which may result in stress and sleep disturbance”.

A June 2009 report by the Acting Medical Officer of Health for the Chatham-Kent Health Unit concluded that “there is no scientifically valid evidence that wind turbines are causing direct health effects, although the body of valid evidence is limited. It is unlikely that evidence of adverse health effects will emerge in the future because there is no biologically plausible mechanism known by which wind turbines could cause health effects”.

It should be remembered that the Ontario government is pursuing a fairly modest targets for wind – 3400 MW of wind over next 20 years (Spain, which has less than half the surface area of Ontario, added that much in 2007 alone).

As well, the McGuinty government is requiring significant set backs for wind turbines, including a minimum of 550 metres to ensure noise levels do not exceed 40 decibels at the receptor (the noise level experienced in a quiet office or library).

These setbacks are largest in Canada, the United States and eight European countries (see http://www.wind-watch.org/documents/european-setbacks-minimum-distance-between-wind-turbines-and-habitations/).

Proponents would also be required to monitor and address any perceptible infrasound (vibration) or low frequency noise as a condition of the Renewable Energy Approval.

The McGuinty government is setting up a university chair to continue to monitor health effects of wind turbines. They should also set up a differentiated tariff paid for wind energy, with a higher rate in lower wind areas and a lower rate in high wind area, which would encourage the spreading of wind around Ontario and deter the over development of wind power in the highest wind areas along shorelines (this has been done successfully in Germany, France, Switzerland and Portugal).

The McGuinty Liberals need to strengthen public participation and accountability, by expanding the role of Renewable Energy Facilitation Office to include supporting public participation, by requiring the Facilitator to release information about a project if plant, animal or human health affected and by protecting public’s right to appeal projects (the NDP proposed these amendments to the Green Energy Act, however, they were voted down by the McGuinty government).

I hope this clarifies Ontario’s NDP position on Wind Energy.

We look forward to working to ensure that wind energy is pursued in a safe and cost-effective manner in order to reduce Ontario’s reliance on coal and nuclear energy, and to reduce our greenhouse emissions to limit the dangers of global warming.


Ezia Cervoni, Leader’s Correspondence Officer
On Behalf of Andrea Horwath, Leader Ontario’s NDP

28 thoughts on “NDPs are Pro-Industrial Wind Turbines

  1. The setbacks in Newfoundland-Labrador are 1.5 kilometres, so Ontario does NOT have the largest setbacks in Canada.

    Pure B.S., which is what politicos specialize in.

  2. Well, they just lost 1.5 million votes didn’t they!

    Hard to believe that they too got their info from a wind brochure…………..pathetic!

    Do these people not read???

  3. So this letter is from the NDP?………..should have been signed from the “Office of Liberal Boot Lickers”.

    No wonder they will never ever be a Party of choice amongst “informed” Ontarians.

    I guess their only reason for running in a political arena is a “paycheque” that is never ending. They don’t have to be winners, they just have to show up every day and ride on the “coat tails” of whoever is in power at the time!

    Maybe Wind Concerns can form a political Party and call themselves the “Honest Party?”

  4. A Politically Correct response on the FAKE Green Energy by a FAKE political party….

  5. Totally agree with Quixote… I thought I was reading a letter from the Liberals. They really should merge if they haven’t already…. On top of being out-to-lunch with their CANWEA regurgitation, they are a very insulting and uncaring political party, as we saw in Queen’s Park last fall (i.e. Tabun, Bisson).

    The NDP is not a party that gives a hoot about our health, and they are very open about it. I used to think that was the Conservatives….did they switch mandates?! They will never live this down, when in years to come, studies will show how many residents, young & old, of Ontario were intentionally physically assaulted by the wind turbines near their homes.

  6. Yes, Peter Tabuns was a cold, calculating jerk during the GEA hearings. He practically ridiculed Barbara Ashbee when she was tearfully telling her story.

  7. “A Politically Correct response on the FAKE Green Energy by a FAKE political party….”

    Who was it said “politics is just show business…”?

  8. They’re quoting Dr. Colby. hahaaha

    The same man the College of Physicians and Surgeons already warned not to pretend he was an expert on health issues regarding wind turbines.

    The man is just a paid whore for the wind industry and has no experience or credentials whatsoever to be on this “expert” panel.

  9. How can the new DEMOCRATIC party support the anti-democratic policies of the Green Energy Act???

    Makes no sense… other than political cents.
    Shame on them!

  10. Who was it said “politics is just show business…”?

    I thought that the saying was that “politics is just show business for ugly people”…Jay Leno said this I think…

  11. Ontario Politics and respective Parties are all “rotten to the core” and not one single Party can be called the answer at this point. The Libs are done like “turkey dinner”, the Cons are the ones that started this Wind destruction and really can’t argue against them. Just ask them for a public statement stating; No Wind Energy Generation in Ontario!” and see them say: we can’t”.

    The NDP is just a Socialistic Joke and the Green Party is just a place for “Suzuki types” to hang out!

    We are in real trouble here folks if we think any of these parties will look out for us. We have to take back control of our Province through our “new and approved” Municipal Councils this fall and damn Ontario Politicians!

  12. Why is wind being used as an argument against coal? Industrial wind has never replace coal anywhere. In some places it has increased the consumption of coal to produce backup power for wind. Maybe something should and something else might replace coal, but wind does not produce the same quality of power and never will replace coal. The false statement that we need to have wind to get rid of coal is being used to sound good to the ignorant. If someone uses that statement they are either truly ignorant or outright lying. Take your pick.

  13. Just one more reason why the NDP are doomed to irrelevancy.

  14. These people are delusional…..”New Democrats believe that wind energy needs to play an important role in reducing our reliance on coal and nuclear and in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. Coal kills almost 700 people a year in Ontario”

    Then we read the news, unlike our politicians…….

    “A Canadian economist known for his controversial critique of climate-change science has turned his sights on the health effects of smog, concluding in a new study that pollution has no impact on the number of hospital admissions for respiratory illness.”

    Read more: http://www.nationalpost.com/story.html?id=2695102#ixzz0jhYronIU

  15. Thank you Mr. McGuinty for reducing mass transit funding, now the NDP and their friends can ride wind turbines to work and play, bring a cushion for comfort.

  16. The NDP were horribly rude when I saw them at Queens Park. I would never vote for them again. Weird bunch.

  17. AAW: Extremely interesting. Ross McKitrick has failed to find a model that would link increased respiratory hospitalization to pollution levels. It means the quotes about pollution and its health effects are not supported. The number of respiratory deaths due to coal generation appears to have been made up and not backed up. Think of it, people living in pulp towns or the smelting city of Sudbury or with a lot of automobiles should be of more concern to the government than of a few coal generating stations if they were truely concerned of air pollution. The Ring of Fire mining development is generating far more air pollution and carbon emissions in its development and will produce even more when fully developed than the so called dirty electricity generation. The government is fully supporting the development of the Ring of Fire. The truth is the government is mostly concerned with the health of their bank statements not that of people so in reality they don’t give s… about what might have caused 700 deaths, if it means more money at their disposal.

  18. If they believe in rigorous research, why don’t they quote it? They quote what backs their pro-wind agenda.

    Peter Tabuns asked me to forward the study done by Dr. Nina Pierpont when I was before the committee reviewing the Green Energy Act, which I did. Dr. Robert McMurtry gave them his professional opinion and a copy of the Wind Vigilance survey, which he was vigorously questioned about by MPP Laurel Broten.

    They’re stalling just like the Liberals. The letter is good grounds to reject them at the polls come 2011.

  19. In todays edition of the TO Star, Peter Tabuns applauded the newly
    announced $8 billion in renewable energy projects.

    Paraphrasing to some degree, but he indicated that we should be investing
    more money into green energy in order to shut down both coal and nuclear
    power plants.

    Difficult to ascertain whether these politicians are incredibly naive or just incredibly stupid.

  20. As a New Democrat I am saddened to hear of your experiences with the provincial NDP. They could do a better job at being open and listening rather than immediately going to defense. However, I do not think it’s fair to completely dismiss the party. Even though I’m a New Democrat and whole heartedly disagree with much of the Conservative’s policy (especially under Harris), I can admire their efforts to promote a moratorium on industrial wind projects. Some of our members have been very vocal that they support wind turbines. Tabuns has a lot invested in supporting wind power. In fact wind energy was a focal point in his leadership race last year. However, there are other MPP’s who may not have such a cemented opinion. I suggest contacting them and getting them to influence their stubborn colleagues. Instead of smearing my party I am going to try and take a positive form of action – I am going to introduce policy on wind turbines at provincial council. I am going to educate the membership about the issue. Ultimately they are the policy makers of our party.

  21. Tabuns sickens me. He treated B. Ashbee at the GEA Hearings like garbage. Practically ridiculed her. This is a lady who was forced out of her home.

    I have always voted NDP but from what I’ve seen the past couple of years,I have cut off all ties and stopped contributing to the party.

    My husband was even asked to run in our riding and refused because of the NDPs mindless, fairy-tale energy policy. We have had heart-to-heart talks with NDP candidates and they fully understand our point of view….but they say they would NEVER take that stand in caucus as they would get crucified.

    The NDP is no longer about social justice and taking care of the average family…it has been hijacked by a bunch of heartless nuts who have perverted the environmental movement. Anyone who thinks plastering our natural areas and shorelines with massive industrial generators is no environmentalist..they are insane.

  22. A party is only as strong as its members. That’s why I believe it’s important to get involved and change it from the inside. The whole idea of wind turbines not being environmentally or human friendly is a new concept for most people. It goes against everything they have come to believe. So many have their hopes and dreams tied up in wind turbines. So resistance is to be expected. I think it’s important that we offer them instead alternatives to invest their hopes and dreams of green society such as smaller and different designs. Suggesting small scale wind generators would allow urban people to participate in the debate because it would affect them – they could buy these devices. Right now urban dwellers aren’t really entering the discussion because it’s not in their backyard. We need urban environmental groups to be on board with us if we are to mount enough pressure on politicians. I think personal wind generators might be a start.

  23. If The NDP was really serious about renewable energy they’d be screaming over our landfills not getting contracts to connect their methane gas collectors to the grid. Essex landfill has been on the list for years. Wind and solar have both tried to put units on the land that’s set aside for expansion, they say a contract would be available for them. What a crock of horse buns. The liberals play favorites[we have 3 cabinet ministers and 1plain MPP in Essex County] and I guess so does the NDP

  24. I totally agree with everything you’re saying, New Democratic.

    What I’ve really learned from all this is that if one follows dogma and idealogy too far (either right or left) they are no longer seeking the truth.

    I will keep an open mind and hopefully some real dialogue with all political parties starts soon. Unfortunately, it is people like Peter Tabuns who wield the power in the provincial NDP party.

    No one hated the Harris government more than me and my husband. No one.

    That’s why I find it so ironic that now it seems to be only the PCs who have a shred of compassion for these people who, through no fault of their own, are caught in this mess.

    That was demonstrated very clearly during the GEA committee hearings. Tabuns was despicable.

  25. I remember Mr. Peter Tabuns was into the green energy act from the very beginning.. Just a reminder to the ones that have not read the ‘hansard’ from Bill Murdochs bill.(if this is how one refers to it)

    “Mr. Bill Murdoch: I move that, in the opinion of this House, the province of Ontario must impose a moratorium on all new wind turbine projects in Ontario until such time as Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, the Ministry of Health … and the Ministry of the Environment have stated that wind turbines do not have any adverse health effects on people who live near them.
    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Mr. Murdoch moves private members’ notice of motion number 116. Pursuant to standing order number 98, Mr. Murdoch, you have up to 12 minutes for your presentation.

    Mr. Peter Tabuns:
    I’m in a situation where I have actually had an opportunity to listen to a number of these arguments and debates. I had the opportunity-the honour-to sit on the committee that travelled around Ontario and listened to the presentations on the Green Energy Act, listened to people who were dealing with a variety of problems, both with wind turbines and other forms of generation.”

  26. Why should the NDP want to change ? They are guaranteed to be on the wrong side of every issue…

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