By Eric Howald, Kincardine Independent
You have to decide if you’re going to be quiet or speak out and do what is right, says an Underwood-area resident.
Norma Schmidt has decided to speak out.
And that led to her being escorted from the gallery at Queen’s Park Wednesday afternoon.
“I had my say and then I left,” she said in a phone interview Thursday afternoon.
Schmidt was one of a large contingent of residents from Bruce and Grey counties who travelled by bus and car to Queen’s Park to protest the wind farms that are springing up across the province.
About 250 of the demonstrators were in the House to hear a debate on a motion calling for a moratorium on wind farm projects until an independent, comprehensive study of the health and environmental impacts of wind farms is completed. The motion also called on the government to restore the planning authority governing them to municipalities and local boards.
It was too much for Schmidt when she heard a Liberal MPP say there are no health problems associated with wind turbines.
Although she can’t remember exactly what she shouted from the gallery, she believes it went something like this: ‘I’m here. Are you telling me I’m not sick? I’m empirical evidence.’
At that point the Progressive Conservatives in the House and others in the gallery stood and applauded, she said. Then Schmidt was removed and the gallery recessed for 15 minutes while the gallery was cleared.
“The government says I’m not sick,” she said Thursday. “That’s ludicrous. I feel like I’m in a twilight zone.”
“I wasn’t against wind turbines,” said Schmidt, who lives with her husband on a 13-acre parcel of land a mile and a quarter west of Underwood. “I’m a green person. The looks of the turbines don’t bother me. It took me a while to figure out what was making me sick.”
That happened when she discovered her symptoms went away when she travelled out of the area.
Schmidt often feels nauseous, has intermittent bouts of high blood pressure, ringing in the ears and suffers from vomiting. Although she is a nurse, she can’t find the right word to describe the “fullness in her ears and head.”
Nursing was her life and her health problems led to her resigning her last position in November.
Huron-Bruce MPP Carol Mitchell slipped out of the House during the debate, said Schmidt. “She’s not looking after the best interests of her constituents.”
According to Hansard, Mitchell was in the House to vote against the motion which was defeated by the government.
Schmidt added she will do everything in her power to see Mitchell isn’t re-elected. “We need to be more vocal. Canadians are a little too quiet,” she said.