Clearview WAIT anti-turbine message to the roads

by Michael Gennings, Staff    Simcoe.com

STAYNER – ClearviewWAIT, a local group that’s against placing industrial wind turbines in the community, is in the process of erecting signs across the township in an effort to garner support for its cause.

“Our mission is to put this issue squarely on the forefront for the municipal election,” local resident and ClearviewWAIT member Colin Huismans told The Stayner Sun. “The objective is to continue building awareness. My feeling is as we get these signs onto the county roads and highways – they’ll continue to drive awareness and drive people to us. What we want to do is direct people to information sites where they can learn about wind.”

The black and white signs contain images of wind turbines and the message: Foul Wind. There is also the group’s e-mail address: clearviewwait@gmail.com.

Other versions contain like messages: Turbines make bad neighbours, Wind blows ill and Say “No” to wind turbines.

So far the signs can be found along well-traveled roads, such as Airport Road, County Road 9, County Road 124 and Nottawasaga Concession 6.

Huismans said that wind and solar energy projects don’t make sense because without government subsidies they aren’t economically viable.

“If those things weren’t in place people wouldn’t build these things,” he said. “I think it’s also important that we reaffirm what ClearviewWAIT is – an advocacy group about irresponsible wind development. We’re not anti-green. We all need to be more energy conscious…buy fuel efficient vehicles, more fluorescent lights, turn our AC off, lower the thermostat – there are quite a few things we can do.”

Huismans added that wind turbine projects can negatively impact the real estate value of neighbouring properties and said in some communities people living near these structures have reported health problems, such as dizziness and a ringing in their ears.

He said there really isn’t enough known in terms of how wind turbines impact the health of people.

Municipal election candidates need to talk about wind turbines and whether they think there is a place for them in Clearview, Huismans said.

“My every hope and dream is that they would fall in line or stand with the constituents of their township and be as vocal as some of the neighbouring townships on this issue,” Huismans said. “Look, part of our job is educational too – they [candidates] need to be shown the path to take…that as a municipality we need to be almost obstructionist in nature when dealing with these wind companies.”

The province, in passing the Green Energy Act, stripped municipalities of planning approval power for alternative energy projects.

But Huismans said municipalities can stall projects by refusing to issue such things as building permits and road access permits.

One small victory for ClearviewWAIT and its supporters will happen if Tim Hudak and his Progressive Conservatives win the provincial election in 2011.

At the Association of Municipalities of Ontario conference in Windsor last Tuesday, Hudak said if his party is elected “we will restore [to municipalities] the decision-making powers the Green Energy Act stripped away. Instead, we will empower municipalities to direct modern, affordable energy investments in their communities.”

Huismans reacted favourably to the remarks.

“I thought it’s interesting to hear he’s putting it on the line like that – he’d return planning authority to municipalities. I know it’s a sweeping statement and broad but it’s simple to understand. That means communities that want renewables – they can figure out the best spot for them,” he said.

ClearviewWAIT has been active since about April 2008. Local residents who share concerns about wind turbine projects coming to Clearview founded the group.

The project that’s received the most attention so far is one just southwest of Stayner. Wpd Canada wants to build eight turbines on private property. The company is currently going through the provincial government’s approval process.

Wpd has said it hopes to have provincial approval to go ahead with the project by December 2011. The company requires what’s called a Renewable Energy Approval (REA) from the province.  The company wants to start construction in May 2012 and begin operation of the turbines in February 2013.

Huismans said since ClearviewWAIT got off the ground it has received donations from about 400 supporters – money the organization will use in ways that advance its message.

“We’ve had people donate anything from $2,500 to $50,” he noted. “They’re representative of farming families who’ve been here for generations, there are people who don’t really have two nickels to rub together who have sent $50, there are people with significant wealth who’ve contributed large amounts. We’ve received probably around $30,000 since we started fundraising last November.”

The organization’s next major initiative, he said, will be at the Great Northern Exhibition – the fall fair hosted each year in Clearview Township by the Collingwood Agricultural Society.

“We’ll have a booth at the fair, where we will be talking all things wind,” Huismans explained.

He said once the municipal election is out of the way the organization will start to focus some of its energy on the provincial election, which is set for the fall 2011.

“Jim Wilson, our MPP, is squarely behind us on our efforts,” Huismans said. “This will become one of the pivotal issues of our provincial election but we need to get the municipal election over first.”

Huismans said ClearviewWAIT and other like organizations have a responsibility to educate “the people of Toronto on why these [wind and solar projects] aren’t good projects. It’s a unique conundrum when urban centers calling for power are impacting people living elsewhere in the province.”

7 thoughts on “Clearview WAIT anti-turbine message to the roads

  1. We’ve tried the sign thing for over a year now……..that hasn’t slowed anything down…what’s next Folks?

  2. Quixote:

    That’s my question too!

    Lawsuits? One is in the works. But that lawsuit in my mind is how to co-exist with the ugly useless turbines.

    It does not take a lot of technical skill do the logical, electrical and mathematical analysis to prove that turbines are of questionable value. So reason and logic are apparently out the window.

    It would be nice to see a Government forum where people could submit their reasoning via way of technical and medical papers, and then see a meaningful analysis of the evidence. The we could see the evidence for and against Industrial Wind Turbines. Maybe someone could show that my paper was wrong — that turbines generate consistent, useful power! Perhaps D Jones article about nuclear power is all wrong! Let’s see the counter claims! Then we could examine the evidence for and against a warming climate in Canada. I would just love to see someone from Environment Canada dispute the work of Richard Wakefield ( cdnsurfacetemps . blogspot.com ) — now _that_ would be an entertaining session. …and then…

    …Aww the H#!! with it!! …back to the real world

    It is a perplexing question. Isn’t it?

  3. I met Colin last Friday. Saw him putting up signs and pulled over to praise his efforts. What puzzled me is that he said we only have to hold things back for another 14 months until the Liberals are booted out.

    Come next election the Cons will fix things for us.

    I found this a very bizarre stance. For an obviously intelligent man, I couldn’t understand why he believes that the Cons will scrap or restore local planning rights to the GEA.

    The GEA was not a Liberal scheme, it was pushed through by industry and other speacial interests who all parties seem to be aligned with. It was introduced in part to cut back the “red tape” and open the floodgates to the trough. The industry will never allow the floodgates to be closed. Period.

    This fight will last a lot longer than 14 months. Please don’t believe otherwise.

    If I’m wrong, I’ll step in dog poop and eat my shoe.

  4. In 2 years this Province will look like a garbage dump!

    By then Hudak will be in power and will have stopped all further Wind Turbine Development………….

    Promise made and he can then claim it was all the Liberals fault and will continue to harvest the massive revenues coming through the Energy sector from bankrupt Ontarians with a clear conscience!

    Isn’t it fun to be a “believer” all the while being driven out of your homes with a faceless and irresponsible Leadership blaming it all on other faceless irresponsible Leaders?……..

    Wake up Folks……………September 10th is coming fast!

  5. If windfarms are being forced on municipalities across the province why not simply make them municipal owned. Everyone knows this is about fast buck artists grabbing the subsidy and not GREEN energy. Once the Ont GOVT oks a windfarm location, have the municipality put in a competing bid. Hell all they would need is a calculator. The municipallity could then either elect to build or at least reap the profits from the govts forced decision because they would own the windmills. Many municipalities already own their generation facilities now. Why let the conman ride into town and ride out with the money while you stand there with your sign in your hand?

  6. Scott Brooks:

    Some municipalities do not want turbines at all. Many are realizing that they are all about the subsidies — not about green energy.

    From what I can see you cannot offer a competing bid. The wind companies lock up the land owners, the submit a proposal — it is accepted or not.

    The municipality is effectively locked out of the project. Once the contract is awarded the wind company has a free ticket to ride the gravy train for 20 years.

    However, there are moneymaking opportunities which do arise and should be exploited.

    Permits, fees, road fees, construction permits…

    There should be yearly health and safety checks and so on…

    Just think of it as keeping the tax dollars at home instead of sending the money to Manulife, a Bank in Florida or the Bank of Scotland.

    But you have raised an issue and I am thinking about it. One parallel that comes to mind is claim-jumping. Most claims/mines change hands because of technical errors in the claim — the government paper work. It is a thought.

  7. Litmus test for Green.

    The Green Party leader in Ontario, Mike Schreiner, is running in the seat these IWTs are planned for (but he lives in Parkdale-High Park).

    He’s in Midland Sunday.
    His party, at least nationally, is in cahoots with CanWEA with targets for generation, while the national party has also recently come out in favour of an epidemiological study on the human health effects of wind turbines in the interests of public health and safety.

    What are the benefits of IWTs that take precedence over the health of Clearview/Stayner/Creemore residents Mr. Schreiner?

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