PEC mayor-elect against wind turbines

Peter Mertens

By Luke Hendry, Belleville Intelligencer

Prince Edward County’s mayor-elect has reaffirmed his opposition to wind turbines in the county, saying he wants to renew talks with the province.

Peter Mertens was one of 110 delegates at a Picton symposium organized by the Society for Wind Vigilance.

He said there must be more discussions about the potential health impacts of generating wind energy. Mertens said concerns cited during the symposium weren’t entirely new to him, but others need to hear the details.  “I think the information is compelling,” Mertens said Sunday by telephone.

“We have to take the politics out of this now and we have to get the science to the forefront.”

During his recent mayoral campaign, Mertens proposed a moratorium on turbine construction in the county.

“There are a lot of advocates and I respect their position at this point,” said Mertens.

“A lot of them have taken that position without truly understanding the facts that were presented here,” he said.

Mertens said the new county councillors will have to determine their position. He said he wants to resume lobbying the province and “at least put a hold on (turbine construction) until some of these things are answered.”

Prince Edward County councillors passed a December 2008 motion asking public agencies to research further the effects of wind turbines and establish guidelines for the turbines’ placement.

But six months later, during a June 2009 stop in Trenton, then-environment minister George Smitherman said the province would not budge on its plans to increase green energy production.

“We passed a law, and the law does not create an opportunity for municipalities to resist these projects just because they may have a concern,” he said.

Smitherman told The Intelligencer the Green Energy Act makes progress on addressing health concerns.

“The Ministry of Environment has responsibility for taking all of that information which is available into consideration.”

He said setbacks between homes and turbines will be greater than those elsewhere.

“That is an acknowledgment that we need to make sure the setbacks are appropriate and established based on good evidence,” said Smitherman.

Mertens said the province’s position hasn’t changed but he remains hopeful more talks will occur.

“We’ve got to get our new council in place and see just how wide the support against turbines is on council.”

Discussion of health concerns has been at a “low level,” Mertens said, and that must change.

lhendry@intelligencer.ca

5 thoughts on “PEC mayor-elect against wind turbines

  1. Mr Mertens needs to be aware of Dr Ross McKitrick’s information too so he knows that the corporate wind industry and the Ontario government are both spouting nonsense when they talk about “clean energy” and “jobs, jobs, jobs.”

  2. I believe that the anti-wind turbine movement is weakened by focusing only on health and real estate issues. These concerns are, of course, vitally important to the individual land-owner and resident, but we know that the government doesn’t care much about us. What does matter is MONEY, and the studies from Denmark and Britain show that industrial wind turbines have not been efficient in providing energy, or cost effective to the government or the customers paying for energy. The wind turbines are operational for only a few years, and are then left to rust, with no clear idea of who is responsible for cleaning up the mess. If citizen groups are going to have an effective protest, these matters must be emphasized.

  3. As I understand the GEA, the only thing left for people to voice their concerns over were heath,safety and environmental issues.

    The LAW WAS CHANGED so that people no longer could voice their concerns about any other issues involving wind turbines.

    So peoples rights were taken away from them. That’s the only way wind turbines could be imposed on the people and the politicians knew this when the GEA was enacted.

    Now people are voicing all of their concerns about wind turbines.

  4. I will believe Mr. Mcguinty et al that wind power is the way to go as soon as he installs one in his own backyard or urban property. His lovely cottage retreat in rural Ontario should also feature a wind turbine. You think this will ever come to pass? Not likely!

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