Drayton Wind protest latest in series

John Wilkinson, Minister of the Environment

By Brian Shypula, Stratford Beacon Herald Staff

DRAYTON — Organizers expect hundreds of people at a protest rally against a proposed wind farm in Environment Minister John Wilkinson’s riding later this month.

Although it’s a coincidence — the wind farm has been in the works for more than two years and Wilkinson has been environment minister only since August — the attention underscores a rift between rural residents of windy Southwestern Ontario and Queen’s Park.

“Mr. Wilkinson is starting to get a black name in rural Ontario, at least up here,” said Dunc Lamond of the group Stop Mapleton Wind Farms.

Lamond said he is frustrated the Liberal government isn’t listening to the concerns of rural Ontarians and rural municipalities about wind farms.

“The Green Energy Act has taken away the say of local people,” he complained.

The Western Ontario Wardens Caucus, which represents 14 western Ontario municipalities, made the same point in September, arguing wind farm developers are ignoring municipal councils in the placement of turbine installations because the province is the regulating body.

The citizens group HEAT — Huron East Against Turbines — is fighting against a wind farm proposed for Huron County east of St. Columban. A meeting in Clinton in September drew about 600 to 1,000 people.

Huron East is hosting a meeting of municipalities on Tuesday with the intent of drafting a bylaw on low-frequency noise.

The protest outside the PMD arena in Drayton coincides with an information meeting being held inside by NextEra Energy.

NextEra, North America’s largest energy company, wants to build a 10-turbine, 22-megawatt wind farm in Mapleton Township southwest of Arthur.

“They’ve been less than forthright because they’ve contacted us twice in two years, let’s put it that way. They have not brought us as a township council into the loop,” said Mapleton Mayor John Green, who is also a member of the Western Wardens.

Lamond lives less than 900 metres from the site of a turbine tower. While that’s farther than the 550-metre minimum distance mandated by the province, Lamond isn’t convinced it’s safe.

“I’m concerned about my health,” said the farmer, who added he’s been reading about the dangers of low-frequency noise from the giant turbines.

Lamond is also concerned about the negative impact the wind farm will have on surrounding land values. His family has operated a mixed farm in Mapleton since 1969.

Human health is the main concern, but Mapleton also has to think about the impact on farm animals, Green said. The township has the fifth-largest livestock population in Ontario and is home to many dairy, chicken, beef and hog farms.

“Our concerns are probably twofold, not only human health but animal health because that’s the lifeline of our rural population around here,” Green said.

Green said conflicting information about safety of wind farms is a problem. For every report that says they cause health problems, there is a counter report saying they’re safe.

Wilkinson defended the Green Energy Act yesterday, saying it is the first legislation of its kind in North America and is intended to balance the need for renewable energy sources and human health.

Asked if wind farms are safe, Wilkinson said, “Yes, and I say that if a wind farm is built in the province of Ontario under the new, strict minimum distance setback and maximum noise allowance setback, then according to the chief medical officer of health for Ontario, Dr. Arlene King, they are indeed safe.”

The minister stressed that the province will not give a wind farm project the go ahead unless the developer meets all the criteria in the Green Energy Act, which includes giving residents and municipalities a “meaningful” say.

However, just because a municipality and/or its citizens are against a project doesn’t mean the province will turn it down.

Green said he’d vote against a wind farm if his electorate were against it.

“I’m elected to support the people at home here, not the people that are promoting wind farms for capital gain,” he said.

The Drayton rally is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the arena, located on Wellington St. S.

bshypula@bowesnet.com

15 thoughts on “Drayton Wind protest latest in series

  1. What does ,”which includes giving residents and municipalities a ” meaningful” say”, really mean under the Green energy Act as Mr Wilkinson asserts?

    Maybe he should be pressed to further explain this assertion he has made.

  2. There go those swine still quoting the garbage which issued from Arlene King and which has been rebutted by physicist Dr. John Harrison in a letter which she seems to have ignored. To read a truly outstanding piece of scientific writing and scathing repudiation of the CMOH report http://www.obef.ca/?page_id=604 and click on Dr-Carl-Phillips-Expert-Testimony-Report and feel his pain at the insult to his science and our intelligence.

  3. BTW “meaningful say” means: Any say that the minister would say if he did say anything if indeed he was allowed to say anything at all — which he is indeed not permitted.

    Hope that’s clear!

  4. OK…. so it looks like the Liberals are going to put all the responsibility on Arlene King to determine whether IWTs are safe or not.

    “according to the chief medical officer of health for Ontario, Dr. Arlene King, they are indeed safe”.

    Can we sue her? Clearly she’s not doing her job. If she was doing her job…she would have sent at least one of the many public health bureaucrats that WE pay for to the Picton meeting.

    How about all the local Medical Officer’s of Health in this province?? Where are they?? Are WE not paying them to protect our health? Not one of them at the Picton meeting either.

    This is the same group of people that are suppose to protect us from influenza, SARS, waterborne and foodborne outbreaks? What a joke! How can we trust anything they do?

    Do all these arrogant public health folks think we in rural Ontario are too stupid to use the internet and research the health effects of IWTs?

    Looks like we are on our own in rural Ontario to protect the health and wellbeing of our families.

    AND WE WILL!

  5. Hey Ben and all……….YES.we are definitely ON OUR OWN in RURAL ONTARIO an I like it just fine IF I didn’t have to support these Clowns at Queen’s Park and their buddies in the Wind Game!

  6. Ontario physicians are employed by the government and don’t want to stray from official policy lest their careers be affected by doing so.

    The best bet now is for U.S. physicians and scientists to do the necessary research. Let’s hope their efforts won’t be interfered with in anyway.

  7. Now, now everyone, calm down! It is difficult to aim accurately with elevated breathing and heart beat!

    Dr. King (and I use the word “doctor” very loosely) didn’t actually say noise from wind turbines isn’t harmful. She said that the reports she read said that this was the case. The fact that she miss-read most of them is of no consequence, she herself discredited her efforts in her own report anyway.

    If anyone actually has the opportunity to question a politician directly on this issue, simple arm yourself with a copy of Dr. Kings report available for free from the Ontario Ministry of Health website: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/publications/ministry_reports/wind_turbine/wind_turbine.pdf

    Simply ask the Politian in question to read aloud section 2.2.2 of that report:

    “2.2.2 Sound Exposure Assessment:
    Little information is available on actual measurements of sound levels generated from wind turbines and other environmental sources. Since there is no widely accepted protocol for the measurement of noise from wind turbines, current regulatory requirements are based on modelling (see section 3.0).”

    Everything thereafter that makes any assertion that wind turbines are safe is pure conjecture!

    Sean Holt.

  8. Sean:

    If you don’t moderate your language you will have all of us facing legal action.

    As far as I am concerned the moderation on this board should be a little tougher.

    Till then… have a good time!

  9. “One must choose their words carefully because any single issue that could be used by the Wind Industry to shut us up will be pursued!”

    Could not have said it better myself.

    Your entire post should be read and considered carefully by everyone who posts here!

    Words like “fraud” and “theft” “robber” and “robbery” and “thieves” are actionable (libel since it is written). Fraud is extremely difficult to prove as one must prove motivation — malicious intent — whereas much of what we see can be explained by ignorance, stupidity greed and so on.

    This kind of language can make us look like a bunch of militant nut-bars — as opposed to ignorant, lazy ill-informed starry-eyed people like we sometimes criticize.

    I can understand the anger.

    What I can’t understand is the willingness to throw oneself at your enemy’s feet — only to say “Kick me!”. What’s the point?

    Is the objective to win the “war” — or to languish in jail or penury?

    Each to their own decision — but if it is jail or penury I really do prefer to make my own decisions!

    Name calling without evidentiary quality proof should have no place here!

  10. Isn’t “without evidentiary quality proof” that they actually work is how Industrial Wind Turbines get built in the first place?

    There was no intention of slander or maliciousness in the asking of this question.

    Sean Holt.

  11. “Isn’t “without evidentiary quality proof” that they actually work is how Industrial Wind Turbines get built in the first place?”

    Correct:

    But it was sanctioned by the government.

    People get the government they deserve you know!

  12. Thanks for the dose of great medicine guys, tears of laughter are still running down my cheeks. Love you all!

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