Wind projects wrecks Manitoulin culture

Manitoulin ExpositorSudbury Star

Some of the most beautiful areas in Northern Ontario can be found where the land meets the water. An especially striking example is the area around Manitoulin Island, McGregor Bay, and Killarney. My family and I have a summer camp on Lake Manitou. We enjoy boating, hiking, cycling, and travelling throughout the area, primarily during the spring, summer and fall.

Given its natural beauty, why would anyone want to erect 43 steel towers on this landscape? According to the Manitoulin Coalition for Safe Energy Alternatives, the wind turbines destined for McLean’s Mountain will be 26 storeys high (10 feet equals 1 storey). With the additional height of turbine blades (another 15 storeys when vertical), the tower and blades combined will be more than 40 storeys high. That’s one-third the height of Sudbury’s Super Stack. Sudbury has just one Super Stack, but there are plans for 43 of these monstrosities—on top of McLean’s Mountain! An industrial-scale wind turbine installation does not suit this landscape.

The turbines won’t hide discretely behind hills or in valleys either. They will stand on prominent heights of land where there is more wind. The blades will turn relentlessly, day and night (when there is wind), and they will dwarf the tallest trees. There will be strobe lights at night, so that even on the darkest night you won’t forget them. Trees will be cleared and farmland carved up so that service roads can be built to each tower to support heavy machinery and trucks. The towers will be anchored by concrete footings set 20 feet into the ground. Once built, they won’t be going anywhere, ever.

These projects would not be viable without the financial and legislative support of the McGuinty government. They will pay the wind power companies more than two times the current going rate for electricity. It’s like paying $2 and getting $1 worth of power. But the government isn’t on the hook for this multi-million dollar subsidy; we’ll be forced to cover the cost through escalating charges on our power bills. And you thought your power bill was already high!

It would be nice if they had consulted with us before they made this significant commitment of our disposable income, but they didn’t. Instead of encouraging a well-informed dialogue, the government passed the Green Energy Act, which overrides the checks and balances that were put in place to protect the environment and allow citizens to voice their concerns whenever a new development is being considered in their backyard. Why are they in such a hurry?

The government says that green energy will create jobs. However, contrary to government claims, there is evidence from well-established projects in Europe that heavily subsidized renewable energy programs lead to job losses. This is because expensive electricity is a job-killer. You have to go no further than Timmins for an example. Xstrata moved hundreds of jobs from Timmins to Quebec to gain access to cheaper power. For those concerned about global warming, there is little evidence of a decline in CO2 emissions from wind projects because of inefficiencies inherent with wind power and the need for back-up power when the wind isn’t blowing. In light of this evidence, why forge ahead?

This summer, if I have to look upon the abomination that will be McLean’s Mountain Wind Farm knowing that I did nothing to oppose it, I’ll regret it for the rest of my life. That is why I wrote this letter.

If you feel the way I do, you can write, call, or email your local MPP, Minister of Energy Brad Duguid, Finance Minister Dwight Duncan, Premier Dalton McGuinty, and tell all like-minded friends to do the same. I also suggest visiting the website for Ontario Wind Resistance and the Manitoulin Coalition for Safe Energy Alternatives.

Robert Chown, Sudbury

8 thoughts on “Wind projects wrecks Manitoulin culture

  1. If we feel the way this writer does, we must get rid of this “government”, and stand up for the protection of our lands, skies and waters and all the earth’s creatures who dwell there.

    Industrial wind development is NOT GREEN – it is rape and plunder.

  2. We live in a dictatorship and the Ontario Liberals do not care about the people of this province. I wonder what is in it for them, when Europe is taking them down as they
    are not reliable, and very very expensive and a health hazard.
    It is a scam,read the Cloak of Green.

  3. There is no obvious place to put this link…

    This will give you some deep background on why Manitoulin will be desecrated.

    A long time ago — but not so far away….

    I was involved in a project to evaluate the IPCC documents. The website link that follows came out of the original project.

    Some of us noted that the IPCC had justified the use of alternative energy because of Global Warming — based on sloppy research, circular reference, newspaper articles and every sort of unsupported rumor that could be imagined… Hilary Ostrove took it upon herself to team with Australia’s Peter B. to produce a document that can show you how these wind turbines and solar panels were justified. It may shock you, it may horrify you. The more you know about research and methodology, the more it should bother you.

    Here is the link:

    Scroll down the page until you see the link named:
    AR4-WG3-4 Chapter 4: Energy Supply

    That will take you to a version of the document that has been annotated to show the “shaky” references.

    I encourage you to look through the entire site if you want to know something of the Genesis of this battle.

    It is not always easy to follow — so don’t click on the link and expect answers and conclusions to pop out in front of your face. That was not the point. This site si for people who want to be able to research the background story.

    You can find the story on Wind Here… for example…

    Or you can just follow the links and the scroll down till you see the Wind section.

    Note that you will have to cut and paste the link. Sorry — but two links lands me in the bin…

    I won’t suggest that you “enjoy” the reading — that would be insulting. But, it is necessary for those who want to research back to the beginning.

  4. “Since when is there only ONE problem with wind energy.”

    Well said!


  5. Maybe some people don’t like them but when I see wind turbines spinning away I get all warm and ooogggee. Ok so they don’t produce much power and they are expensive to build and maintain, but that warm and ooogggeee feeling is worth the price. Besides, I make a good living, I can afford it. Too bad for the rest of you.


  6. Klem,

    Guess you don’t have to live near wind turbines where you can become ill and/or lose the value of you property. Perhaps most of the money you have saved all your life for.

    Also take a look at the number of people in the U.K. who have died from cold related health issues because they couldn’t afford both heat and food. They are forced to pay the high costs of installing useless wind turbines.

    This situation is coming to Ontario much sooner than you think.

  7. klem

    That warm and oooggeee feeling is not from looking
    at the turbines, it is from lack of oxygen to the brain,
    which can result in diminished thought process. Better
    get it checked out.

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