Dufferin-Caledon MPP Sylvia Jones says Premier Dalton McGuinty’s shelving of offshore wind turbine projects is another example of the Liberal government’s poorly planned energy experiments.
The Liberals announced they are backtracking on a plan to erect hundreds of offshore wind turbines, citing health and environmental concerns. However, the Premier failed to extend the same moratorium to wind projects on land.
“The suggestion that offshore turbines are a problem, and turbines on land are not, is a slap in the face to rural Ontario,” Ms. Jones said in a press release. “If the McGuinty Liberals truly believe there are health and environmental concerns with wind turbines, they would place a moratorium on all wind projects until a proper health and environmental study can be completed.”
The setbacks established for offshore wind turbines is five kilometres, but on land turbines are required to have a setback of only 550 metres from a residential dwelling. Host landowners can also opt to be closer than the 550 metre setback.
Last year the Progressive Conservative Party called for a moratorium on all wind projects until a comprehensive health study could be completed. The Liberals voted unanimously against this motion.
Groups from across Ontario have been writing the Ministers of Energy, Environment and Health asking for a review of the health and environmental impacts of wind turbines for onshore projects. The Ministries have previously denied that there was any health or environmental implications to wind turbines.
“Ontarians living in close proximity to wind turbine projects on land deserve the same consideration as the wind projects slated for offshore,” said Ms. Jones. “If the Minister of the Environment now deems there are health and environmental risks with wind turbines offshore with a five-kilometre setback, then rural Ontario families living much closer to wind turbines deserve the same consideration.”