McGuinty stands by wind turbines amid new concerns about health effects

By Romina Maurino, The Canadian Press
TORONTO – Liberal Leader Dalton McGuinty is defending his party’s plans to erect hundreds of wind turbines in the province amid new concerns about the health risks involved for those who live near the giant windmills. “The science in fact is there,” McGuinty said Thursday during a campaign stop at a Toronto hospital.

“We’ve also funded a university chair so that we can conduct our own longitudinal study here in Ontario, in addition to those that have been conducted in other parts of the world, to make sure we’re being safe. It’s really important that we rely on the science.”

McGuinty’s comments come after a report that the province’s Ministry of the Environment received hundreds of complaints over negative health effects of the turbines, which it downplayed.

A southwestern Ontario family also announced this week it was suing over a wind farm they claimed was damaging their health, saying they have suffered vertigo, nausea and sleep disruption because of the Kent Breeze wind farm.

The wind farm began operating in May and includes eight turbines, the closest of which is 1,146 metres from the Michaud’s property.

The lawsuit comes a week after another southwestern Ontario couple went to court saying they were being blocked in their efforts to determine if wind turbines cause any adverse health effects.

The Liberals also faced some criticism while visiting eastern Ontario for the annual plowing match on Tuesday, especially from farmers who live near the windmills and complain of a range of health problems they associate with the energy projects.

McGuinty acknowledged the controversy that day, but said there were also many farmers who had applied to earn extra cash from the government’s generous payments for wind and solar power by applying for their own green energy projects.

The Liberal leader spent much of last week touting green jobs, but mostly visited solar panel plants, not wind turbine makers. The only exception was a stop at the CS Wind plant in Windsor, which makes wind turbine towers.

Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak has promised a moratorium on wind turbines and has said he’d allow local municipalities to have a say over such projects.

“I think Dalton McGuinty’s policies of forcing industrial wind turbines like pins in a pin cushion across the province is wrongheaded,” said Hudak.

“I think it’s causing damage to communities and it’s awfully expensive, driving up our hydro bills.”

The New Democrats have yet to take a clear position on wind turbines, but leader Andrea Horwath said she hasn’t been waffling on the issue.

“We’ve been very clear that we are supportive of renewable energy and adding new renewable energy to our grid,” she said.

“But where I think the Liberals have fumbled the ball quite seriously is in cutting out community from the discussion, and I think this is why we’re in such a bad situation.”

Horwath said she wasn’t “particularly convinced” that wind turbines made people sick, adding “it’s not something that the medical evidence is showing.”

“But I’m not to judge, I don’t live beside a wind turbine, I don’t have one on my property,” she said.

“I’m sympathetic to the fact that every human experiences things in a different way.”

McGuinty made his comments while promising an expansion project for Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto,which will include the renovation of the emergency ward and a new surgical suite with 19 operating rooms.

He used the hospital stop, which was one of several this week, to attack the Progressive Conservatives’ health record, saying they cut funding to that particular hospital by $12.5 million a year when Mike Harris was premier.

The Tories shot back, saying that between 1995 and 2003 the party increased Mount Sinai’s budget by $78 million or 69 per cent.

The party has also promised to boost health-care spending by $6.1 billion if elected.

McGuinty, they said, “needs to stop lying to Ontario families” by claiming the PCs would cut investments in health care.

18 thoughts on “McGuinty stands by wind turbines amid new concerns about health effects

  1. “But where I think the Liberals have fumbled the ball quite seriously is in cutting out community from the discussion, and I think this is why we’re in such a bad situation.”
    C’MON ANDREA, ARE YOU SERIOUS? DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE PEOPLE WOULD NOT GET SICK IF THE COMMMUNITY WERE CONSULTED? GIVE ME A BREAK!
    WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THESE POLITICIANS?
    Horwath said she wasn’t “particularly convinced” that wind turbines made people sick, adding “it’s not something that the medical evidence is showing.”
    BECAUSE ANDREA WON’T ACKNOWLEDGE THE REAMS OF INFO BY HEALTH PROFESSIONALS EITHER. UNBELIEVABLE!
    “But I’m not to judge, I don’t live beside a wind turbine, I don’t have one on my property,” she said.
    “I’m sympathetic to the fact that every human experiences things in a different way.”
    AND HURL ONE MORE CONDESCENDING INSULT JUST TO FINISH THE JOB….

  2. And if you do consult the community — will the wind blow harder and more reliably?

    This is a lot of trouble for very little power — and unreliable power at that!

    http://ontariowindperformance.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/chapter-3-1-powering-ontario/

    The word that most often comes to mind when contemplating wind turbines is — worthless!

    If the wind turbines were judged by normal standards of value, cost and with Ontario would not leave one wind turbine standing.

    We need to elect a government that will cancel the FIT program, ban new installations and remove the current fleet.

    Sell the wind turbines for SCRAP.

    Ask your MPP if they will commit to scrapping the entire fleet of wind turbines!

    • Everyone should experience especially members of the Liberal Pary, to go and live in a wind farm and experience what they say is safe. I have personally experienced being in
      a home in the wind farm, and I thought I was having a heart attack and had to leave right away, once away from the turbines my symptons disappeared. Dr Arlene King does not know what she is talking about, either that or she is lying.
      Carbon credits are bunk, one volcano and we have the carbon in the air again, 2nd we are not in global warming it was made up on a computer in Anglesey England. Read the Cloak of Green. This is a money maker for a lot of people.

  3. According to CBC news, when asked about the evidence from the documents Wilkinson throws his own employees under the bus.
    Wilkinson “insists at senior levels he is confident with the safeguards that are in place regardless of what his field agents are saying.”
    Uhhh.. geez, thanks boss. Nothing like support from the top.

    • The Liberals are attempting to confuse the public. They are strongly denying that they plan on implementing a carbon tax, and all the while, they have been working for years to enact a cap and trade system. If cap and trade is such a good idea, Mr. McGuinty should have included it in his campaign platform and received a mandate from Ontarians to proceed with this legislation. Here is an excellent Youtube video of John Wilkinson explaining how the McGuinty Liberals are proud to be part of the Western Climate Initiative and how they plan on implementing cap and trade in Ontario.

      • Please note that this John Wilkinson video was uploaded on Sept. 19, 2011 – last week! Funny Dalton McGuinty hasn’t included cap and trade in his campaign and is being so coy when asked about it.

  4. “It’s really important that we rely on the science.”
    Get some. How about relying on your citizens? There is point blank an issue. The MOE is a dead branch of the government.

  5. McGuinty’s approach to imposing wind turbines into your community is the same approach that he used for SMART Meters…..You have no say…You will get them …..regardless of whether you want them or not…

    McGuinty….Our say is coming Oct 6th…Dipstick….

  6. I wonder if any of those politicians, or even the senior bureaucrats, have actually read the King literature review that they are all quoting, and followed through to her references. I have, and her report has nothing to do with science and everything to do with providing political cover. Details at http://windfarmrealities.org/?p=535.

    More importantly, people with more gravitas than I have also savaged this report. The Society for Wind Vigilance wrote a lengthy critique and John Harrison has also chimed in – links to these are at the above-linked posting.

  7. “The Liberals also faced some criticism while visiting eastern Ontario for the annual plowing match on Tuesday, especially from farmers who live near the windmills and complain of a range of health problems they associate with the energy projects.

    McGuinty acknowledged the controversy that day, but said there were also many farmers who had applied to earn extra cash from the government’s generous payments for wind and solar power by applying for their own green energy projects…

    McGuinty made his comments while promising an expansion project for Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto,which will include the renovation of the emergency ward and a new surgical suite with 19 operating rooms.”

    Only one thing speaks to this man… GREEN MONEY!!!
    For buy outs, pay offs, bribes and empty promises..

    No wonder his NGO’s are footing his bash campaigns.
    Where will they be without him?

  8. Sometimes despite Horvath, even the NDP candidates understand. This from Durham Riding in Scugog:

    http://www.durhamregion.com/news/article/1107673–green-is-the-way-to-go-say-durham-riding-hopefuls

    Instead, continued Mr. Terry, the NDP would “fully endorse” the use of renewable sources such as solar and wind power, as long as residents have a say in where such power generators end up in their community.

    “Nobody wants to open their door and find a wind farm in their backyard,” he said.

    Welcome to NIMBYland, Sir!

    • While that is a welcome sentiment, the phrase “have a say” could mean lots of different things to different people, kind of like “consult” apparently does.

  9. What ‘new concerns about health effects’? They appear to be the same health concerns, recycled. MA, your headlines continue to reach a little too far.

    • Not my headline. Taken directly from the source. Haven’t you got some kittens to torture or something, Mark?

    • Reaching???? When are you going to live next door to to an IWT. You can shack up with other corporate wind execs like Randi from NRWC ….you can split the property value loss. Did I mention you are a liar and a cad.

  10. I love it. The wind industry getting nervous before an election. A good sign.

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