By J.C. Sulzenko, Ottawa Citizen
Re: Farm Federation wants block on wind power, Jan. 21 and Federal wind turbine rules coming, Jan. 18. Ministers in the federal cabinet should pay close attention to the well-reasoned and well-informed call from the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) for a moratorium on wind power development in the province. The federal minister of health is said to be developing “voluntary” national guidelines for wind farms that match closely Ontario’s model, which is a poor one, indeed.
The OFA demands key issues be addressed before another turbine is erected. They include human health and noise impacts, safe setbacks, municipal involvement in decision making, storage capacity for turbine-generated electricity, and community divisiveness. To their list, I would add an overarching concern: how such wind farms affect the health of the environment, particularly in environmentally sensitive areas, such as along the shore of Lake Ontario. Study after study shows how turbines kill many local and migratory wildlife, some of which are species at risk.
The federal and Ontario governments seem not to see the forest of wind turbines for the trees. Provincial and national efforts should align to put wind energy developments in their rightful place – somewhere that does not jeopardize human, environmental and community health.
J.C. Sulzenko, Ottawa