Wind farms hit sour note with Canada’s Songbird

Chronicle Herald
Anne Murray wishes a proposed wind farm in the Pugwash area would fly away because the wings it would spread are anything but tiny.  Canada’s Songbird has written Premier Darrell Dexter asking him to halt the proposed $85-million project, which would be about three kilometres from her summer home.  “Pugwash is simply the wrong place for this,” Murray said in an interview Tuesday from her home in Jupiter, Fla.

Pugwash Wind Farm Inc. wants to install 11 or 12 turbines, which would generate up to 33 megawatts of electricity, on a site about two kilometres east of Pugwash. Construction could begin in 2013.

The singing legend, who spends three or four months a year in the area, said she fears the wind project would hurt tourism and the area’s popularity as a retirement area.

“If you put up a wind farm, you’ll take away the very thing that these people are escaping from,” Murray said.

“These things ….. are an eyesore, in my opinion. In an area like this, I think they would be a blight on the coastline and a terrible detriment to the economy.”

A top-notch celebrity golfer, Murray also expresses concern in the letter about the development’s possible impact on the Northumberland Links course.

A local group called the Gulf Shore Preservation Association, of which Murray is a member, has opposed the project.

The 66-year-old Nova Scotian said she shares the association’s concern about an environmental assessment on the project that the developer filed with the Environment Department earlier this month.

The group asked Environment Minister Sterling Belliveau to halt a public consultation because of concerns the developer hadn’t provided enough information on the proposed project.

The department said the assessment did comply with its guidelines and the review would continue.

The Premier’s Office referred inquiries Tuesday about Murray’s letter to the Environment Department.

A department spokeswoman said the letter will be included in the public feedback that Belliveau considers before deciding whether to grant the necessary permits for the project.

Developer Charles Demond couldn’t be reached Tuesday for comment on the singer’s remarks.

He has said the project, which has been in the works for more than seven years, has been revised based on community feedback.

“Many people agree with us that we now have a great project that everyone should be happy to see move ahead,” Demond said in a written statement last week.

The changes have included reducing the size of the project, which originally called for 27 turbines, and increasing setbacks.

The developer says wind turbines will now be at least 1.2 kilometres from shore and two kilometres from the golf course. Most cottages will be more than 1,000 metres from the nearest tower and all of the structures are more than 600 metres from homes, the minimum setback required by municipal bylaw.

A spokesman for the residents group said members appreciate Murray’s support.

“She’s a stakeholder and has a longtime interest in the area,” said Dick Gray, the association’s treasurer.

The singer has been spending summers in the area since she was a child because her late parents also had a cottage in the area, Gray said.

25 thoughts on “Wind farms hit sour note with Canada’s Songbird

  1. We need someone like Anne Murray to join the cause. It’s not just the area she spends time in that is threatened. Hope this goes further

    • p;

      She lives in Thornhill. I remember doing some work for her about 30yrs. ago. Nice lady. I sent her an email asking for some help here in Ontario. Will wait and see.

      • We’ll take all the help we can get … but …

        There are plenty of places in Nova Scotia where IWTs are wrong for all the same reasons stated by Ms. Murray … but Canada’s Songbird only starts to squawk when the problem threatens her own backyard.

        Why is it that celebrities (Hello Margaret Attwood!) don’t say squat until they feel the need to save their own butts?

        For that reason, decision makers seem to ignore the pleas of the rich and famous (the Kennedys of Baston and Cape Cad, for instance), and take pleasure in chucking their letters of complaint into file 13.

        Greg, I hope Miss Anne takes you up on your request … we’ve been waiting for her help for four years.

  2. “Many people agree with us that we now have a great project that everyone should be happy to see move ahead,” Demond said in a written statement last week.
    Why don’t we see the names of these “many” people. I highly doubt they outweigh in number those opposed.

  3. Here is her reply:

    Thank you Greg and yes, I am very much aware of what’s going on in Ontario. However, I have as much as I can handle with this Pugwash project.

    For more information about Anne, her music and best-selling autobiography, ‘All of Me,’ please visit her website at

    ****maybe others could write her******

    • I also wrote her last night. She responded and we had three good emails each way. But the bottom line is that she feels she has all she can do with the Pugwash project at the moment.

      It is surprising however how one often starts because of a particular project and then comes on board against turbines in general as one learns more. I wouldn’t totally abandon hope – but I don’t think Ontario is in her sights right now.

      • A Canadian icon, just like Margaret Atwood. Why don’t these two women make a mark of their generation and truly expose this industrialization of rural Canada.

      • Someone should tell Michelle Wright to visit her hometown of Merlin in Chatham-Kent to see the devastation the wind scam has caused…maybe some celebrity will see the injustice.

      • It won’t come as a surprise to anyone, but almost all celebrities are left wingers, supporters of the Liberals, NDP and Green Party. Most celebs also purport to be “environmentalists” as it looks good on their resumes and promotes their feel-good vibe to the masses.
        When was the last time any artist of any kind had anything positive to say about any kind of Conservative or right wing initiative? I thought so.

        For that reason, they tend to remain silent and suck it up for the “greater good”, until the perceived threat becomes close and personal and they are finally forced out of the closet.

        Don’t hold your breath waiting for celebrities to do the right thing for you.

  4. It’s a big story!
    Anne Murray, Tim Hortons’ magnate Ron Joyce tee off over wind farm

    Almost every year from July to October, Canadian music legend Anne Murray returns to picturesque Pugwash, N.S.,
    where she spent her summers as a child.

    She practises her swing at the local first-class golf course and marvels at the way the little place
    she’d visit to attend church on Sundays has blossomed into a tourist destination —
    a jewel along the Northumberland Strait.

    Nearby is Fox Harb’r, the luxury golf course and resort owned by Tim Hortons’ magnate Ron Joyce, another kid from Nova Scotia’s northwestern shore made good.

    Now, the area’s two most celebrated icons are publicly disagreeing over wind turbine construction
    in the area after the Snowbird singer publicly spoke out
    against a 12-turbine wind farm proposed for two kilometres outside Pugwash.

    As a focal region for the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) in Nova Scotia, the Pugwash River Estuary i
    s a mixture of forest and marsh that borders some of the most sought-after ocean front property in Nova Scotia.
    As a prime habitat for waterfowl ranging from Canada geese to green-winged teals,
    Pugwash is truly a spectacular and valuable preserve.

    • Just in case you missed it………….

      My favourite coffee!
      – ever had a ‘Fabulous Coffee’ from MacDonald’s?
      Maybe – you should try one?

      Mr. Joyce, who was born in nearby Tatamagouche, N.S., and invested in the first Tim Hortons doughnut shop in 1964
      and built it into an international chain, said he’s unfazed by wind farm concerns in a province that already has 26 wind farm projects,
      according to the Canadian Wind Energy Association.

      “I am aware of Anne’s ongoing negative comments on wind farms,” he said in an email to the National Post.

      “I personally am not a supporter of her argument. [T]he world is moving forward for a better source than fossil fuels….

      I see no major negatives in countries that have them.”

      Her letter comes just weeks after the province registered an assessment of the Pugwash Wind Farm,

      to be developed by North Cumberland Wind Farm LP. Ms. Murray and the Gulf Shore Preservation Association, a local citizens’ group,

      are worried the province accepted an incomplete environmental assessment that failed to carry out archeological,
      bat and migratory bird studies and first nations consultations.

      They say five of the turbines will be built in wetlands — a “clear contravention” of the province’s environmental laws, Ms. Murray said.

      • Joyce does not care about Horton’s anymore , he sold it off for $640000000.00
        But your right, McDonalds has better coffee, not to mention the refill.

      • The Tim Horton story is a sad one –
        Mr. Joyce’s stand on ‘wind farms’ should not come as a surprise to anyone.

        – yeah – MacDonald’s coffee is superb!

      • This is to advise that on Monday February 6, 2012, North Cumberland Wind Farm LP registered the Pugwash Wind Farm for environmental assessment, in accordance with Part IV of the Environment Act.

        The purpose of the proposed undertaking is to develop 12 wind turbines to generate up to 33 MW of power on lands approximately 2 Km to the east of the Village of Pugwash in Cumberland County.

    • The Nature Conservancy of Canada is one of the few ENGOs that have remained focused on their mandate: to acquire and manage sensitive or threatened lands across the country. In that regard, they have done a commendable if outstanding job.

      They continue to keep their nose to the grindstone and, for better or worse, have chosen not to enter into the IWT debate, either for or against.

      You will notice, however, that under “Threats to the Pugwash Estuary”, they cannot bring themselves to mention IWTs by name, but rather, refer to all threats as “development”.
      This strategy seems to be working. NCC continues to get their government funding and private donations … and their conservation efforts are moving along quite nicely. And maybe more importantly, NCC has not been pilloried for being in lockstep with the usual greenscam suspects such as Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Suzuki, Pembina Institute, etc.

      For NCC, not having a phony “green” agenda has paid off big time.

      • Hey ScepticalGord,
        yeah – just saints!!!!

        All together now –
        ‘Oh when the saints – (you now the rest)
        Oh wait – where’s my cigar?

      • “A woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a smoke”

  5. Anne is no different than most of us; except of course she has the gift of a beautiful voice! In general, the majority of people look after their own little world for what ever reasons. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone cared about everyone else? Perhaps time and energy is a big factor; also ignorance.
    I came into this world with nothing and I will leave this world with nothing, just like you. Rich and famous; black or white – any support we can get is alright with me.
    Thanks Anne.

  6. We can probably help her with her fight more than she can help us.

    Everyone needs to stop thinking that “their” project is in the wrong place. ALL wind projects are in the wrong place!

    We need to start looking at the bigger picture if we are going to make any headway.

    • Absolutely OWR. Any assistance that anyone/group can get will in turn assist the entire cause. Some may be criticize and say that it takes the threat of Turbines to wake people up. Maybe it does. Most people don’t speak out on anything unless they feel threatened by it, others join the battle regardless of personal interest. A battle won is a battle won, a victory for ALL. Hopefully Ontario will win its battle….I should say Ontario WILL win the battle.Anne may be battling in Pugwash, but her opinions have been heard everywhere,and that helps everyone that is fighting. You are right Crazy train,she is just like everyone else. She is fighting the same cause as people all over the world. We have had several emails back and forth today. I have given her many resources that she may find helpful and that can link her to many more.She is very grateful for the information. One email she sent said in part ” I have been bashed all day “…….” really nice to meet a new friend “. So there you go, our Canadian Icon has feelings just like the rest of us. Anne has helped us a lot with her statement on Pugwash.
      Thanks Anne
      …..hopefully soon we will all be free as a dove…..

  7. Im not on face book,but if Anne Murry would put something up with Lisa Thompsons 1000 letters required then another avenue is opened to the world and back to OWR…spread the web,tangle and stop the ITW’s

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