Thamesville family impacted by wind turbines tells Lambton to act now

By Heather Wright, Sarnia This Week
GRAND BEND – Until a few months ago, Lisa Michaud didn’t know who ‘MOE’ was. The Thamesville woman and her family have gotten to know MOE – also known as the Ministry of the Environment – as they deal with the government agency because of the impacts of living beside industrial wind turbines.  Michaud, who recently spoke to a crowd of over 300 people in Grand Bend, suffers from severe headaches and vertigo – conditions which started after four industrial turbines were set up by Kent Breeze and Suncor near the family’s rural home.

Her son, Josh, is also affected. He used to work in construction on roofs but can’t anymore because of the dizziness he experiences. “It’s like there is a constant ringing in my ears,” he says comparing it to coming out of a really loud concert.

Michaud says the turbines are also having an impact on the family’s goats, which for unexplained reasons, refuse to go into their shelter at night and don’t sleep. And the animals have had a number of false pregnancies – the first time they’ve had significant problems with their flock.

Michaud says after she became ill, a representative from Suncor came to their farm to talk to her but made it seem “none of this was real and no one else in the province was experience this.”

Michaud asked Suncor to turn the turbines off for a while, so they could determine if the whooshing sounds were actually the source of their health problems. Suncor refused.

The company did offer to help the family find another place to live, saying “special people” will buy properties next to wind turbines.

Even if Michaud would leave, she doubts Suncor could find a place in southern Ontario which isn’t impacted by wind turbines. “There soon will be no place for us to go.”

The Michauds are now suing Kent Breeze and Suncor for $1.5 million for their health problems and are working with wind action groups to make people aware of some of the problems they may face. In Lambton Shores alone there are plans for about 250 wind turbines.

“I wish we would have done a little more when they (Suncor) first came to our area,” says Josh. “Don’t be afraid to speak up,” adds his mother.

17 thoughts on “Thamesville family impacted by wind turbines tells Lambton to act now

  1. “special people” will buy properties next to wind turbines.” – Yeah, and it’s called big wind companies who will pay next a small percentage of what your property is worth and then put up more turbines.

    • Interesting comment. A lot of talk and speculation regarding the next 20 years. What follows the next 20 years?. Will the current structures be replaced were they stand? Will they be decommissioned and the land returned to farming? Will new areas be sought out for Turbines? Will the entire industry be scrapped by then? I am just not hearing what the industry has planned beyond 20 years. What I do know is that there will be a lot of farmland for sale. As I understand it (correct me if I am wrong) Wind company’s have first rights to lands leased. Leases are owned by foreign entities, fronted by company’s in Canada ( hiding ownership…something about competitive edge ).

      The farmland that we (world-wide) have, is what we have. Farmland does not just grow. As the world population grows, farmland decreases. Currently many country’s are buying farmland anywhere that they can. The food produced is then exported to the homeland. The same is happening with fresh water supplies. We need two things for survival, water and food, together they allow us to be healthy. We should be concerned about land rights given to the Wind industry. Turbines in their own right are not healthy, if we loose our food supply, we face catastrophic health problems leading to starvation and death.

      • In 20 years the IWTs will either be replaced (unlikely do to changing technology) or left to rot where they stand due to the high cost of removal (the more likely scenario).

        Companies, corporations, businesses and even governments, rarely return to the scene of the crime to clean up their mess. They go bankrupt, change their names, get bought out, move to a different country, get unelected, whatever reason it takes to absolve themselves of their responsibilities.

        Sceptical? … Google “abandoned wind turbines”. How many former mining sites get rehabilitated? Military sites (Foymount), ordnance (Lake Ontario)? Decrepit roadside billboards for businesses long gone? Dilapidated warehouses and factories?

        Yup, in 20 years Ontario will be a mess. There will be less farmland, a lack of local produce and more people, many looking for a place to live or vacation away from Industrial Wind Turbines.

        Those responsible for all of this will be in denial, in hiding or deceased.

  2. I agree that these “special people” will be wind companies, or representatives for the wind companies under other names. And, they may well pay the “price” just to get you out…. And, then (wind company) will show there are no people having health problems… Because… you have left and they can show that the homes near wind turbines aren’t affected. Because no one in that home is complaining or brought that to the health department… The fact that it’s (your former home) is now empty never comes out.

  3. I will NEVER sell my abutting property for just that reason Donna. It will stand there, proud, to be an abandoned home and give testament to the destuction and devastation of rural Ontario that was facilitated by our own rural municipalities who voluteered their impotence and the bully tactics by government of Ontario. I will make sure to place a bronze plaque by the road so that all who pass by can be reminded of what happens when complacency and indifference is tolerated and allowed to rule in your town.

    • That’s what scares me so much about rural residents who say, “I don’t really have an opinion one way or the other about turbines.”

      That’s worse than the Torontoites who say that we’re just complaining because of Nimbyism.

      We have to wake the complacent people up, because by the time the turbines are in THEIR backyard, it’s too late and another opportunity is lost.

  4. Mr.Michaud and his son did some construction work for me last year. They seem like good honest working people, down to earth. The area I live in also has Turbines, since thy have started up I also have Tinnitus and four months ago vertigo, The doctors can’t seem to find a cause. I am not the only one. I have spoken to numerous people in the Dealtown area that have had vertigo. My question is, what is going on here? What the liberals are doing is borderline criminal endangering people’s health just to line their pockest with offshore cash.

    • Oldman,
      I am sorry that you too have been affected. There are unknown #’s of you.
      Suggest you can contact – ethical health professionals who you can talk to in confidence.
      This is negligence pure and simple.

  5. Letter to the editor sent.

    From your recent news story: Thamesville family impacted by wind turbines tells Lambton to act now.

    The Michauds should be applauded for standing up to the Provincial government and all of the deceit and corruption that surrounds the industrial wind turbine issue in Ontario.

    In my area there has also been many complaints. All of these complaints have simply been dismissed or ignored. People are having serious health problems.

    The government does not have any legitimate system to deal with these problems. Nor has the government made any legitimate efforts to properly investigate. The exact opposite has occurred. The Provincial government intentionally created meaningless laws which they never had any intention of enforcing.

    Some internal MOE documents have recently been obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. One of the document states exactly:
    “There is currently no scientifically accepted field methodology to measure wind turbine noise to determine compliance or to determine non compliance with Certificate of Approval limits.”
    This is only a single example. The list of these types of fallacious regulations is endless.

    The wind industry is operating outside of the law. The Provincial government not only refuses to do anything about it they intentionally created this situation.

    David Libby
    Ridgetown, ON

  6. I’m careful on how to interpret these health claims against wind because I’m afraid that it could distract someone from other reasons that may be producing symptoms.
    Black mould, allergies, leukemia, heart disease etc all have similar symptoms to what people describe when it comes to IWT’s.
    All I’m saying is, make sure you rule out all other possibilties before blaming a wind turbine.
    I know of a family who had insomnia, headaches, sore throat, dizziness, and lethargy. The talk for a whole year was that it was the wind project a mile away but luckily a contractor friend of theirs took one sniff as she entered the house and diagnosed black mould. It’s a typical problem in old houses in rural areas, especially near the lakes. They spent $30000 on cleaning up the mould and sure enough, they have never felt better. They figure that they have lived this way for over 3 years!!
    I’m not trying to lessen the wind victims stories but please, explore all possible causes before blaming the obvious.

    • Competent doctors are able to diagnose mold/fungus related illnesses since, as you say, this is common in old rural houses which is true. Rural people have a much greater exposure to mold/fungus than urban people do.
      Some people do have allergic reactions to mold/fungus as in antibiotics but mold likely to cause respiratory illness as well due to inhaling the mold spores. Some people are allergic to the green mold on citrus fruit.
      Am suggesting that there is a different set of symptoms for mold illnesses than for wind turbine syndrome illnesses.

      • And some people might be unlucky enough to suffer from both mold and wind turbine syndrome at the same time. There are lab tests for mold related illnesses. Having both will compound the health problems.

  7. Rodger, Are you suggesting that everyone in my neighborhood developed problems with black mould, allergies, leukemia, heart disease etc on the exact same day the wind turbines started to operate? It is not just my neighborhood. It is the entire wind farm area. And every wind farm in Ontario.
    Please review the following documents:

    Re: Wind Turbine Health Impact Study: Report of Independent Expert Panel
    Author: Krogh, Carmen
    Health, Massachusetts, Noise

    Wind Turbine Health Impact Study Is Junk Science
    Author: Hartman, Raymond
    Health, Massachusetts, Noise

    Pragmatic view of a wind turbine noise standard
    Author: Dickinson, Philip
    Health, New Zealand, Noise, Regulations

    Why is sharp-limited low-frequency noise extremely annoying?
    Author: Krahé, Detlef
    Health, Noise

    Re: Ministry of the Environment Media Release “Expert Report Confirms No Direct Health Effects from Wind Turbines”
    Author: Gillespie, Eric
    Health, Law, Ontario

    McPherson Study: The Infrasound Smoking Gun
    Author: Gulden, Wayne
    Health, Noise

    Wind Turbines and Proximity to Homes: The Impact of Wind Turbine Noise on Health
    Health, Human rights, Noise, U.K.

    Response to HGC Literature Review
    Author: Harrison, John
    Health, Noise, Ontario, Regulations

    Unvarnished Truth: Shirley Wind Project Health Impacts
    Author: Forest Voice
    Health, Videos, Wisconsin

    Nina Pierpont interviews acoustician Stephen Ambrose
    Author: Pierpont, Nina
    Health, Noise, Videos

    Bruce McPherson Infrasound and Low Frequency Noise Study
    Author: Ambrose, Stephen; and Rand, Robert
    Health, Noise

    Summary of new evidence: Adverse health effects and industrial wind turbines, August 2011
    Author: Krogh, Carmen; and Horner, Brett

    Letter from Vestas worried about regulation of low-frequency noise
    Author: Engel, Ditlev
    Denmark, Health, Noise

    Re Acciona’s Waubra Wind Farm, Victoria, Australia
    Author: Stepnell, Samantha
    Australia, Health

    Explicit cautionary notice to those responsible for wind turbine siting decisions
    Author: Waubra Foundation
    Australia, Health

    Wind turbine noise: why accurate prediction and measurement matter
    Author: Thorne, Robert; and Shepherd, Daniel
    Health, Noise

    Wind Turbines Make Waves: Why Some Residents Near Wind Turbines Become Ill
    Author: Havas, Magda; and Colling, David

    Wind power controversy
    Author: May, Murray
    Health, Noise

    Wind power and ecology
    Author: Whisson, Max
    Environment, Health, Impacts, Noise, Wildlife

    Dynamic measurements of wind turbine acoustic signals, employing sound quality engineering methods considering the time and frequency sensitivities of human perception
    Author: Bray, Wade; and James, Richard
    Health, Michigan, Noise

    Learning from Evidence of Sound Experienced from Wind Turbines
    Author: Palmer, William
    Health, Noise, Ontario

    Nina Pierpont interviews Falmouth, Mass., wind turbine syndrome victims — September 2011
    Author: Pierpont, Nina
    Health, Massachusetts, Noise, Videos

    Evaluating the impact of wind turbine noise on health-related quality of life
    Author: Shepherd, Daniel; McBride, David; Welch, David; Dirks, Kim; and Hill, Erin
    Health, New Zealand, Noise, Siting

    Adverse health effects of industrial wind turbines: a preliminary report
    Author: Nissenbaum, Michael; Aramini, Jeff; and Hanning, Chris
    Health, Maine, Massachusetts, Noise

    Complaint against the UK in re: UN Convention on Persons with Disabilities
    Author: Watson, George
    Health, Human rights, Law, U.K.

    An Ordinance to Impose a Temporary Stay on Construction of Large Wind Energy Systems in the Town of Holland
    Author: Town Board, Holland, Wis.
    Health, Ordinances, Wisconsin

    Two more Australian rural doctors express concerns about health problems with poorly sited wind turbines
    Author: Laurie, Sarah
    Australia, Health, Noise

    Wind Turbines Can Be Bad For Your Health
    Author: Juby, Bernard
    Health, Noise, Regulations, U.K.

    No Safe Place: McMurtry on industrial wind
    Author: McMurtry, Robert
    Health, Ontario, Videos

    Why pro-wind studies often use a 10 km radius
    Author: Salt, Alec
    Health, Property values

    Noise, Including Industrial Wind Turbines, and Adverse Health Effects
    Author: Krogh, Carmen
    Health, Noise

    Wind turbine noise and health: Special issue of Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society
    Author: Various
    Health, Human rights, Noise

    Properly Interpreting the Epidemiologic Evidence about the Health Effects of Industrial Wind Turbines on Nearby Residents
    Author: Phillips, Carl
    Health, Human rights

    Critique of The Real Truth About Wind Energy
    Author: Gulden, Wayne
    Canada, Economics, Emissions, Environment, Health, Impacts, Noise, Ontario, Regulations, Wildlife

    Explicit cautionary notice to those responsible for wind turbine siting decisions
    Author: Waubra Foundation
    Australia, Health, Siting

    Recommended Update of Sample Zoning for Wind Energy Systems
    Author: MacMillan, William; Punch, Jerry; and Rosenman, Kenneth
    Health, Michigan, Noise, Ordinances, Regulations, Safety

    Wind Turbine Noise 2011 – List of Papers
    Author: Wind Turbine Noise 2011
    Health, Noise, Regulations, Technology

    Social and Economic Impact of Rural Wind Farms
    Author: Australia Senate Community Affairs References Committee
    Australia, Health, Human rights, Noise

  8. David,
    No I’m not saying that these symptoms all developed the day the wind farms started operating. What I do mean is that if someone have health problems, one shouldn’t automatically assume that its due to a wind turbine. It could be due to other coincidental reasons. People develop health problems all the time and sometimes may coincide with a wind farm construction.
    Like I said before, if you are having problems, explore all possible sources before presuming it’s due to one thing or another. A doctor would give you the same advice.

    • Rogerdodger:

      Your above comment is the very reason people get baseline medicals before turbines become operational. Your comment is a good reminder!

      • Hello there! Just for the record. Our house is only six years old… Built by us… With love in our hearts and the sweat of our brow! We have checked and double checked… We have no natural gas or propane spuing CO2… Because we beat with hydro and woos! We all began feeling sick over time..not all at once… I didn’t start rolling on the floor in pain the minute they flicked the switch… The only thing that changed in our environment were the turbines. We have invited and would like nothing better then Dalton mcguinty or any of his specialist check us out! We have practically begged our own doctors to test us but the answer is still the same there is no identifiable reason we should e sick other than what we believe to be obviouse. We are normal everyday people who want to get on with our lives and enjoy our home but we can’t until the government changes the rules! Until then it lies within our Canadian rights to protect ourselves!
        Wouldn’t you?

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