Toronto Star letter
In the early stages of wind energy development, governments had no experience to guide them, so the Ontario government based its Green Energy Act on specious assumptions: turbines could be safely sited near residences and migration flyways, and they would have no adverse effects on property values.
But now governments are realizing that they were mistaken. Experience shows that proximity to the turbines is hazardous to human health and to wildlife, and causes significant property value diminution.
Several governments are establishing safer setbacks for today’s larger turbines. Leaders in parts of Europe, Australia and the United States are recognizing that turbines must be at least 2 kilometres from home sites, and some countries forbid turbines near important bird areas.
On Feb. 22 CTV reported that the Grey-Bruce Medical Officer of Health found a clear association between wind turbine proximity and human health issues, while that same day in another newspaper the president of the Canadian Wind Industry Association trumpeted the benefits of wind power.
And when the Ontario government recently approved a wind factory at Ostrander Point in Ontario’s busiest migration flyway, Nature Canada supported an appeal by local naturalists trying to protect this important habitat.
Kathleen Wynne and her colleagues were once enthralled by the wind industry’s promises. Will Wynne now recognize the truth about the turbines? Will she direct her ministers to amend the Green Energy Act, or will she merely ask them to “have a conversation” about it?
Jim McPherson, Milford