The Ottawa Citizen October 3, 2009
I wish to express my grave concerns with the passing of Ontario’s Green Energy Act. No matter where anyone buys a home, if it is near agricultural land, there is no guarantee that this land will not be used to erect industrial wind turbines more than 400 feet high, a mere 550 metres from the centre of your home, and residents are now powerless to prevent such an unwanted intrusion.
The green energy guidelines and regulations are still so incomplete that no government agency is even able to base them on peer-reviewed scientific or medical evidence to back up their unproven claim that there are no negative health impacts from these setback distances due to inaudible ultra-low-frequency sound or stray voltage.
However, there are already many victims across Ontario who have been forced out of their homes to prevent further health deterioration who would argue otherwise.
Wind-industry proponents are hasty to say that property values may even increase thanks to local wind turbines, yet the federal Library of Parliament contains a document stating “there is evidence that both the visual and noise pollution do have an economic impact in the form of lowered property values.” It would, therefore, become impossible to sell one’s home at a fair price to afford to buy elsewhere. Some families have already had to swallow this unforeseen financial kick-in-the-face and attempt a new life elsewhere with emptied pockets.
To make matters even more alarming, wind industry proponents state that the industry as a whole stimulates the economy. This, in spite of their own admission that the taxpayers who generously provide their subsidies will also be expected to pay more than double for their electricity costs once wind turbines become firmly established in Ontario. Hydro One is now attempting to gain the go-ahead from the Ontario Energy Board to raise the delivery portion of hydro bills by 9.5 per cent in 2010 and again in 2011 by 13 per cent, even though George Smitherman stated last February that the increase will only be one per cent annually. And how will our economy be stimulated by causing reduced property values which, in North Gower alone, are conservatively estimated to drop by $50 million?
As if that isn’t already enough to grab our attention, some North Gower residents are surprised that people looking to purchase homes in their community are not able to get all the facts, either from local government, their own real estate agents, or the wind developer, and as a result they are resorting to contact residents to glean more information on the plans for this area before considering a purchase.
The public, myself included, strongly favours true green energy initiatives. McGuinty promises to shut down coal-fired power stations thanks to the power generated by industrial wind turbines, but in Germany and Denmark (two of Europe’s biggest wind-energy producers), not one single coal-fired power station has been shut down as a result of wind energy. So, what’s the point?
The Liberals’ message to us all seems to be that we should no longer choose to live in the country, yet we should expect to pay significantly higher bills.
Clearly, Energy Minister George Smitherman and Premier Dalton McGuinty have not done their math homework and are banking on the public’s gullibility in believing that somehow, in spite of the mounting evidence, our lifestyles are still improved and that wind energy is clean and free.
Leslie Chandler, North Gower