Grey Bruce locals to join rally at Queen’s Park

Posted By Bill Henry  Owen Sound Sun Times

About 40 local wind farm opponents planned to be among some 400 people rallying today at Queen’s Park to stall wind turbine development in Ontario until health questions are answered.

The 7:30 a.m. bus from Chatsworth and other Grey County stops is the second trip to Toronto for Lorrie Gillis to support a Conservative motion raising concerns about health and wind turbines.

The Ontario Progressive Conservative caucus was to introduce a motion today seeking a moratorium on further wind farms and a comprehensive study of the health and environmental consequences of living near the turbines, according to information Gillis said MPP Randy Hillier circulated by e-mail.

PC Leader Tim Hudak’s office also sent out a release Tuesday afternoon. It said the Ontario PC caucus was to introduce a motion calling on the Liberal government to restore planning authority to Ontario municipalities so no industrial wind farm can be imposed on a community that does not want one.

Hudak’s release said nothing about researching the health issues surrounding wind turbines.

“Municipalities across Ontario have expressed economic and environmental concerns about the wind farms that are being forced upon them under Dalton McGuinty’s so-called ‘Green Energy Act’,” Hudak’s release said.

Hudak wants Liberal members to support the motion and give back municipal governments’ ability to decide what is best for their own community, he said.

Gillis said “there’s always hope” a PC motion against wind farms could pass, but today’s rally is largely to raise awareness of growing opposition in Ontario to large wind turbines and to keep pressure on the Liberal government to resolve health concerns.

The Lake Lake Eugenia resident, who represents the Blue Highlands Citizens Coalition, has helped document complaints that wind turbines have made people ill and has led wind farm opposition in Grey County.

“We’re not going away,” Gillis said Tuesday. “It’s really not much more complicated than that. They can’t keep hurting people.”

Severe headaches, sleeplessness, tinnitus and joint and muscle aches are among health complaints people living near turbines have reported at information meetings which Gillis has organized in several Grey-Bruce communities.

Opponents were to gather for a rally outside the legislature at 11 a.m. and were expecting to crowd the visitors gallery to hear debate on the motion expected some time after 3:30 p.m.

In October, Gillis and others were at Queen’s Park to support a similar motion from Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Murdoch. Legislators that day rejected Murdoch’s call to halt industrial wind farm development until the province’s top doctor assured the government turbines don’t harm people living nearby.

The Green Energy Act gives the provincial government power to overrule municipal by-laws and local concerns when locating industrial wind farms, the PC news release said. It also said municipal councils, including some in Grey and Bruce counties, across Ontario have passed resolutions expressing concerns about the economic and environmental impact of industrial wind turbine developments.