by Darren White Councilor for the Township of Melancthon
As a resident of Melancthon, I am quite familiar with the proliferation of wind farms as they spread across the township and the county. Fact is, I have a turbine about 560m from my house, just past the 550m setback guideline. As a person who has studied environmental science, I am generally in favor of renewable energy projects and anything else that promotes sustainability but this must be done within reason.
With that in mind I have to say, enough is enough. First, municipal governments lose all planning authority over large renewable energy projects under the Green Energy Act, and now the Provincial government that is supposed to represent all Ontarians is caught once again pandering to the residents of urban Ontario by determining a 5 km setback from shore is acceptable for turbines in the Great Lakes. Minister Brad Duguid addresses concerns of residents and beach goers by stating that “people were concerned that if they go to the beach, they could be looking up at a huge wind turbine.” Well, speaking for myself, I would be more than happy to have the four turbines within 1000m of my house moved 5 km away or more.
Statements like these serve the double standard that exists between urban and rural areas of this Province and promotes the urban self-righteousness of residents in large centers. They only reinforce concerns of rural residents that turbine construction must be managed in a more appropriate manner, a manner that the McGuinty government cannot seem to get their head around
Low frequency noise, health concerns, property values and such are not considered worthy of study by this government as evidenced by the recent defeat of our MPP Sylvia Jones private members bill. This bill called for a moratorium on construction until further study on turbines and their effects could be completed, and was supported by many municipal councils in this area and beyond.
All residents of Dufferin County should be concerned about the wind energy industry’s perceived undue influence on the policies of the government of the day. Please take the time to contact Minister Duguid and Premier McGuinty and voice your displeasure at the recent comments and lack of compassion shown for rural Ontario Residents. Make your opinion known.