Councillor votes against neighbour’s plea for relief – from her wind turbine’s noise

IMG_6344In little Adelaide-Metcalfe it is Diane McGuire’s letter to the Township that opened the door wind companies were trying to hold shut. Her family cannot get away from the noise caused by the Suncor and NextEra wind turbines, which started spinning over a year ago.

Suncor told her that she was the only one having problems.McGuire_2

But the next meeting yielded another letter, this time from resident James Dymond. Sure enough Suncor’s lie is outed – Diane was clearly not the only one who had filed grievances with them.
Dymond

Note that each letter distinctly requested that Councillor Mary Ann Hendrikx not be involved in discussions, as she has a wind turbine in the very project that is causing problems. Cut and dry – she would be violating the Conflict of Interest Act if she were to do so.DymondCof AMcGuire copy

Adelaide-Metcalfe has had a tumultuous time dealing with the wind issue in the past. Conflict of Interest came up multiple times with both the former Mayor Bolton and former Deputy Mayor DeBruyn having a parent and child respectively with wind leases. They continued to vote on wind turbine issues as the only way the public could impel them to refrain, was to take them court.

To carry on the tradition, Mary Ann also continues to discuss and vote on wind turbine related issues – even when they are directly about about her very own wind turbine, and she has been asked to declare a conflict of interest by those affected! You can watch the council videos here:

March 7, James Dymond letter (video 1 starts 17:50 min. in) & (cont. video 2)
February 16, Diane McGuire letter (video, starts 2:50 min in)

Her comments include bits like this:

Councillor Hendrikx – “I just wanted to give information that they’re working with the Ministry of the Environment – because they called me back when I had sent this (email). The concern I have is that we would be asking to set up noise receptors at every turbine – every turbine isn’t generating complaints, and they are an inconvenience to the farmers to have those turbines sitting out in the middle of the field. So I’m not sure exactly why we need to have receptors at every turbine. I think there’s more value in finding out why some appear to be noisier than others, whether there are a lot of steel rooves in the area reflecting the noise or something like that. I’d like to see something along that line addressed with the different companies.”

Unfortunately Mary Ann seems to think a ‘receptor’ is a microphone…

Councillor Hendrikx –  “Just for some information, he’s [James Dymond] actually located pretty equally distant between two [turbines]… one on the southeast and one on the southwest. So, he may be getting some sort of echo effect or wave convergence type issue – I  don’t know, but I’m actually just as close to the one as he is. The one – the one he’s referring to – he’s not actually referring to, there’s actually noise testing going on the one for, I think about 8 months. But they put the radar locator like the noise tester on the wrong side of the turbine. I don’t think they knew who was complaining about the noise. So, they put it on the wrong side.”

She ends up voting against supporting Diane’s letter. Then oddly at the next meeting she barely raises her hand to support James’ letter.

But should she be removing yourself from discussion on the above letters? If you were in her shoes would you even think of voting on whether a letter should be sent to the Premier about the noise YOUR turbine was causing?

It’s not that she doesn’t understand the Conflict of Interest Act. Mary Ann ‘excused’ herself from a discussion about the local park in the same meeting, right after the wind turbine vote – apparently she saw a Conflict of Interest was to be had there, but not about her wind turbine.

This sort of contempt has been brewing for years, and yes this is how community division starts. The video below is a ‘blast from the past’. Mary Ann is speaking at a Wind Turbine Meeting hosted by MPP Monte McNaughton back in March 2012.

Just before Mary Ann came up to the microphone, the Michaud family from Thamesville spoke of what it was like living with turbines and how their health was affected. Their testimony was eerily similar to the letters from Diane and James. Mary Ann takes the stage and quickly discounts their real health issues with statements like, “Why should farmers be responsible for everybody else’s anger and resentment?”,  and a disparging reference to “no-cheque-itis“.  So her neighbours have anger and resentment. And so do their kids, and so do their livestock…?

Being a farmer does not exempt a leaseholder from having responsibilities when they screw up big time. When a person signs a lease they take on responsibility for how they change the living environment around them. Their machine happens to make a lot of noise making it so people can’t sleep at night, they have migraines, excruciating tinnitus, debilitating vertigo. It’s a package deal: you get a turbine and a lot of nasty side effects. First step is to apologize to the neighbours that are suffering. Don’t pass blame to the ‘metal rooves’, and the ‘receptors’.

Nor does the Green Energy Act null and void the Conflict of Interest Act.  Incredulously Mary Ann took the giant risk of voting with a Conflict of Interest, to defend her wind turbine, not her neighbours.

15 thoughts on “Councillor votes against neighbour’s plea for relief – from her wind turbine’s noise

  1. This whole article is sickening on too many front. This councilor should lose her job for not declaring a conflict,,, and where was the Mayor, when the issue was brought before Council.

  2. In light of what’s known now, fossil fuel companies may have invested in IWT projects to try to buy off the environmental groups that want fossil fuel extraction and use shut down in Canada.

    And Ontario paid much more for electricity than Alberta does. So placed in Ontario.

    EPCOR used coal for power generation and their public image might have looked better if they also owned renewable energy.

    —————————————————–

    The law should have been enforced on the council woman named in the above letter. And maybe this still could be done?

  3. She admits that there is noise, she also votes to keep it quiet. Ontario is breeding corruption.

  4. this windmill project is all about the money for the manufacturers and the people that get paid ,its not for the good of the country ,all the hydro that is shipped to the u.s.a. at a discount does not benefit the people that have to pay for these dam windmills,what a bunch of fkn crooks !

  5. Although I could go on for pages on this issue, there are 2 main points to address. First of all, the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, exempts an issue where a councilor shares an interest in common with other electors. Sec. 4, part (j). The many landowners who have leases also have a right to be heard.
    Secondly, my objection was not about a lack of sympathy, but to the request to have every turbine tested for noise levels whether it’s a problem or not. There are many sources of noise in our municipality – the 402 traffic, train whistles, farm machinery, barn fans, grain dryers, and it just isn’t reasonable to set up testing unless there’s a complaint.

    • “(j) by reason of the member having a pecuniary interest which is an interest in common with electors generally;”

      Key word: “generally”. The majority of the electors do NOT have a wind lease and are NOT profiting from the wind turbines! Like if we are all paying taxes – that would be generally. You are specifically profiting off of the precise turbine that there was a complaint filed on! Is there anyone else profiting off of your turbine??

    • There are not many land owners that have leases. There are 3100 residents in Adelaide-Metcalfe and about 30 of them have leases. The right thing to do was to declare conflict, to allow transparency. You really have no idea what it is like to have this constant rumble and whoosh inside my home, affecting my daily life and that of my family. I don’t give a rats a$$ whether these sound monitors are difficult for the farmer’s to farm around – they signed the lease! Farming around something short term seems like a small inconvenience to someone that is paid to do it compared to the noise and disruption that we have to live with! Set backs are not adequate – Ontario reinvented the wheel by stating 550m, when the rest of the world has 1000m set backs. Why? All for money.

    • Dear Ms. Hendrikx,

      Thank you for contributing to this conversation.

      We would sincerely appreciate if you would elaborate on the “sympathy” (your words) you claim to have for the people who are negatively affected by the industrial wind energy projects in your community.

      Looking forward to your reply

    • Furthermore, regarding your opinion that you wrote: “it just isn’t reasonable to set-up testing unless there’s a complaint”

      your judgment of what’s reasonable, or not, depends on the science, doesn’t it?

      For example, please be aware that:

      1. these projects were approved relying 100 % on a computer-calculated, predictive sound model. Testing the accuracy of the predictions by taking actual field measurements is important to verify the integrity (or not) of the sound model. If sound testing in multiple locations reveals the sound levels are not “as predicted”, this is very important! don’t you think?

      2. the negative health effects being complained about may be caused by multiple turbines, or turbine emissions interacting. As a public health fiduciary, you want to understand what’s actually going on scientifically, don’t you?

    • Ms. Hendrikx should be using her official status to direct Suncor, with whom she has a wind lease with, and help them find the right side of the turbine! Her lack of sympathy lies with her lack of motivation in helping give her neighbours a secure and safe home.

  6. This is a very interesting story. I hope that it is reported in a local newspaper so that the whole community can see what has happened in the past and is happening now.
    Intense focus needs to be on how Municipal leaders actively support the people who are being harmed.
    It is their duty to do this.

  7. I lay awake many nights because of the noise from the wind turbines! They are across the road and down a bit from our house. The noise is ridiculous when it is windy and the wind blows from their direction. A very loud whoosh, whoosh, whoosh sound. They keep me awake and sometimes wake me out of a dead sleep.

  8. This situation is not unique to Adelaide- Metcalfe.
    The information on effects from turbines was available from communities around the world on the internet. When last I checked there were 2,200 groups who are fighting for the rights of neighbours to these turbines. They’ve formed in the countries where wind companies and governments have been promoting industrial scale turbines too close to people’s homes.
    Even if no one in a family is realizing they are having health impacts, there can still be relatives and friends who visit who could be impacted. This is the dreadful reality we’re all facing.

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