Monthly Archives: February 2012

Wind turbine debate stirs up council – Strathroy-Caradoc

By Nancy Powers Strathroy Age Dispatch

The ongoing issue about wind turbines has finally blow into Strathroy-Caradoc.

Councilllors debated the merits of supporting a resolution calling for the provincial government to place a moratorium on future wind turbine projects.

Ward 2 Councillor Larry Cowan raised the issue after council received a request from the municipality of Arran-Elderslie asking for support of their resolution regarding wind turbine.

The resolution was actually forwarded to Strathroy-Caradoc by Esther Wrightman, of the Middlesex Wind Action Group. The group is actively opposed to wind turbines.

“I sent the resolution to Strathroy-Caradoc because some of these wind turbines will encroach on their boundaries,” said Wrightman. “At the local high school for example.”

Councillor Cowan suggested Strathroy-Caradoc support a portion of the resolution that speaks to the moratorium.

“I’m very much opposed to wind turbines,” said Councillor Cowan. “And I feel we should support this request.” Read the rest of this entry

McGuinty ‘listen’ to us? Yeah, right….

Greater local voice in the wind for turbines in Ontario

WIND ENERGY: Province willing to tweak controversial Green Energy Act

By Debora Van Brenk, The London Free Press    February 29, 2012

As wind turbines multiply like rabbits across Ontario’s countryside, the provincial energy minister’s assurances of greater local voice over where they’re located is being met with a mixture of optimism and doubt.

“This is an opportunity for the democratization of energy,” said Kristopher Stevens, executive director of the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association that helped draft some aspects of the Green Energy Act.

That act is a foundation of the Liberal platform and encourages renewable energy sources and “green” manufacturing jobs.

But dozens of municipalities have expressed concerns over their inability to change provincial decisions about the best places locate wind turbines.

This week, Energy Minister Chris Bentley said that consultation process is also under review as the province examines how to tweak the Green Energy Act.

“We’re listening, and taking municipal concerns into account as we make thoughtful choices and move forward,” he told a conference of the Rural Ontario Municipalities’ Association.

Pressed to say if municipalities will be able to veto disputed projects, he said they’ll need to wait until changes come forward. Read the rest of this entry

McNaughton Slams McGuinty

February 29, 2012 – Blackburn News   by Dave Richie

Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP Monte McNaughton doesn’t believe Premier Dalton McGuinty’s comment at the ROMA conference, that he’s willing to give municipalities more say over green energy projects.

“No one believes this premier anymore,” says McNaughton. “He’s made many promises on different things and has never stuck to his word.”

McNaughton says his constituency offices continue to be bombarded by concerns over industrial wind farms.

Thamesville family impacted by wind turbines tells Lambton to act now

By Heather Wright, Sarnia This Week
GRAND BEND – Until a few months ago, Lisa Michaud didn’t know who ‘MOE’ was. The Thamesville woman and her family have gotten to know MOE – also known as the Ministry of the Environment – as they deal with the government agency because of the impacts of living beside industrial wind turbines.

Michaud, who recently spoke to a crowd of over 300 people in Grand Bend, suffers from severe headaches and vertigo – conditions which started after four industrial turbines were set up by Kent Breeze and Suncor near the family’s rural home.

Her son, Josh, is also affected. He used to work in construction on roofs but can’t anymore because of the dizziness he experiences. “It’s like there is a constant ringing in my ears,” he says comparing it to coming out of a really loud concert.

Michaud says the turbines are also having an impact on the family’s goats, which for unexplained reasons, refuse to go into their shelter at night and don’t sleep. And the animals have had a number of false pregnancies – the first time they’ve had significant problems with their flock.

Michaud says after she became ill, a representative from Suncor came to their farm to talk to her but made it seem “none of this was real and no one else in the province was experience this.”

Michaud asked Suncor to turn the turbines off for a while, so they could determine if the whooshing sounds were actually the source of their health problems. Suncor refused. Read the rest of this entry

Introducing T.O. to the Brooke-Alvinston wind turbines

Watford Guide-Advocate

Dear Editor,

The upcoming Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) appeal hearing into the Zephyr wind project  in Brooke/Alvinston will have testimony from 2 well qualified acoustical experts, Dr. Robert Thorne, an environmental noise consultant to the NZ  Ministry of Health, and Steve Ambrose, P.Eng. and a member of  the Institute of Noise Control Engineering (INCE).

While the expert testimony provides the scientific basis to challenge the current MOE siting rules, it can only describe the human effects in a very cold, impersonal way. To the Ministry of Environment (MOE), residents are not “humans”, they are “receptors.” Our houses are called “receptor locations”.  Setback distances are measured to the centre of the receptor location.  Excess noise  can intrude and take over most of your property as long as the centre of the house is “safe”. You no longer have a house and property; you  are left with a “bunker.” If you sign any sort of agreement with the wind company, you waive all rights to even these inadequate standards. The farmer who signs a wind lease is no longer a farmer; he is now a landlord with one very nasty tenant who dictates all the rules for 50 years. These are the things that expert testimony cannot describe; but, ordinary people can.

So, in this hearing for the first time, residents who live  in wind projects will provide the gritty details that models, maps, and calculations cannot display. They will tell what it’s like from a personal perspective to live with these machines day and night. They will tell what it feels like to be caught in these wind ghettos – the constant thumping noise, the sleep disturbance, the hopelessness of being trapped and unable to even sell a property they wish to escape – their own homes.  Experts cannot give this kind of testimony. The wind companies deny the problems, dismiss and belittle the people affected. The government ignores their plight and facillitates whatever the wind companies want.  Now, for the first time these residents/witnesses will be heard, all 25 of them – and there are many more willing to testify. Think about it. Why are these people testifying? They already live in wind projects; what gain is there for themselves? Would you put yourself out in public to be scrutinized?  Read the rest of this entry

Put foot down on turbines

London Free Press- Letters to the editor

Power to the people

Regarding Winds of change blow for municipalities (Feb. 28).

I’m glad municipalities will have more authority on the subject of wind turbines. These turbines deplete property value, leading to empty homes in some counties. Wind farms are detrimental to wildlife (bats, migrating birds) and some link wind turbines to human health concerns.

The concept of green energy is merely a public relations game, aimed to sway the voting public. There is nothing green about these turbines, rendering lots of wetlands useless for migratory birds, and known to kill bats and other birds.

Adding to this, there is no funding allotted for the removal of these turbines. They are simply allowed to rust away, creating an eyesore to the public.

Please stop bringing in these windmills and select more environmentally-friendly power sources.

Aaron Simkovich
London

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Put foot down on turbines

Regarding the editorial Rural Ontario set to blow up at McGuinty (Feb. 25).

I agree with Mark Davis, deputy mayor of Arran Elderslie. There are times you must do what you feel is right. Municipalities are merely asking for a one-year moratorium on wind turbines – not much to ask when the premier tyrannically took away control of wind turbine installations via the Green Energy Act.

If the Rural Ontario Municipal Association thinks a walkout on Premier Dalton McGuinty’s speech is shortsighted on the turbine issue, please walk out and help stop the destruction of small, rural and northern hospitals. If this is not enough, think about the closings of rural schools, allowing multinationals to bid on busing, and the shutdown of abattoirs.

One way or another, he must be stopped.

Anne Stewart
Wallaceburg

Dalton’s Ontario – Ours to Recover

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Plympton-Wyoming supports moratorium & 2km setback

February 25, 2012 Blackburn Radio (listen here)

Plympton-Wyoming is the latest municipality to call for a moratorium on wind farm development….

Mayor Lonny Napper says his council is endorsing the move because if opponents killed the prospects of a natural gas-fed power plant near Toronto, he believes the same tact should work locally…

Napper accuses the province of turning its back on rural Ontario.

He says a health study on wind turbines is still needed.

Strathroy-Caradoc Council Supports Wind Moratorium

Strathroy MyFM

Healthy discussion at this week’s Strathroy-Caradoc Council about an issue that this municipality really doesn’t have much say in. Council decided to support neighboring Adelaide-Metcalfe and a motion to support a moratorium for a proposed Wind Farm Project. Council was split on the decision voting to a 3-3 tie and broken by Deputy Mayor Brad Richards who was the acting Mayor Monday. Richards is in favor of it simply with a neighbor helping a neighbor train of thought.

While half of council supported this motion based on concerns over a wind farm project, the other half of council believed keeping this issue within the Provincial Government and how things are currently moving forward was sufficient enough for their liking at this particular time.
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Watch council meeting here, about 7 minutes in: Feb 21 Council Meeting

Wind turbines threaten swans, says bird expert

Industrial wind farms encroach on Tundra swan habitat, specialist claims
CBC News Feb 21, 2012

A waterfowl specialist says wind turbines could spell danger for Tundra swans and the economy in Lambton County.

Dr. Scott Petrie said building industrial wind farms in Grand Bend, Ont., will scare the birds from their annual migration stop.

He said the province isn’t considering how the 250 turbines proposed for the area will affect wildlife.

“By putting the turbines in inappropriate places, it actually is tantamount to habitat loss. You wouldn’t put an office tower next to a coastal wetland, why would you put a wind turbine there?” he said.

Petrie said turbines could also hurt Grand Bend economically. If the Tundra swans avoid the area, so will birdwatchers, he said.

Every March birders come out to see the approximately 10,000 swans as they migrate north.

“My concern is that these things are going up everywhere, not only inland, but they will be in the lakes and closely associated with coastal wetlands, inland and off shore,” Petrie said. “So eventually you’re going to have major impacts on all kinds of things.”

Exeter Times Editorial – Blowin’ in the wind

February 22, 2012 Exeter Times-Advocate
 
Based on letters in this week’s and last week’s Times-Advocate, and very strong attendance at an information meeting in Grand Bend last week, we can safely say the hot topic of the day for our area is wind turbines.And you can expect the debate will get even hotter in the upcoming months and years as the several large-scale industrial wind turbine farms planned for the region come closer to fruition.
It seems to us that the more people learn about wind turbines and the closer these projects come to reality, the less people want them. The concerns are many, and are detailed elsewhere in this week’s newspaper, but chief among them are the impacts on the health of those who live near turbines, what wind energy will do to our hydro bills and our economy, how they will affect wildlife and how property values will be impacted.

These are not small concerns - these are major items.

The Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group last week in Grand Bend presented a well-organized, informative meeting about wind turbines. Even if you attended the meeting not having strong feelings against wind turbines, you left the meeting with many things to think about. Read the rest of this entry

Concerned citizens attend wind turbine meeting

February 22, 2012 Scott Nixon– Exeter Times

GRAND BEND – Those interested and concerned about the several large-scale wind turbine projects planned for the region packed the Grand Bend Public School gym last Thursday for an information meeting presented by the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group (MLWAG).

Guest speakers presented information on the health concerns of humans living near wind turbines, the impact on the environment, real estate values and electrical pollution.

MLWAG is appealing the Zephyr Wind Development in the Watford area and member Muriel Allingham kicked off the meeting by noting that 422 industrial wind turbines are planned for Huron County, with 250 in Lambton Shores, including 48 in the Grand Bend area. She said the turbines are taller than a 50-storey building.
“These things are quite big monstrosities.”

Of the concerns some members of the public have about large wind farms is the potential of the harm the turbines will do to their health. On that note, the Michaud family of Thamesville spoke about how their health has been affected since turbines were erected near their hobby farm.

The family built their home in 2006, discovering in 2009 that turbines were planned for the area. Within two days of the new turbines going online, Lisa Michaud was in the emergency room with vertigo. She has experienced sleep deprivation from the constant sound of the turbines and has a constant ringing in her ears, along with pain. Read the rest of this entry

Sign letter to support moratorium!

Please take a moment!  Before the Bill is presented, we need to send 1,000 letters to all MPPs CLICK HERE.

Thursday March 8th, MPP for Huron-Bruce, Lisa Thompson will bring forward a Private Member’s Bill at Queen’s Park calling on the legislature to pass a moratorium on further wind turbine development until there is a health effects study completed, and the results addressed. 

Support at Queen’s Park that day would be appreciated

Feb 21st – Go to your council!

VERY IMPORTANT
Everyone needs to go to their council meeting on Tuesday Feb. 21st.  Things that are happening are specifically noted below. Half of winning is showing up!
 

Monte McNaughton to host Wind Turbine Townhall in Strathroy

Be sure to mark on your calendar and tell your friends, neighbours and family to attend:

MPP Wind Turbine Townhall in Strathroy
Date: March 12th, 2012 
Time: 7:00-9:00 PM
Place: Amy’s Place: 28537 Centre Road, Strathroy (@ MulifarryDr. & CentreRd)

MPP Vic Fedeli (PC Critic for Energy) and MPP Bob Bailey (Sarnia-Lambton) have both confirmed that they also plan to attend. To schedule your presentation or for more information, please contact Eileen McCoy at the office of MPP Monte McNaughton.
Tel: 519-245-8696 • Fax: 519-245-8697 Email: eileen.mccoy@pc.ola.org

Wind Turbine Opposition

February 17, 2012 at 8:16 am | Blackburn Radio News

Don McGugan  says a local group opposing a four-turbine wind-farm development in his municipality faces an uphill battle.     The Brooke-Alvinston Mayor says the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group will have to make a strong argument to an Environmental Review Tribunal when a hearing begins next month.

The Wind Action Group says it will be calling 25 witnesses, including two experts, when the 10-session hearing begins March 7th at the Brooke-Alvinston-Inwood Community Centre.

Tribunal Hearing To Proceed

February 16, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Blackburn News

A motion to dismiss an Environmental Review Tribunal hearing against the developer of a four-turbine wind farm in Brooke-Alvinston has been denied.  The tribunal will hear from the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group beginning in March.  The province’s Environment Ministry had been trying to get the hearing thrown out, claiming the appellant’s arguments are repeats of what has been heard in passed hearings.  The Wind Action Group’s Esther Wrightman says it’s important hearings be held on a case-by-case basis.

Wrightman says the Wind Action Group has 25 witnesses, including two experts lined up to speak at the hearing.  The 10-session hearing begins March 7th at the Brooke-Alvinston-Inwood Community Centre, with two days of video-conference scheduled for Toronto.

See Motion to Dismiss Denied

Bob Bailey: McGuinty, get off your high horse

Sarnia & Lambton County THIS WEEK
Queen’s Park Report with MPP Bob Bailey

 Better Late Then Never: OFA Calls for Wind Farm Moratorium

 The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA), the largest representative of farm interests in Canada, is calling on the provincial government to immediately stop installing industrial wind turbines (IWT) in rural Ontario.

 Since the passage of the 2009 Green Energy Act, which stripped municipalities of local planning rights, countless communities across rural Ontario have been threatened by the McGuinty government’s push to install industrial wind farms, with no regard to local expertise or the concerns of residents.  These IWT developments have done more to turn neighbours and communities against one another than solve any of the problems of energy production in Ontario.

 In its call for the moratorium, the OFA cites the high cost of power produced by turbines, its inability to be stored, and the fact that it can’t be effectively transmitted to areas of high demand as just some of the reasons to stop the senseless expansion of IWTs across rural Southwestern Ontario.  But far and away the most troubling outcome of IWTs in our rural communities is this issue’s tendency to divide and polarize long time friends and neighbours.  These concerns over health impacts, negatively affected property values and quality of life issues are not being seriously considered by the McGuinty government. These issues weigh heavily on the minds of many rural residents and are causing serious problems in our rural communities. In his statement, OFA President Mark Wales says that these projects have “alienated the rural population” as “neighbours are pitted against neighbours.”

 Last April, in the Legislature, I demanded that Premier McGuinty get off his high horse and explain why his government is choosing to ignore the voices and concerns of rural Ontario communities by jamming through his unproven and unwanted wind farms. Countless communities across our province have watched helplessly as the McGuinty Government pushes to install more industrial wind farms whenever and wherever he wants, with no regard to local expertise or the concerns of residents.  It is my hope that more organizations, like the OFA, will take a stand and let Premier McGuinty know that it is local residents that know best when it comes to making decisions regarding their communities.

2012 Pre-Budget Consultations

Along with neighbouring Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP Monte McNaughton, I will be hosting pre-budget consultations regarding the 2012 Provincial Budget later this month. MPP McNaughton and I saw the need to schedule these meetings after the decision by the McGuinty Government to host “virtual town halls” using “modern technology” rather than the traditional in-person public hearings held annually across the province. Read the rest of this entry

Grand Bend gets the Wind Turbine virus too (111 of ‘em)

If you take a look at the NextEra map for the 63 wind turbine “Goshen Wind” project, you wouldn’t even think the turbines would be larger than a pin head. And conveniently the dots are green…. the same colour as the background. So I helped the company out and put some colourful turbines in myself – I know, they shhould pay me.

While I was at it, I thought you might also like to see the 48 “Grand Bend Wind” turbines that are proposed by Northland Power. Cottagers, while you were worried about the turbines in the lake, these monsters were creeping up behind you on land.

Tell your council to WALK OUT ON DALTON

Dalton McGuinty will be speaking on February 26th at the Good Roads/ROMA meeting.  Many muncipalities have agreed to walk out on his speech if a moratorium is not in place by that time.  Please send your Council this document and urge them to participate. 

January 23, 2012

Whereas the Ontario Federation of Agriculture which is Ontario’s largest farm organization has asked Premier McGuinty and the provincial government to suspend the building of Industrial Wind Turbines across the province as of January 20, 2012;

And Whereas dozens of municipalities across this province have repeatedly asked for a moratorium on the construction of Industrial Wind Turbines until questions such as health concerns of people living in proximity to the Industrial Wind Turbines, proper setbacks of Industrial Wind Turbines, devaluation of neighbouring properties,  decimation of the rural landscape, and destruction of wildlife habitats are properly studied and addressed;

And Whereas many of these municipalities have asked for the province to hand back the planning authority for Industrial Wind Turbines, but to no avail; Read the rest of this entry

3 Excellent speakers on IWTs @ Grand Bend- Feb 16th

Grand Bend: Public Info Meeting on Wind Turbines

Grand Bend:  Public Information Meeting

Date:                Thursday February 16th, 2012
Time:              7:00 PM
Location:      Grand Bend Public School, 15 Gill Road, Grand Bend MAP

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Speakers:

 1. Environment: Birds/Waterfowl

Dr. Scott Petrie, B.Sc, PhD - Executive director of Long Point Waterfowl and Adjunct Professor at the University of Western Ontario. Scott will outline the potential impacts that Industrial Wind Turbines could have on wetland habitat and water fowl, in the lower Great Lakes area.

2. Electrical Pollution: Home/Farm/School

David Colling - A dairy farmer for 30 years inRipley,ON, who has also been a dealer for Bio-Ag Consultants and Distributors since 1991. David studied Electrical Engineering at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute, and currently uses his vast knowledge, through out Ontario, to assess electrical pollution in homes, farms and businesses that are presently in the vicinity of Industrial Wind Turbines

3. Property Value: Real Estate

Doug Pedlar - Doug is a Broker of Record for RE/MAX Bluewater Realty in the Grand Bend Area. Doug has many years as a respected Realtor within the community, and will speak on the effects that Industrial Wind Turbines currently have on property values, and how the Industrialization of the local community will impact its residents’ property values. 

Contact:  Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group windactiongroup@gmail.com

Note: Change in Zephyr Wind Appeal ERT Dates

FYI: Dates have been moved back a tad for the Zephyr (Brooke-Alvisnton) Wind Appeal:

Environmental Review Tribunal

March 7, 8, 9, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 in Alvinston

Alvinston Location: Brooke-Alvinston Township Office MAP

March 19 & 20 in Toronto (video-conference link)

Toronto Location: Hearing Room 2, 16th Floor, ELTO, 655 Bay St., Suite 1500, MAP

The pics that wind reps DON’T show farmers….(this is Zephyr)

So this is the Brooke-Alvisnton Zephyr project from the air yesterday. I’m just looking at al those tracks across the fields — were they crop touring , or what? Why even have roads and lanes if they don’t use them? Nice and gentle onthat land, eh?

Then imagine you are driving a tractor— you used to have a straight field to plow, but now you are wheeling around the lanes and towers; your field is all cut up into triangles and squares. Be sure to calculate in the extra time and fuel to plant, plough and harvest this field.

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Wind Action Group issues warnings

Property values and health effects of turbines to be discussed

By Heather Wright  Sarnia this Week    February 7, 2012

Middlesex Lambton Wind Action Group wants people in Lambton Shores to be aware of what they’re facing as industrial wind turbines begin to dot the landscape.

The group is holding a public meeting Thurs. Feb. 16 at the Grand Bend Public School to talk about the effects of turbines on human health, real estate values and local wildlife.

Lambton Shores will soon be a hotbed for wind energy. The largest project by NextEra Energy will put 92 turbines near the Lake Huron shoreline around Forest, Thedford, and Arkona.

Under the Green Energy Act, municipalities have very little control of the power projects. Groups like the Middlesex Lambton Wind Action have filed appeals to stop some of the projects in the province, so far without success.

So Muriel Allingham of the local Wind Action Group wants to prepare people for some of the possible problems associated with the turbines.

Allingham says the scope of the industrial wind farms which are coming to Lambton Shores is “unbelievable. The amount of focus on Lambton Shores is quite heavy and its going to completely change the landscape,” she says. Read the rest of this entry

ERT Motion to Scope Evidence Dismissed- yea!

Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group Inc. v. Director, Ministry of the Environment
Environmental Review Tribunal panel has issued its decision on the Green Breeze’s motion to limit the evidence:- “Motion to Scope Evidence Dismissed“. This means that evidence need only meet the test of relevancy, and not be limited to what comments were submitted to the EBR.  This is a significant victory and means future appellants will not be so severely restricted.

Fed Up RESidents of Talbot Wind (and soon to be Zephyr Wind)

As for the company “RES” (Renewable Energy Systems), whos name is on the sign at the Zephyr entrance, and on the little green hybrid SUV “Escape” slipping around on the self inflicted muddy roads (hard to ‘escape’ the traffic jam)…

This is the new resident groups name for victims of the Talbot Wind Project near Ridgetown: F. U. RES (Fed Up Residents).

All we’ve got left is civil disobedience, Dalton….

Dear Dalton,

So this is what it’s got to be? Lay down in front of the semi.

PS- tell your special unit undercover cops to wear proper clothing next time. That would be rubber boots (your precious turbines have destroyed our local roads – they are one way mud strips with no shoulders), winter jackets  and maybe even some mitts and hats (don’t worry, we don’t care about shiny shoes and combed hair appearance out here). This is just so that they don’t stay huddled in the car 95% of the time. It’s a protest, not a church picnic. I mean frankly if you aren’t going to hang out with us, just leave it up to the local OPP- they were tough enough to take the cold.

Protest Zephyr Wind Development!

When we arrived, and were starting to pull out our signs, a large flock of tundra swans flew over us- it’s a month early for their migration.  The wind company rep Brent Hull says the, “The migratory path is several kilometres away from the site”. Well today it was directly over the site, Brent. Watcha going to do about that? Put a sign up there directing them to some place different??? Just like you do to the residents?

GO HOME TORONTO!

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