Political leaders seek moratorium on wind turbines

Sarnia Observer
The Conservative MP and MPP for Sarnia-Lambton are calling for a moratorium on new wind farms in Ontario.

Sarnia-Lambton MPP Bob Bailey and MP Patricia Davidson teamed up Thursday to urge the Liberal government at Queen’s Park to halt new wind energy projects while Health Canada studies the relationship between wind turbine noise and human health.

The move comes just days after the MP and MPP in Lambton-Kent-Middlesex made the same moratorium request.

The federal health study, announced last week, is expected to report its results in 2014.

“We know that there’s a tremendous amount of concern in the community,” Davidson said.

That’s why MPs in southwestern and eastern Ontario pushed Health Canada for a study, she said.

“In the meantime, I think that it makes perfect sense for all of us to just sit back and wait and see what the results are.”

Suncor Energy is proposing to build the Cedar Point Wind Power Project, which could see as many as 62 wind turbines placed in Plympton-Wyoming, Lambton Shores and Warwick Township as early as 2013.

More turbines are proposed for other projects in Lambton Shores and neighbouring Middlesex and Huron county’s.

“If all of these turbines go ahead and we find that there are health issues,” Davidson said, “then that’s really putting the horse before the cart. I think we need to have the results first.”

Bailey said the study announced by Health Canada is something Conservatives in the legislature have been asking the Ontario government for.

“I have heard from thousands of people from across southwestern Ontario and they have told me loud and clear that they would like to see a pause by the Liberal government.”

More than 900 wind turbines have gone up in rural Ontario since 2009 and the province has approved another 2,000, he said.

“The fact is that Health Canada believes industrial wind turbines need to be scrutinized by their researchers and scientists because many questions still exist about the effects of wind turbines on individuals,” Bailey said.

The Health Canada study will focus initially on a sample size of 2,000 homes picked from eight to 12 Canadian locations. The research is expected to include obtaining medical information, such as blood pressure, from residents, as well as face-to-face interviews and noise measurements from inside and outside homes.

“We think now’s the time to have a moratorium, a breather,” Bailey said. “Take time to let the federal health department do their study and actually see what kind of impact this is having on people.”

But Chris Forrest, vice-president of communications with the Canadian Wind Energy Association, said a moratorium isn’t warranted and would “unnecessarily put thousands of jobs and millions of dollars of clean energy investments at risk.”

He added, “The balance of scientific and medical evidence to date clearly concludes that sound from wind turbines does not adversely affect human health.”

paul.morden@sunmedia.ca

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Posted on July 27, 2012, in Bob Bailey, Health, Pat Davidson, Sarnia Observer. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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