OTTAWA, August 23, 2010
For immediate release— A local citizens’ group, representing hundreds of families in the Kars, North Gower and Richmond areas of Ottawa, has sent a backgrounder and questionnaire to candidates for the upcoming municipal elections in Ottawa, asking for their views on industrial wind turbine projects and on the loss of municipalities’ ability to plan for such projects to protect citizens’ health and property values.
“This is a complex issue that is important to all of Ottawa,” says North Gower Wind Action Group Chair Gary Chandler. “Local residents are concerned about the proposal for the 190-meter or 50-storey high industrial structures in our community because they will be close to many homes and our school, and because of reported health effects elsewhere in Ontario, and around the world. There is absolutely no need to put these things on top of people in this province.”
The larger issue, Chandler says, is the fact that wind power is expensive for consumers and cannot deliver on promises to remedy climate change or to replace coal-fired power generation plants in Ontario: “A review done by retired Queens University physics professor Dr John Harrison shows that for the year July 2009 to July 2010, Ontario’s existing wind turbines produced on average just under 300 megawatts a day…a fraction of the energy produced by one nuclear, coal or natural gas plant.”
Wind is inefficient and unreliable, Chandler says, and it isn’t “green” either. “The inputs in terms of construction are significant. The effects on the environment such as noise and vibration, altering the water table, and the possibility of killing birds and other wildlife are worrying,” he says. “People may not be aware, wind turbines use power from fossil fuels to operate. In short, wind power is high-impact with low potential. Industrial-scale turbines have no place inside a community like ours.”
Candidates are being asked for their views on the proposed industrial wind turbine installation in south Ottawa, and whether they would be willing to move Ottawa to take action as more than 40 other Ontario communities have, to ask that municipalities’ planning powers removed under the Green Energy Act be restored.
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