September 9, 2010
Letters, Ontario

All about location

Bryan Heppler, Thunder Bay 9 September 2010

There is no question the world wide usage of all forms of energy is of paramount concern and the development of alternative sources of energy production must be a priority for the future.

However, any and all initiatives must be developed at the right place. It’s all about location and due consideration of the long-term negative effects of such initiatives.

The Thunder Bay area is recognized for the distinctive natural features of the area, including the Sleeping Giant and the Nor’wester Range. Take time for a drive down the expressway south towards the Nor’westers or preferably ride a bicycle down Highway 61 or Mountain Road to take in the view, and consider the question all of us as residents of Thunder Bay have to ask: do we really need to destroy this natural setting and create a visual blight of 450-foot industrial wind turbines, potentially hundreds of these in later stages, perched across the range?

Secondly, is this the legacy we and this current council want to leave for future generations of this city?

If we all chose to dismiss the flood of information related to the proposed wind park development on the Nor’wester Range that indicates adverse environmental impacts to the land and local wildlife, potential for human health effects, minimal job opportunities, negative effect on tourism and no need in this area for the intermittent expensive power produced by this type of development and the Horizon group decides to proceed with this lucrative project as a last resort I ask this question.

Is there no other location, beyond the immediate visual sightline of the 130,000 Thunder Bay area residents that could be more appropriate across the vast, largely uninhabited area of Northwestern Ontario?

Some have alluded that opposition to the project is a not-in-my-backyard attitude for a few, in a specific area of the city.

In reality this proposal will affect all residents of this community as we all live with the visual blight for generations to come.

Maybe we should all take a wider not-in-my-backyard approach to ensure this does not proceed on our doorstep.

Perhaps future government policy will provide access to the provincial lands of the Sleeping Giant for the next Horizon type project. Something to consider?

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