The Bruce Beach Cottagers’ Association is hoping a recent survey will help dispute statistics used by wind developers and the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA), which argue wind energy is widely accepted and welcome.
89% of 251 residents surveyed oppose wind power near Hwy. 21.
“We wanted to find out, do we represent the majority?” said BBCA president David Tiernan, a third-generation cottager from Northville, Mi. “I now know which way to represent them.”
Tiernan said the survey was sparked by public meetings held by International Power for the proposed Huron-Kinloss Bluewater Wind Project, along with the news of potential offshore wind development and a series of CanWEA advertisements that use conflicting statistics to promote wind energy, he said.
Tiernan said his first mandate as newly-elected president was to gather members’ opinions about wind power.
The survey also indicated:
* 8% of respondents were in support of wind power.
* 77% believe turbine fields will harm wildlife.
* 84% oppose offshore wind development.
* 88% believe offshore turbines will decrease property values.
* 74% think wind power is not an economically viable source of energy.
* 93% believe the BBCA should ally itself with other cottagers’ associations.
* 91% think the BBCA should work with Huron-Kinloss council regarding wind turbines.
Tiernan said the BBCA hopes to do surveys in the future about beach conditions and invasive species.
He said they’ve tried door-to-door surveys in the past, but they couldn’t get the consistency or reach the percentage of seasonal and full-time residents needed to make a viable survey. They also wanted to ensure it was sound if it’s challenged by politicians or wind organizations.
Tiernan said he has shared the results with Huron-Kinloss Mayor Mitch Twolan and plans to present the findings at a Nov. 8 council meeting.
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