Grey County council is stepping up its efforts to get the provincial government to commit to studying the health effects of living close to industrial wind turbines.
Grey County council at its regular meeting on Tuesday, January 4 agreed with a resolution that came forward from the Grey-Bruce Board of Health that asked Medical Officer of Health Dr. Hazel Lynn to look into the possibility of conducting a study about the health effects of wind turbines.
The Board of Health resolution had Grey Highlands Deputy Mayor Paul McQueen on his feet immediately asking about how such a study would proceed and what the next steps in the process are.
County Board of Health representative Chatsworth Mayor Bob Pringle explained what the Board of Health is hoping to achieve.
“We want to know how much is involved and how broad an area it would cover,” said Pringle. “The cost is major. Who would do the study and the time frame are issues. Grey and Bruce should not be responsible. This is a provincial issue,” he said.
Grey County is facing increased pressure on the wind turbine front. There are now multiple proposals for wind farms in the county in both the Municipality of Grey Highlands and the Municipality of Meaford. The provincial government’s Green Energy Act has stripped away local planning authority from such developments.
Pringle said he expects Dr. Lynn (who was not at the meeting) to provide a report about the matter in a few weeks time.
“Mostly what we want to do is convince the province that this needs to be done,” said Pringle. “We have ongoing issues with the Green Energy Act. It imposes issues on landowners and the community,” he said.
Meaford Deputy Mayor Harley Greenfield wanted to know if the county wanted the province to help fund a local study, or to conduct a province wide report on the health effects issue.
“This is very much a Grey/Bruce issue. I can see advantages of the province kicking in, but I wonder if that will take the focus away from our immediate area,” said Greenfield.
Pringle said he expected any study would have to be province-wide since the issue covers all of Ontario.
“It is a major task to do this. It needs to be done provincially,” said Pringle. “We wouldn’t want a grant. We want the province to take it on,” he said.
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