A second public information meeting on the proposed Whittington wind project is set for the Amaranth Township hall at Laurel next Tuesday, Jan. 25, from 5:30 to 8 p.m., apparently at the behest of township council, as the first meeting, on Oct. 12, 2010, was held outside the township.
This second meeting comes at a time when Wind Concerns Ontario (WCO) has posted numerous letters and news items on its website, indicated widespread opposition to the Green Energy Act generally and to wind turbines particularly.
It also comes at a time when the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) is about to release its recently completed Best Practises guidelines for member proponents, and follows an expert panel review of published, peer-reviewed studies of turbine effects on humans.
Whereas the panel found no physiological effects from the proximity to industrial wind farms, WCO had held a symposium of its own in which its chosen experts had found the opposite.
On the studies of effects, WCO members largely dismissed the panel’s findings on the bases that the panel has been funded by the Canadian and American wind associations, and that the panel had not interviewed persons claiming adverse effects from the turbines.
Best Practises – which advocates “consultation” with proposed host communities rather than simply presentations of information – is a document that WCO president John Laforet says should have come sooner, and CanWEA should take some control over its members.
Mr. Laforet is quoted in a news release as saying John Andrews, the president of IPC Energy, had referred to WCO as “a group of terrorists.”
“As a member of (CanWEA), John Andrews should be held to some standard by the industrial wind lobby, which represents his interests on his behalf.
“This violent rhetoric damages the image of the industry as a whole,” Mr. Laforet said.
Locally, the opposition to wind farms is specifically related to a proposed 6.9 megawatt, three-turbine installation north of 15 Sideroad and between the Mono-Amaranth townline and the Amaranth Second Line, but Dufferin County Council appears to have reached a consensus in opposition to the Green Energy Act and wind turbines.
At the council last Thursday, past warden Allen Taylor reported from a recent wardens’ meeting that provincial representatives had indicated at the meeting that there would be no backing down from Ontario’s stance on the Act.
Mr. Taylor quoted the official as holding the opinion that Ontario regulations are not only appropriate but are the most stringent in the world.
Melancthon Mayor Bill Hill pointed out that the setbacks mandated by the Act will be challenged in a Prince Edward County court.
As well, approval of a wind farm in Chatham- Kent goes before the Environmental Review Tribunal next month.
Amaranth Mayor Don MacIver said one house near the turbines vibrates so badly it has become uninhabitable.
“The reality is people are suffering,” he said. He did not specify the location of the house.
East Luther Grand Valley Mayor John Oosterhof, referring to the Assessment Review Board’s 50% reduction of Paul Thompson’s assessment because of the nearby transformers, said the wind farms make “no economic sense. The township loses. Everyone loses,” he said.
If the opposition were to win its overall case against turbines, one has to wonder what happens with respect to the provincial deal with Samsung of Korea.
That aside, some politicians are predicting the downfall of the Dalton McGuinty government over the imposition of the Green Energy Act.
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