Amid the cupids, another kind of lawn ornament is appearing outside homes in Saint-Valentin: protest signs.
Mayors, farmers and a number of residents in the rural municipalities between Montreal and the U.S. border are trying to stop the arrival of wind farms on their agricultural lands.
A five-mayor coalition is calling on the provincial government to halt two windfarm projects in the region, which they say will be a blight on Quebec’s agricultural landscape.
“This area is the garden of Quebec, some the best farmland in the province,” said Gérard Dutil, a mayor who heads a coalition trying to stop the wind farms. “This place will look like a cemetery. All we’ll see are turbines looming up 450 feet. The public is against this. They’re angry.”
Saint-Valentin has approved a $200-million project for 25 wind turbines; however, some of the massive windmills, as well as the transmission lines to carry their generated electricity, would spill into neighbouring municipalities.
Saint-Valentin Mayor Pierre Chamberland says he supports the wind-farm project in his town, which was approved in 2009 by his predecessor, but remains open to withdrawing support if new evidence of negative effects is presented.
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