Haldimand Wind Concerns held a public information meeting on April 19 at the Cayuga Secondary School cafeteria with more than 300 people from the community who are concerned about industrial wind development present.
Guest speakers at the event included John Laforate, president of Wind Concerns Ontario; Tim Grech, Niagara Skydive Centre; Ian Hanna and Carmen Krough.
Three Industrial Wind Turbine companies, Capital Power, Next Era Energy and Samsung plan to install up to 200 Industrial Wind Turbines (IWT) between Port Dover and Dunnville. Construction could start in the spring of 2011, according to a pamphlet handed out by Haldimand Wind Concerns during the meeting.
“Haldimand Wind Concerns is one of 57 citizen action groups working in coalition with Wind Concerns Ontario, a province-wide advocacy organization whose mission is to protect the health, safety and quality of life of the people of Ontario from IWT,” as stated in a pamphlet by Haldimand Wind Concerns.
Approximately 2,000 residents have signed a petition to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario requesting the Ministry of the Environment revise the Green Energy Act to allow full public input and municipal approvals on all IWT and that a moratorium on wind turbine development be declared until an independent epidemiological study is completed into the health and environmental impacts of IWT.
On March 21, 2011, Haldimand County Council passed a moratorium against IWT development in Haldimand County.
There were many concerns associated with onshore and offshore wind turbines; these were presented through a power point presentation during the public information meeting and included: economics; human health; aesthetics; contaminant upwelling; fisheries issues; habitat loss; sound impact-wildlife; bat mortality; raptor mortality and waterfowl displacement.
Ian Hanna, a Prince Edward County resident, explained to the audience of approximately 300 people from the community where his legal action case to challenge Ontario’s minimum 550-metre setback currently stands.
A judges’ panel dismissed Hanna’s challenge to Ontario’s minimum 550-metre wind turbine setback requirement. The panel said the Ministry of the Environment followed the rules in establishing the setback distance, and objections should be taken up with the provincial Environmental Review Tribunal.
“We will know in a month if we are able to appeal the decision. We think we have a very good case,” he said. These wind industrial companies are not going to destroy the place we live, not without a fight. I encourage everyone in this room to have the courage to stand up and take action against this intrusion.”
Tim Grech from the Niagara Skydive Centre at the Dunnville Airport spoke about the devastation his local business with suffer from the construction of IWT.
The Niagara Skydive Centre is the largest skydive centre in the area and has been in operation for nine years. If a proposal to put six wind turbines by Samsung on the airport property goes ahead, the turbine development will close the airport to aviation and his business will shut down.
“Thousands of people come to Dunnville and Haldimand County to use the facility. Most of these people come from outside the county and spend money in local stores, restaurants and motels,” he said.
John Laforate, president of Wind Concerns Ontario, showed his support during the public information meeting.
“Three out of eight skydiving places in Ontario are under the threat of closure because of wind turbines. The Samsung project is outrageous, these guys should be sent back to Korea,” said Laforate.
“Who’s going to make the decisions in Haldimand County; Samsung, Next Era, and Capital Power, or the residents in Haldimand County?” Laforate asked, the crowd of 300 people from the community.
“It’s our community we have to fight for it,” he said.
For further information on Haldimand Wind Concerns visit www.haldimandwindconcerns.com.
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