It’s “critical” for opponents of industrial wind turbines to continue doing everything possible to “hold the wind industry back” over the next four months until the provincial election on Oct. 6, the head of Wind Concerns Ontario told a town hall meeting Saturday.
“Keep them from getting any further ahead in the process. Because we do have a real reason to believe this election will change things dramatically in the province of Ontario,” John Laforet, president of the anti-wind lobby group, said in front of more than 100 people at the Markdale complex.
Laforet never directly encouraged people to vote Progressive Conservative this autumn, but did say that the PCs were the only political party to support a moratorium on wind turbine development until health impacts are independently studied and control over the siting of turbines is returned to local municipalities.
“Wind Concerns Ontario has reached out to all political parties, and has lobbied all of them, to change their views on industrial wind energy. And over the last two years that we did that, we’ve seen the Progressive Conservatives consistently inch closer and closer to our viewpoint on this,” he told the crowd.
“We’ve seen the NDP kind of waffle. The Liberals are OK if we’re talking offshore but not onshore because urban voters are concerned about offshore and rural voters are concerned about onshore. And the Green Party . . . are not for health studies, they’re not for increased setbacks and they also don’t have any problems with the feed-in-tariff program.”
Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound PC candidate Bill Walker was one of the speakers at the Markdale meeting.
Laforet said Wind Concerns Ontario’s call for a moratorium on wind farms is “gaining traction.” More than 80 municipalities, representing two million Ontarians, have now called on the province to put turbine development on hold.
“That shows you the extent to which there is opposition in the province of Ontario. And it shows you how badly of a job our government is doing listening to local residents or local municipalities,” he said.
LaForet told The Sun Times Friday that his group’s opposition to wind turbines and their health implications has become a political campaign to oust the ruling Liberals for handing wind developers free rein in rural areas.
It was the McGuinty Liberals that passed the Green Energy Act, which has stripped local municipalities of the power to control wind turbine development.
Laforet was in Markdale as part of Wind Concerns Ontario’s 6,000-kilometre Truth about Turbines tour across the province. He also spoke last week at town hall meetings in Tara and Lion’s Head.
Laforet, Walker, law professor Michael Trebilcock and Grey County realtor Mike McMurray spoke at the meeting.
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