When the Ontario Green Energy Act was passed in May of 2009 (Ontario Bill 150), little was known of its contents or its overall potential impact upon normal Ontario residents. The Act, along with its complement of provincial regulations, were the advent of sweeping changes to the both the landscape and the social fabric of rural Ontario.
Industrial wind turbine developments have begun to dot the skyline. Over 700 towers are in place and hundreds more are in various stages of planning and development. As many as 7,000 towers are being planned for the Province of Ontario by the current McGuinty government.
Ontario Minister of Environment John Wilkinson oversees the development of these behemoth towers and developments. In a July 18 Ministry press release, Wilkinson maintained that “Ontario’s standards for renewable energy projects are based on leading science. We have one of the most stringent regulated setbacks for wind turbines in North America. Shifting to cleaner energy sources will protect and improve our environment and our health. We won’t allow any project to proceed unless it can be built and operated in a way that is fully protective of local communities.”
Many Ontario citizens disagree, and that number is growing every day. West & East Perth Against Turbines (WEPAT) is a group of concerned local citizens that was formed to raise public awareness about the impact that the development of industrial wind turbine projects will have on the future of this region. WEPAT’s chief concerns are the potentially negative impacts that will be placed upon human health, animal health, property rights and property value.
WEPAT is organizing a public meeting to be held at the Sebringville Community Centre on Tuesday, Aug. 9 starting at 7:30 p.m. The public meeting will reveal more information about the type of impact that industrial wind turbine development is having on rural Ontario. The information that will be presented will serve as a response the July 18 press release from Minister Wilkinson.
David Colling tests homes and farms for the presence of stray voltage and electrical interference and he will relate his experiences from tests performed in the Ripley and Shelburne areas. Colling has stated that, to his dismay, he has discovered numerous cases of problems that have resulted from “dirty electricity” and stray voltage.
Lorrie Gillis and Barbara Ashbee will reveal the devastating and traumatic effects that Ontario residents have experienced firsthand due to the health related problems associated with industrial wind turbine development.
Mike McMurray will address the adverse effect that industrial wind tur bine development can have on the value of properties that border next to these developments.
By holding this meeting, the concerned citizens of WEPAT are attempting to raise public awareness regarding industrial wind turbine development projects; and to offer the opportunity for people to learn more from others who have already experienced the effects and the consequences of these projects.
W. Dean Trentowsky