Plans to dot Ontario’s countryside with wind turbines should be shelved, says the province’s largest agricultural organization.
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture is calling on the government to properly address a range of concerns, including the health effects of turbines, before it issues any more permits for development.
“It’s really dividing rural communities, and that’s not healthy, that’s not good,” says Mark Wales, president of the OFA.
In a statement issued Friday, the OFA identified concerns with wind power, including inefficiency of the power source, excessively high prices and inadequate rules on the distance of turbines from the nearest home.
New wind turbines can stretch up to 146 metres into the air – or higher than many modern skyscrapers.
The group is not targeting solar power, or any other less intrusive form of green energy encouraged by Ontario through 2009 legislation.
Wales denies the new position is simple NIMBYism.
“A lot of these issues haven’t been resolved,” he said. “Our members are telling us we need to come out strongly.”
The OFA represents 37,000 farm families across the province.
In a statement, the Canadian Wind Energy Association said it was “surprised and disappointed” by the OFA’s position.
“We will continue to provide fact-based answers to ensure Ontarians have the information they need to make informed choices as Ontario moves towards a cleaner, stronger and affordable energy system,” CanWEA president Robert Hornung said in the statement.
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