More than 200 people packed the main hall of St Andrews Presybyterian Church In Picton last night to hear a star-studded roster of speakers talk about the Gilead Power project proposed for Ostrander Point, on the southernmost tip of Prince Edward County.
Representatives of local naturalist groups spoke about the importance of the area to birds, noting that as many as 750,000 birds travel through the area each spring and fall. “There is no ‘mitigation’ for the damage that will be done,” said one.
Point to Point PEC Foundation described their plan for the Point to Point Park which, if created, would protect the entire southern area of the County and prevent not only this wind development, but any future threats to the wildlife, wetlands, and rare lifeforms occurring there.
WCO member groups CCSAGE and APPEC made presentations and spoke on the quality of life in the community that will be destroyed by industrialization by the wind power generation project, that is by all accounts completely inappropriate for the area.
Dr Robert McMurtry, physician, educator and holder of the Order of Canada, made a surprise appearance and spoke about the very real health effects being experienced by people living near industrial wind turbines. He was particularly critical of the “hype” from wind developers who claim that the sound (infrasound) is not harmful because “what you can’t hear can’t harm you.” “Oh, right,” he said, “like there aren’t things you can’t taste and can’t smell, that can’t harm you,” he scorned.
A 45-minute period was allowed for public comment and questions. One gentleman said he was disappointed the meeting seemed to be all anti-wind when he said, he thought peple on nearby Wolfe Island were having a positive experience. Several in the audience thanked him for his opinion (OK, there were a few boos) and then told him of their experiences, which were very negative. Apparently, farmers who have leased for turbines on Wolfe Island are telling Amherst Island neighbours not to make the same mistake.
Two Realtors spoke during the comment period, and recounted experiences with potential buyers. “No one wants to live anywhere near the turbines,” said one.
One gentleman from Amherst Island said he thought he should really sell and leave, “but I can’t,” he said. “I’ve decided I’ll chain myself to the ferry before I let this happen.”
The evening concluded with a speech from Vic Fedeli, MPP for Nipissing and the PC’s energy critic. “This kind of event is exactly what we need, we need to see the power and the energy from people such as yourselves..” The Provincial government has been led down a “green path” he said, and the effects on the province have been–and will be–nothing short of “devastating.” He spoke of several high-profile manufacturers who have left Ontario, suggestng that more will follow, if electricity prices continue to rise.
The Town Hall evening was hosted by MPP Todd Smith who said the wind power issue is the single most important concern in his riding.
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