Since 2008, Stephana Johnston has been an advocate for the Norfolk victims of wind turbines living just west of Long Point when she started suffering health effects after the turbines started up. The Norfolk Council at that time rezoned that particular area’s agricultural land to industrial to allow the development of 18 turbines which were crammed in within a three km radius. Seventy people living in the Clear Creek/ Cultus/ Frogmore wind turbine zone signed a petition in 2009 as testimony to the adverse health effects foisted on them. Since then, Ms. Johnston has presented Norfolk Council with the petition, health updates and two motions requesting mitigation of their serious situation.
Last month, Stephana and three Haldimand residents gave deputations to the HN Health and Social Services Advisory Committee requesting that a survey/clinical study of the Norfolk victims be conducted by the local health unit, warning of increased health cases as 200 wind turbines are proposed for Haldimand.
On Feb. 14, 2012, the Haldimand Norfolk Health Board received a report from the HN Health and Social Services Advisory Committee in response to a petition and resolution brought to Norfolk Council asking for mitigation of the Norfolk victims’ health effects and for a study of the victims to be conducted by the HN Health Unit. The Advisory Committee had passed the following motion: that the HN Board of Health advocate to the Renewable Energy Technologies and Health Research Study (RETH) at Waterloo University to complete their research; that the affected residents in Clear Creek/ Cultus/ Frogmore wind turbine zone be asked to participate in this study and to encourage Health Canada to implement a clinical research project on industrial wind turbines.
Ms. Johnston informed the Health Board that she asked the Research Chair of the Waterloo study, Dr. Sivoththaman, that the adverse health effects of the Norfolk victims be investigated and offered her own house as the Ontario Centre for the Study of Adverse Effects of IWTs but she had no response.
She also had personal communication with Professor Bigelow, the chair of the health portion of the study but once again the suggestion was not accepted. It’s very difficult to trust a health study funded by the same government that is promoting wind energy while people are still suffering living surrounded by wind turbines. On a brighter note, Dr. Locke, Haldimand Norfolk’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, acknowledged that there are victims of wind turbines in Norfolk whose situation should be studied in the Waterloo study.
The Health Board stated that they do not have the resources, the expertise or the money to conduct a health study of these victims despite a Haldimand RN’s offer to arrange for potential qualified researchers to complete the study at an estimated cost of $25,000. The Board passed a motion to concur with the Advisory Committee’s motion but as we read, blades continue to turn and Norfolk’s victims of wind turbines continue to suffer.