February 26, 2012
Nova Scotia, Opinions

Pugwash: the not-so-peaceful village

By Dave McGrath, thechronicleherald.ca 25 February 2012

For 50 years, Pugwash has been known around the world for its dedication to making the world a more peaceful place. Now, there is a very large problem within the community that needs the help of our government officials.

Perhaps the most important of these would be the Department of Environment and the Department of Tourism.

The Gulf Shore area of Pugwash is one of the fastest growing regions in Cumberland County. The majority of the residents who moved here from away did so because they wanted to live in a peaceful place. Pugwash and the Gulf Shore Road area have residents who come from all around the world and find it a great place to live – with clean air, very little crime, wonderful ocean activities and friendly people who work together for the good of this community.

A few years ago, the residents thought it would be a good idea to build a curling rink. They held some meetings, everyone joined in and the rink was built without one hitch or argument. It is now the winter focal point for the community. It just shows what can be done with a joint effort.

We are a successful area, but the depth of our success is not deep and the future of this area and village is at risk.

Unfortunately, the Atlantic Wind Power Corporation has leased land from several residents in the area and plans to erect windmills on that leased land, which is in the middle of this pristine area. The people who came here from away and spent their life savings on retirement homes on the Gulf Shore will be right in the middle of this if it goes ahead.

According to the most recent census, the Gulf Shore area is one of the few rural places in Nova Scotia which is growing in numbers. It is helping to keep Pugwash a viable village.

A CBC News investigation in Ontario showed property values in a windmill area will depreciate from 20 to 40 per cent (www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2011/09/30/ontario-wind-power-property-values.html).

These windmills have a life expectancy of 19 years and it is the land owner’s responsibility to put the land back to its original condition, which will cost an estimated $40,000 per windmill. In the mining industry, a reclamation bond must be posted by the land owner if the status of the land is changed. Is it really worth all the aggravation and dissension to lease to the Atlantic Wind Power Corporation?

Pugwash is a beautiful place and I love living here. The landscape, beaches and serene skyline invite people to come live here. I would hate to see our tourism, and the people who have moved into the area, suffer.

We are on a slippery slope. Nobody is against wind power. What they are against is ruining a beautiful residential area with windmills that are 350 feet high. By the way, what is wrong with the Cobequid Pass area? Lots of wind there and nobody would suffer if they covered the mountain with them.

My question to these windmill proponents and my politicians, federally, provincially and municipally, is simple: After reading the CBC article, would you gladly accept a windmill for which you have no financial reimbursement, within 600 metres of your home?

A simple Yes or No.

Dave McGrath lives in Pugwash.

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2012/02/26/pugwash-the-not-so-peaceful-village/