“Stop the wind turbines. We don’t want them.”
Simple and to the point, those were some of the words uttered by 55 protestors that stood outside the Fisherville Community Centre Aug. 16 to voice their opinions about large-scale wind turbines being erected in their communities.
The protestors – consisting of members of Haldimand Wind Concerns’ and residents that oppose the green energy turbines – picketed outside the hall, the site of a dinner hosted by Samsung, the proponents behind the Grand Renewable Energy Park in Haldimand County.
“Shame on you,” screamed protestor as dinner attendees, many of which are farmers that have permitted wind turbines to be erected on their property.
“You sold out your neighbours,” screamed others as other dinner guests arrived on scene.
Fred Ortt is the vice-president of Haldimand Wind Concerns, a citizen action group whose mission is to protect the health, safety and quality of life of people from wind turbines.
Ortt, one of the organizers of the protest, stated the main purpose of the event is to voice the message that turbines bring health risks to the community.
“We want the government to do something about these concerns,” Ortt said. “This is a big issue. It’s people against people here.”
Ken Brownell was among the many protestors. He held up a sign that read: “Health studies before wind turbines.”
“I want them to stop building them right now,” Brownell said. “I can’t build it and put it on my land but it won’t stop others from putting them up. The Green Energy Act has taken away the rights from the citizens.”
Several Ontario Provincial Police officers were on scene to make sure the protest doesn’t get out of hand. It remained calm officers said on scene.
Alison Forbes, spokesperson for Grand Renewable Energy Park, said the intent of the dinner was to thank residents that invested in the project while updating them on where its headed in the future.
“I think the mood was very positive (at the dinner),” Forbes said. “It was great to get them back together and give them an update and it shows how the community has embraced the project.”
Forbes acknowledged the presence of the protestors, stating while it’s unfortunate that it happened, it’s something that comes along with a subject such as wind turbines.
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