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Crawford joins call for wind turbine moratorium

A well-known Dover farmer-politician claims the proliferation of industrial wind turbines in his area has cost him the potential sale of his home.

Rex Crawford, former Dover reeve and Liberal MP, added his voice Thursday to a growing chorus of politicians and citizens demanding a moratorium on wind turbine construction.

Crawford, along with Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MP Bev Shipley and Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP Monte McNaughton, called for the moratorium while standing at the site of a yet-to-be constructed turbine less than 1,500 feet from Crawford’s home on Bear Line Road.

Crawford said the province is breaking all the rules that Dover had in place while he was reeve to protect farmland.

“We have some of the best farmland in Canada in Dover and it’s being taken over by wind turbines,” he said. “More than 55 turbines are being built in this area alone.”

Crawford said a potential Toronto buyer for his property withdrew his interest once he learned a wind turbine was being constructed within a stone’s throw from the property.

Crawford said wind turbines are now pitting neighbours against neighbours.

A group of residents in Dover has filed a $9-million lawsuit against International Power Canada Inc. and East Lake St. Clair Wind Inc. over the installation of 55 wind turbines along the Lake St. Clair shoreline area between Wallaceburg and the Thames River.

Shipley and McNaughton renewed their call for a moratorium until the results of a federal health study are known in 2014. The study will explore the relationship between wind turbine noise and health effects reported by people living near wind power developments.

McNaughton said he has heard from thousands of residents across his riding telling him loud and clear “that they would like a pause, a moment to stop and consider these developments prior to more shovels breaking ground.”

The MPP said the province’s failed green energy scheme is driving up the cost of energy and is preventing local economies from achieving their full potential.

“By 2015, Ontario will have the highest electricity costs in all of North America,” he said.

McNaughton said there is a certain irony in turbines being built over the finest agricultural land in the entire country.

“All under the auspices of something called the Green Energy Act,” he said.

Shipley, who has sent a letter to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty calling for a moratorium on wind turbines, said the silence from environmental and animal rights’ groups on the issue is “deafening.”

“The province does have a moratorium in wind turbine construction offshore,” he said. “It should be expanded to include onshore development until the results of the federal health study are known.”

Tamara Stokes of Dover Centre said she’s “disgusted” by what the wind turbines are doing to the agricultural community. She claimed wind turbines are being decommissioned in several countries in Europe.