On the one hand, a recent survey suggested that 69 per cent of Canadians favour further development of wind energy.
On the other, Ontario’s Official Opposition and many rural municipalities are calling for a moratorium on new wind power developments, at least until a federal study of risks to health posed by low-level noise from wind turbines is completed, likely two years from now.
In the circumstances, it’s interesting to note what Tuesday’s Speech from the Throne had to say. After promising to work with municipalities on how to ease gridlocks in the Greater Toronto Area, the speech added:
“Your government intends to work with municipalities on other issues, too. Because communities must be involved and connected to one another. …
“They must have a voice in their future and a say in their integrated, regional development, so that local populations are involved from the beginning if there is going to be a gas plant or a casino or a wind plant or a quarry in their hometown, because our economy can benefit from these things, but only if we have willing hosts.”
Clearly, there’s precious little evidence that there is any “willing host” to wind turbines among Ontario’s rural municipalities, at least as matters stand.
As we see it, the government’s only hope of getting rural municipalities to become willing hosts would be to let them tax the turbines at their true market value and require developers to offer to purchase any home within two kilometres of a turbine at its value prior to construction of the wind farm.
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