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Protestors target wind turbines in Toronto demonstration

Norma Schmidt says she’s tired of being sick. Ginny Stewart-Love says she’s tired of being treated like a statistic.

Both women were among 150 protestors at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre voicing their opposition to wind turbines Wednesday.

Schmidt says illness caused by turbines has forced her out of her house north of Kincardine, Ont. But she can’t bring herself to sell the property for fear of the new buyer falling ill.

Stewart-Love said that as a wind turbine neighbour in Grey County she’s been assigned a number to track how she’s affected by the turbines – she’s “receptor 62.”

It’s a shorthand that dehumanizes those who live near the turbines, she told the crowd. Nearby, another protestor held up a sign with a photo of several children and the words: “These are my grandchildren, not receptors.”

Ironically, the convention centre’s electronic sign flashed a video of a turbine and proudly proclaimed, “This screen of powered by Green Renewable Power”.

The object of the protest was a conference on renewable energy inside the convention centre.

Conference organizer Andrew Slavin of Canadian Clean Energy Conferences said in an interview that the wind industry still has work to do in winning local acceptance for turbines.

“There needs to be real proper engagement by the wind industry to make these accepted by the community,” he said.

“If you’re somehow engaged – and engaged means probably some sort of financial compensation, and not just for the landowner – then those problems don’t exist.”