The Lambton Kent District School Board plans to inform the Ontario government some industrial wind turbines are being constructed near two of its elementary schools in Lambton County.
Trustee Jane Bryce was successful in having a majority of trustees accept her motion during Tuesday’s board meeting in Chatham that a letter be sent to Premier Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Deb Matthews and Minister of Education Liz Sandals. She wants the letter to make them aware that provincial government of approval has been granted for two wind projects being build near the two schools.
She said five turbines are approved to go up near Aberarder Central School between Camlachie and Forest and another four turbines are to be built near Bosanquet Central School in Lambton Shores.
Bryce questioned if the LKDSB were looking for a site for a new school “we probably wouldn’t put in the middle of where industrial turbines are.”
She said she just wants to make sure the premier and ministers are aware of this situation, considering the number of people who have been asking for a moratorium on the construction of industrial wind turbines over potential impacts on human health.
Bryce raised the issue, which was discussed during a delegation to the board of trustees at the March 26 meeting about NextEra Jericho Wind Project near Aberarder or Suncor’s Cedar Point Wind Power Project near Bosanquet.
She asked if there are any turbines adjacent to any of the board’s school properties in Chatham-Kent.
Jim Costello, LKDSB director of education, said, “to the best of my knowledge, no.”
He added there are no turbines near the 550 metre setback.
Costello added the closest turbine he could see planned to be built near Aberarder school is 1.2-kilometres away.
“I have no concerns, so far,” he said.
Trustee Jack Fletcher raised a concern about voting to send the letter to the government officials without the board having done more study on the issue.
“I don’t feel confident making this decision tonight,” he added.
Blenheim area trustee Randy Campbell said, “I’d be more concerned about the air we breathe than what the turbines are doing.”
He declared a conflict of interest and didn’t vote on the motion, noting he wouldn’t have let turbines be built close to him without researching them first.
Trustee Elizabeth Hudie said she didn’t have a problem supporting the motion, adding perhaps the government could provide the board with information it might have.
Chatham trustee Ruth Ann Dodman called for having trustees receive a presentation from Chatham-Kent Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Colby, who is doing research in the health impacts of wind turbines on people.
The trustees plan to invite Colby to present information about this issue to then in a workshop.
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