September 20, 2013

Moms speak out about turbines; Mothers group takes message to energy minister

Grimsby Lincoln News | 20 September 2013 |

A group of mothers from the West Lincoln and Glanbrook took their concerns about wind turbines proposed for their communities to the minister of energy.

After learning that Bob Chiarelli would be at the Babcock and Wilcox nuclear facility in Chatham on Monday, Mothers Against Wind Turbines decided to try their luck at a one-on-one conversation with the minister. After some back and forth with the minister’s assistant, they were told they could have five minutes with Chiarelli after the facility tour.

“We started off with questions related to the ongoing projects in the MOE queue and explaining our position on why existing projects needed to be cancelled moving forward,” said Marianne Kidd, a member of the group. “After he explained that they didn’t want to cancel those projects due to the legal ramifications while addressing history related to the gas plant scandals, we tried to sway him to our side expressing that millions more would be wasted if the projects were approved … especially looking at the next 20 years.”

The mothers discussed how these green energy projects were creating “energy poverty” by driving up electricity costs for the average customer.

The mothers also discussed health concerns.

“You are ruining our province,” Anita Thornton told the minister, after discussing how turbine placement does not take into consideration children with autism and other special needs.

Kidd explained her home will be surrounded by eight turbines within two kilometres from her home. Linda Rogers from Haldimand will have 16 within that same distance.

Chiarelli directed the mothers to log their concerns onto the Environmental Registry – which most have already done.

“After explaining to him that we were fully aware of the process and have been writing to the MOE repeatedly, we expressed that once our projects were approved … we will fight it with an [Environmental Review Tribunal] using money raised from garage sales and spaghetti dinners.”

In the end, the mothers pleaded with the minister to work with his colleagues to find technicalities in existing projects so they do not get approved.

Ontario does not need the energy and already has eliminated coal.

“We are not sure if Minister Chiarelli was listening or if it will lead anywhere … but we did appreciate the minister’s time and willingness to meet with us.”

The mothers will next take their concerns to regional council to talk about declaring Niagara “not a willing host” to wind turbines.

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