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Anti-turbine group hopes for big turnout for Nov. 7 meeting

WEST LINCOLN – A local citizen’s group is hoping to pack as many people as possible into a Smithville school Thursday.

The West Lincoln Glanbrook Wind Action Group is hosting an information night on Thurs., Nov. 7 at Covenant Christian School.

“We’re hoping for the biggest crowd ever, we want it to be standing room only,” said Veldman, who lives on Twenty Road, just 825 metres from the first wind turbine built in West Lincoln. “We want to wake this community up to the fallout of this.”

Veldman and the WLGWAG have been doing everything in their power to raise that awareness since 2010, when the threat of wind turbines became a reality. Three years later, all five of those turbines are looming over the rural landscape in Caistor Centre. But the fight isn’t over, said Veldman. The real fight is getting Ontarians to listen.

“Rural Ontario is trying to fight back,” said Veldman, noting more than 200 municipalities have signed unwilling host declarations, including the Township of West Lincoln. “But no one is listening.”

The person Veldman wants to tune in most in Ontario’s premier, whom she had the opportunity to confront on the weekend.

“I could have been a jerk and gone up to her and laid into her about the turbines,” said Veldman, who encountered the premier at a hotel in Orangeville while attending her nephew’s wedding. “But I decided to respect her bubble.”

Veldman said the premier was visiting a grandchild at the hotel, and she chose not to harass her on her personal time.

“Why don’t we get that kind of respect?” asked Veldman, who has penned her fair share of letters to the premier, along with several other WLGWAG members.

What Veldman wants to know is if Wynne will hold true to her promise to not force wind turbines on unwilling communities, a promise she made upon becoming premier in January.

“We’re waiting for you to make good on what you said in January,” said Veldman. “We’re waiting in West Lincoln.”

While Veldman and the WLGWAG wait for answers, construction continues on IPC Energy’s HAF Wind Project. The project will go into operation in the new year.

While the turbines are not yet operational, Veldman said she is already dealing with “nuisance noise” from ropes used to tether the towers.

“They’re not even running yet and I already have nuisance noise,” she said. “I shouldn’t have to put up with this.”

The province has yet to approve a second wind farm application for the area. Niagara Region Wind Corp. is seeking approval for a 230-megawatt project in West Lincoln.

The WLGWAG meeting takes place Thursday, Nov. 7 from 7-8 p.m., doors open at 6:30 p.m. Covenant Christian School is located at 6470 Regional Road 14, Smithville. Residents of Grimsby, Lincoln and West Lincoln are encouraged to attend.