LAMBTON – The provincial government has committed to a green energy plan for the foreseeable future, but at what cost?
That’s the question from a group of protesters who gathered at the edge of the Thedford Bog on Greenway Road on Sunday. The group gathered to try and protect the resting and feeding stopover used by Tundra Swans every year on their way north to their nesting grounds on Canada’s northern tundra. Protesters claim that one of the effects of placing wind turbines near the bog will drive the swans away from the area, forcing them to seek other stopovers on their migratory path.
In addition to trying to protect the swans, protesters also point out that the Green Energy Plan is unsustainable from a financial and health aspect.
Financially the protesters claim that the cost to implement and install wind turbines has cost the taxpayer over $2 billion and the cost will continue to rise. They add that there is too much power being produced, forcing Ontario to dump power overage into the U.S. at a reduced rate, again driving up the cost to the taxpayers.
The protesters say that type of system is unsustainable and will eventually collapse, leaving no power being created by wind turbines and leaving the province with a problem trying to dispose of the turbines that could create an environmental disaster dealing with the materials that make up the massive structures.
Health issues are another reason for protesting wind turbines. The protesters claim that noise and vibration pollution is affecting the health of about 15 per cent of people who are exposed to it.
MPP for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex, Monte McNaughton was among those in attendance at the protest Sundaay. He said he has supported anti-wind turbine efforts for many years even before he was elected as an MPP. He claims that a Conservative government would cancel the Green Energy Plan.
McNaughton said it would cost the taxpayers less to cancel the program than to honour a 20-year contract. He said he believes that decision making should be left to local municipalities and said that decisions made in big urban areas to place wind turbines in rural Ontario has caused a split between rural and urban centres and the only way to fix that is to give the decision making ability back where it belongs.
Protecting a species that can’t protect itself was the primary reason for the protesters to gather on Greenway Road at the Thedford Bog and they indicated they will not give up the fight to protect Tundra Swans and other species from what they say is a destructive force called wind turbines.