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Petition could be last stand against wind turbines

For Betty Schneider the petition she has online at Change.org is a case of David and Goliath.

Schneider and members of her community in Clearview Township have been fighting wpd Canada and their wind turbines for more than seven years, including taking them to court in 2012 citing plunging land values for area properties.

Schneider and co-complainants were told by the judge in Barrie that they were pre-mature in their charges and that they should bring their case back to court once the turbines were up.

“We have been fighting turbines for about seven years and when the announcement came over that the government wouldn’t allow the township to argue their case and awarded the decision to wpd I though Oh my gosh, I was just devastated,” said Schneider. “We have been fighting all this time and now they are going to be there.”

“Then you sit back take a breath and then go back to Custer’s Last Stand is I guess what you would call it.”

With over 300 signatures in about two weeks, the petition is gaining momentum, however, Schneider admits putting the petition online is slower because a lot of people may not be used to adding their voice that way.

“We’ve had other petitions over the years with hundreds of names down, scratches on a paper, but we find they don’t really send a message.” said Schneider. “But I know our lawyer said that they don’t have specific criteria that they (The Tribunal members) are going to use, but they are getting the message that people are signing the petition.”

The service hosting the petition send they results to the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) so as Schneider says, they know there is rumbling from the community.

“And we would like the rumbling to be a little louder,” said Schneider.

Moving onto a farm 25 years ago with her family, Schneider knows how tight the agricultural community is, but she has also seen acres lost to development and believes that the turbines will not serve the purpose in the long term.

“My argument today is not that we are going to see turbines, or that this is a NIMBY protest, it is the fact that if wpd puts in eight turbines in Clearview Township they are not going to stop at eight.”

She worries that the area will see more because she suggests with the millions of dollars needed for the infrastructure it is to much money just for the initial eight, and believes that the area will experience the same circumstance as Shelburne who now supports more than 150 wind turbines.

“In twenty years who do you think will pay the millions of dollars to take the old turbines down, by then they will be worn out and rusty sitting on a concrete pad that could support First Canadian Place in Toronto,” said Schneider. “It won’t be wpd that’s for sure.”

If you would like to see Schneider’s petition go online to change.org or follow the link https://www.change.org/p/fund-and-fight-the-collingwood-airport-turbines?recruiter=36979297&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=share_email_responsive

The initial Environmental Review Tribunal takes place Tuesday at the Collingwood Curling Club.