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Peaceful protest at wind turbine site

Water Wells First protesters appear to be more active than the work crews at a wind turbine construction site just north of Chatham.

Pile driving started earlier this week at a North Kent 1 Wind Project site, but work crews weren’t doing any digging Thursday morning.

Water Wells First spokesperson Kevin Jakubec was among the protesters present at the site. He doesn’t expect the protesters to cause any trouble.

“Our people have been trained very well by the Council of Canadians in non-violent civil disobedience – it’s not our intent,” says Jakubec. “We have been trained in trying to de-escalate tensions – our role here today is one of information.”

Part of that information campaign includes members of the group handing out pamphlets and speaking with the workers who are at the site.

While the protests are purely for information at the moment, Water Wells First members aren’t ruling out further action.

Jakubec says if members believe wells in the area are beginning to become contaminated as a result of the work that’s going on, they will start to ramp up their civil disobedience.

“Yes, we will go to more serious levels,” says Jakubec. “Blocking access roads and possibly even handcuffing ourselves to construction equipment.”

According to Jakubec, the group also has a meeting coming up on June 28 at the Ministry of the Environment office in Windsor where they will present their findings to provincial officials.

Jakubec says the group is also looking in the possibility of opening a public inquiry into the situation with water wells in Chatham-Kent.

A public inquiry was launched to investigate E.Coli contamination of the water supply in Walkerton, Ontario.