Stopping turbines ‘right thing’

Stratford Beacon Herald

PARKHILL — The uncertain health impact of wind turbines is reason enough to stop building them, a federal and provincial politician said south of here Monday.

MP Bev Shipley said a just-begun Health Canada study should prompt the province to place a moratorium on building the turbines.

MPP Monte McNaughton said the provincial Green Energy Act is a “disaster” and he would “absolutely” want to can the turbines even if health studies show they are benign.

“It is, in my mind … just the right thing to do,” he said, surrounded by about a dozen wind energy opponents at a corn and soybean field soon to become part of a 45-turbine wind farm.

“People are starting to realize it’s going to affect their property values, affect their health possibly and it’s an economic disaster,” said turbine opponent Muriel Allingham.

When they’re decommissioned, farm fields will become “an industrial wasteland,” she said.

The feds announced they will study the impact of turbines on human health and a report is expected by 2014.

But regulating turbines is a provincial responsibility, which led one observer to suggest the farm field news conference was little more than partisan politics.

“(Shipley) himself said we shouldn’t prejudge what the results of the health study will be,” said Mike Radan, who heads the provincial Liberal riding association in Lambton Kent Middlesex.

He said the event was a “stunt” more reminiscent of a campaign stop than a reasonable look at the issues.

Perth-Wellington MP Gary Schellenberger, who spoke out in favour of a moratorium last week in an interview with The Beacon Herald, went a step further Monday. In a letter, he asked Premier Dalton McGuinty to put the brakes on any new wind turbine construction until the results of the Health Canada study are released.

“Until such time as an independent and exhaustive study is complete, it would be cavalier and irresponsible to move ahead with the construction of any additional wind turbines when human health cannot be guaranteed. A significant number of my constituents, from across the riding, share this view,” he said in the letter.

Debora Van Brenk QMI AGENCY— with files from Brian Shypula



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