Liberals Must Act Now to Halt Development on New Wind Farms
20 July 2012
“In contrast to the province’s complacency, Health Canada appears to be taking health concerns seriously, having just announced a two-year study into the health effects of wind turbines on nearby residents.”
- U of T law and economics professor Michael Trebilcock, The National Post, July 17, 2012
QUEEN’S PARK – With Health Canada looking into the effects of wind turbine noise on people’s health, the Liberals need to stand up for Ontarians and stop the development of new wind farms until the results are known, said Lisa Thompson, Ontario PC Critic for the Green Energy Act.
Thompson was joined today by pharmacist Carmen Krogh, an internationally-recognized expert on wind turbines, and Dave Hemingway, who is creating a documentary on the effect of wind turbines on communities.
“People living close to wind farms have been telling us for years they’ve had to leave their homes, they can’t sleep, they’re suffering from depression, ever since the turbines were built,” said Thompson. “I had five families in my riding that had their homes bought out by a wind developer, but the families cannot talk about it because they are under a gag order. This is why I put forward a motion earlier this year to ban turbine construction until further social, physical and economic health and environmental studies were conducted.”
“The McGuinty Liberals failed to take these concerns seriously and voted down the bill,” continued Thompson. “Now the federal government is stepping up and conducting a study on the effects of wind power on public health, and they should be applauded for doing what the McGuinty Liberals have failed to do.”
On July 10, Health Canada announced it was conducting a $1.8-million study with Statistics Canada to measure the potential health effects of low-frequency noise by monitoring the residents of 2,000 randomly selected dwellings near wind farms in Canada. The results will be published in 2014.
The announcement comes after Auditor General Jim McCarter recommended in 2011 that the provincial government provide the public with the results of objective research on the issue. “Chris Bentley’s response is to simply dismiss the concerns of professionals and the public, and instead push ahead with the Liberals’ failed green energy policies,” stated Thompson. “He’s trying to cover his back by saying Ontario’s chief medical officer said it was okay, she didn’t find any causal links – truth be told she only did a literature review, and not a physical study.”
“The fact is, the chief medical officer never conducted any on-site research to see what was happening to Ontarians,” continued Thompson. “Moreover, there’s absolutely no reason why we need to keep building new wind farms. The province already has an oversupply of power that has cost taxpayers $1.8 billion over the last six years – and the bill keeps rising.”
Thompson added that the Liberals’ mismanagement of the province’s $15-billion energy system has resulted in the highest industrial energy rates in Canada and key U.S. markets, driving away businesses and jobs. In the last nine years alone, Ontario has lost 300,000 manufacturing jobs.
“If the Liberals are out of ideas on how to fix their mess, the Ontario PCs will continue to bring forward our proposals for creating affordable energy,” concluded Thompson.