Holland provides examples of how to approach wind farms

To the Expositor:

People of Manitoulin Island and Ontario should take notice! According to a recent article in the United Church of Canada’s monthly magazine, The Observer, there is an ill wind blowing in the wind turbines in Holland. Despite its commitment to the environment and its long history of harnessing the power of the wind, some communities in Holland, after many years of experience, are now protesting wind farms. And they are not the only ones having second thoughts. In the United States, Australia, and throughout Europe and the world, people are resisting wind farms.

Why are they protesting? Because so many people living near wind farms are feeling the effects of these wind farms. Many are experiencing numerous health concerns such as sleep disturbance, stress, headaches, and nausea. Nature is also being disturbed. We need to ask whether hunting and fishing on this island will be negatively affected in the long run? Will tourism drop? I visited Wolfe Island, near Kingston, a couple years ago, and I could hardly wait to get off the island because of all the wind turbines.

Wind turbines have cause so much division in a number of communities that it is causing added stress and anger. Those who profit from the wind turbines obviously support them and those who suffer health concerns are opposed. It has hurt the well being of once peaceful and tight-knit communities such as Wolfe Island and others. I would be interested to know that if down the road a few years these wind turbines are definitively found to be the cause of ill health and environmental damage will the province, the wind companies, and the property owners be liable? Or will we the taxpayers get dumped on? Who is going to pay?

Unlike our provincial government, at least some of the Dutch governments are listening. The provincial government of North Holland, for example, has put forward a motion to ban any future construction of wind farms in their province. We have no say here in Ontario. Our provincial government has been very high handed about it all and have acted in a very undemocratic, and dictatorial way. I am somewhat surprised that so few people seem to be upset that under the previous provincial government we have lost too many of our democratic rights, including the rights of teachers to a proper democratic process in negotiating their work situation. But that is another issue. It is very undemocratic to bypass consulting the people on such major issues. The new premier has hinted that perhaps we might get back some of our democracy with regards to wind turbines, casinos, teachers’ rights and such. I hope she comes through. We, the people, need to have a voice, and not have it dictated to us. If the wind farms are so great why are they forced on a municipality without its approval? Let’s look for alternatives to wind turbines. Let’s act before it’s too late.

Martin Garniss
Providence Bay