Mothers Against Wind Turbines Inc. has launched an Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) against the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOE) and the Niagara Region Wind Corporation (NRWC). The NRWC has been granted approval by the Ministry of the Environment to construct 77 industrial wind turbines in West Lincoln, Wainfleet and Haldimand County. These IWT’s are the largest turbines to be placed on land in North America with the smallest set back. They will generate more empty homes, hospital expenses and higher electricity bills.
Many in the reading audience may be bored with this news, or resigned to the results when little people battle huge corporations or the government, but this battle is worth fighting because more and more red flags are going up on the field.
First – The provincial government did not conduct independent scientific research to determine what negative health effects may occur when industrial wind turbines are sited too close to where people live, work and play. The scientific research underpinning the MOE health statement is based on a Ministry of Health Report done by Dr. Arlene King in 2010. This report is based on a literature review, not independent scientific research. Dr. King refuses to testify about the selection of the material reviewed – much of the literature has been linked to the wind industry and based on much small IWT’s. Denial will not be an acceptable defense if the province has been wilfully negligent.
The scientific evidence is in, but in a statistical form that the government is ignoring. Additional studies have been done internationally and all studies indicate that health effects occur. Traditionally, we take a precautionary approach when the health of the people may be put at risk, but not this time. The MOE only acknowledges audible sound, but sound is much more complicated and consists of infra sound , a low frequency sound you cannot hear…. This is like studying smoking without considering tar and nicotine. Sixty years ago the tobacco industry encouraged people to smoke “to expand their lungs” and medical doctors appeared in cigarette advertisements. It took 30 years for the link between smoking and cancer to be established because the tobacco industry insisted that “not everyone who smokes gets cancer”. It will probably take some more time for the asbestos attorneys to get involved in the 100% of mesothelioma cases, too. Government initiatives have proven disastrous in the past- thalidomide, DDT, asbestos, urea formaldehyde. And we have certainly been taken advantage of before by big business. Science has caught up with the Wind Industry.
Secondly – The democratic rights of rural people were deliberately removed in the crafting of the Green Energy Act 2009. The Attorney General’s office drafted the legislation so it is not an accident that democratic rights of rural people were removed. The planning rights of the democratically elected rural municipalities were removed to facilitate the installation of IWT’s in rural areas. It was a deliberate violation of my democratic rights. The renewable energy initiative is politically motivated. The Green Energy Act was passed into law in less than a week by 59 MPPs – 52 Liberals and 7 NDP members of parliament– many of whom did not even read the Green Energy Act. All MPPs are duly elected to serve and protect all citizens of Ontario. Members of parliament receive a provincial mandate to serve and protect, not a licence to pillage and destroy the rural municipalities – most of whom voted Progressive Conservative.
Our democratic system is being destroyed from within and this removal of democratic rights for a politically motivated initiative should cause extreme alarm. When 59 democratically elected MPPs can remove democratic rights from others, we are moving to a different kind of government. When you remove the power of the people and people’s rights can be ignored or trampled on, then we are moving to a socialist state. This will allow those with the most money access to the decision making, and the wealth and resources of this province will be controlled by fewer and fewer people. If you don’t know what your rights are, you don’t have any.
According to a report released by Oxfam International at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the richest one per cent of the population will own more than half the world’s wealth by 2016. The scale of global inequality is quite simply staggering, the gap between the richest and the rest is widening fast. Corporations spend millions of dollars lobbying the government for favourable legislation, much of which allows them to avoid paying taxes.
Thirdly – Consider the cost of renewable energy. According to the Auditor General’s Report the Liberal government did not prepare a cost benefit analysis for the renewable energy initiative. When you consider the cost of the feed in tariff subsidies paid to the IWT corporations – the electricity consumers will pay $50 billion in subsidies for a very expensive form of intermittent energy that must be backed up by base load power. So, in effect, we pay for two electrical systems to run at the same time. The excess power created is sold below cost to Quebec, Manitoba, New York and Michigan, so, Ontario electricity consumers are subsidizing the cost of electricity for other people. Alternatively, we pay the IWT corporations not to produce electricity! Ontario has the highest electricity prices in North America and as the price of electricity climbs, industry is fleeing the province.
The fight must be continued, it is worth it. The new renewable energy initiative costs too much. I do not want to pay with my health, my wealth or my democratic way of life for a politically motivated initiative that will destroy the community in which I live, work and play.
PLEASE!! Consider donating to the Legal Fund so we can continue to fight against the Industrialization of our Rural Community! Thank you!