Honorable Dr. Eric Hoskins
Minister of Health and Long Term Care
10th Floor, Hepburn Block
80 Grosvenor Street
Toronto, Ontario M7A 2C4
Dear Dr. Eric Hoskins,
It was with little to no enthusiasm that I read your response dated June 8th 2015, to the package and letter that I provided you with on September 16th, 2014 in Grey Highlands at the announcement of the New Markdakle Hospital. In fact the letter was not even penned by you but by J. Dhamrait in your Correspondence Services. After waiting 9 months for a reply I received a boilerplate letter that does not address any of the concerns of which I presented to you.
Mention of the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health, Arleen King’s report shows just how out of touch your Ministry is when citing a report that is 5 years old while ignoring the growing body of evidence which I included in my first letter to you; “Systematic Review 2013: Association between Wind Turbines and Human Distress” in which it was demonstrated “the presence of reasonable evidence that an association exists between wind turbines and distress in humans” as well as “A summary of some of the peer reviewed articles and conference papers, abstracts and other citations, regarding impairment of health in general and relating to industrial wind turbines. Industrial Wind Turbines and Health: Wind Turbines Can Harm Humans if too close to Residents”
Reference to the Health Canada Study, although positive did not address the Summary of Results of November 6, 2015 determined by objective and subjective measures which states “The following was found to be statistically associated with increasing levels of WTN:
• annoyance towards several wind turbine features (i.e. noise, shadow flicker, blinking lights, vibrations, and visual impacts).”
• A statistically significant increase in annoyance was found when WTN levels exceeded 35 dBA.”
In Ontario, the predicted noise models are 40 dBA but the allowable noise level imposed on people is up to 51 dBA with increased wind speed. As the Minister of Health, the finding of Health Canada at 35 dBA should be of concern to you. Health Canada and WHO acknowledge annoyance is an adverse health effect.
Further no mention was made of the findings dated April 9 2015 of the Council of Canadian Academies that the “Expert Panel finds that annoyance can be caused by wind turbine noise — a clear adverse health effect.”
Your response suggests that I might wish to share my concerns with the MOECC or the Ministry of Energy. It is because of years of doing exactly that with the result of boilerplate responses such as yours that I turned to your Ministry for help. I have filed 68 complaints with the MOECC since April 17, 2012 with no remedy or mitigation provided. Out of sheer frustration and growing cynicism I have now given up filing complaints but continue to document my adverse effects in a journal that has entries dating over 3 years. The Ministries mentioned above only serve to administer the GEA and are mandated to support more IWTs, at any cost, including imposing health risks on the rural population.
Are you aware that when you search the term “health” in association with affects of IWTs, the only hits relate to the impossible test imposed during ERT appeals – causality of serious harm? Most of the rural population and many in urban areas know this test cannot be met.
This is a health issue and I believed that as a Minister of Health and a physician, the principle of “do no harm” would be paramount and respected. My physician conducted a series of tests to get at the root cause of my symptoms. I included in my package to you a copy of a letter from him in which he had determined that “the main factor contributing to her symptoms is her proximity to the wind turbines.” Obviously his findings are not sufficient for invoking any mitigation and had you read the letter you would no doubt have not felt the need to council me to consult him as you would have been aware that I had already done so.
In a subsequent letter written to you on October 17, 2014 I wrote “As a physician I would hope that your political ideology as Minister of Health and Long Term Care would not override your moral conscience. Rural Ontarians deserve the same justice and humanitarian rights as those whom you advocate on behalf of in other parts of the world. The public interest should never take precedence over the human rights of others.”
The response from you to my plight and that of so many other people in rural Ontario has created a loss of trust and credibility especially when the public seems more informed than the Ministry of Health. That you can only respond with dated information when the evidence is clear, then one has to wonder how long this harmful policy will continue to be sustained.
This is an open letter, it will be shared along with your response attached with the very public that has lost all faith in the government of which you hold office.
Virginia Stewart Love
Cc: Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Rona Ambrose, Federal Minister of Health
Premier Kathleen Wynne
Deputy Premier Deb Mathews