Abstract: Canada has ratified international conventions which recognize the individual’s right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health. Despite the adoption of these covenants governments sometimes support policies and practises which trade off individual human health with other conflicting interests. This review evaluates the individual’s right to health against government policies and practices which support wind energy deployment in Canada. Our analysis presents government documents, peer reviewed literature, and other references which support the conclusion that wind energy deployment in Canada can be expected to result in avoidable harm to human health. This harm conflicts with contemporary health and social justice principles. Governments have a responsibility to help Canadians maintain and improve their health by generating effective responses for the prevention of avoidable harm. Individuals have a right to make informed decisions about their health. Knowledge gaps and potential risks to health should be fully disclosed. Individuals should not be exposed to industrial wind turbines without their informed consent.
Keywords: Wind Turbines, Policies and Practices in Canada, Harm to Human Health, Human Rights, Social Justice
The following is a letter to the Standing Committee on the Green Energy and Economy Act in back in April, 2009. It could have been written a month ago. Clearly the “Economy” target of the Liberals Act took precedence over health and safety as billions have been funneled out of the tax coffers to the owners of these projects. Thousands of complaints have been suppressed. Untold number of families have been impacted. Most irreparably.
“The windmills started up at the end of November/early December 2008 and it was only after they started them up full time that we started having problems. They were so loud we could not sleep. It was aggravating and exhausting. The one closest to us is 456 metres behind us to the west and the next is just less than 700 metres to the east. We can hear them equally well and they cause terrible noise…
My project is the Niagara Region Wind, which consists of 77, 3.0 MW 124m height, plus the blade length which is 101m tip to tip. These turbines exceeds the span of a Boeing 747. In my backyard. I live in Haldimand County.
It is very hard to post everything about the projects, from noise, visual pollution, a community driven apart and divided, to human health, environmental health, the corruption uncovered, the rights you no longer have and the push backs from every single level of government there is. Not one single level of government will converse with you, they have a standard response they give to everyone.
I have one IWT 680m from my home, 417m to my property line. I have one 1022m from my home, another 1322m from my home and a transfer station is 900m to my home. Within 3km’s of my home there is at least 20+ turbines.
I live remotely, dead end street with 23 beautiful acres.
It’s a very different life. There is no more quiet space. There isn’t any quiet time anywhere. They are enormous, unsightly. Visually distracting, Visually disturbing, night and day. At night I have blinking red lights that penetrate our home.
I am on a prescription for vertigo, cabin pressure and motion sickness. This is a way of life I have never dreamed of living, nor thought would ever happen. This is MY new life, not chosen by me, but rammed down my throat by the incompetent greedy corrupt liberals. Yes, the prescription helps to lessen the symptoms and at times debilitating pain, but I am on a DRUG to remain in my home most days (forced out some days).
Let me explain something. I have fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis. Both of which I do not medicate or take any scribe for. I manage with a healthy lifestyle and staying active. Now, in order to not be hospitalized for violent episodes of vertigo, balance loss and vomiting, I MUST remain on a prescription.
I can not convey my anger at this situation correctly. I can not convey to those who do not have turbines exactly what it is like to live with them. It is an experience that goes beyond ones ability to express correctly.
How do you tell people, the turbines haunt you 24/7. How do you explain to people the turbines and the IFS and LFS keep you awake all night.
I continue to battle for my rights. The same rights given to every Canadian and the same rights laid out in the constitution. But when you learn the GEA 2009 has over ridden rights, over ridden by-laws, abolished the MOECC, MNR rights and so on, you know you don’t live in Kansas anymore.
I am more than willing to discuss this on an ongoing basis.
Later I will post videos of the noise, the view from my living room and explain that as a mother how your FIGHT mode is triggered when a minor in your home is adversely affected. How you quietly retreat to your room to cry in overwhelming shame; Shame you can not provide a safe home for your family and yourself.
I truly am a different person than I was 7 months ago.
With each write to the government and agencies, I remind them I did not give up my rights, I did not consent to be a human trial project and their blatant disregard for human health will have consequences.
Lastly, I’d like to mention I have a fantastic Doctor. Most GP’s think its all in your head. My doctor understands LF’s and IFS. Due to the immense cabin pressure in my ears he acknowledges it’s time to start tracking nerve damage seeing as we are at the early stages, nerve damage which will cause hearing loss. I will be going for extensive hearing tests until further notice.
There is so much more to write….
Noise-emitting devices installed in a downtown parkette in Toronto were removed following complaints. Begging the question: WHY NOT REMOVE WIND TURBINES?
Noise is unwanted sound.
Where you live (urban vs. rural) and the noise emitting source of your acoustical tormentor creates a dichotomy in accessing protections to safe guard personal well- being. Particularly if the noise happens to be from a wind turbine generator.
Noise used to discourage vagrancy and repeal youth from loitering is shut off due to complaints. An urban example with a different outcome than 1 000s upon 1 000s of turbine complaints arising in rural areas. Turbine noise is adversely impairing sleep and creating increasing numbers of families driven out of their homes. Noise from turbines is allowed secure in the knowledge it is shielded by laws enacted to further the day’s energy policies. The wind industry hides behind the skirts of its protectors deflecting any compelled action using legalese as a shield and regulations of the Green Energy Act as its sword. Silencing the voices of the hurting and harmed.
“Because even though he can’t say it, he wants to be included. He wants a voice, that, at the moment, he doesn’t have. And he needs help to find his voice.”
MAWT’s original founding members have children with a wide spectrum of diagnosis that make them not typical. Many fall within the Autism spectrum. Every now and then an article is shared on the internet that has universal truths. How our children live with daily challenges and the impacts of wind turbines brought us together as wind turbines invaded our most personal of spaces- our homes. We continue to advocate for ourselves and communities by making our voices heard. Most importantly we are the voices for our children. When you read the following article- it is hoped it helps illustrates how silent voices can be made to be heard. Mothers Against Wind Turbines (MAWT) continues to demand action to preserve and protect health and battle for all children to live in a safe environment. Autistic Son Tries To Answer Homework Question, But When Dad Takes A Second Look His Heart Breaks.
By: John Starling. September 25, 2016
For those of you who don’t know, my youngest son, Christopher, is on the autistic spectrum. I went to his back to school night on Thursday and took a picture of one of his projects displayed on the wall, one of many cute little cards that all the kids in his class had filled out. It asked him to list his favorite foods, sport, TV shows etc.
I took the picture hurriedly, and didn’t notice all the answers he had filled out at that time. It was only after I got home that something stood out upon closer review.
Do you guys remember, a couple of weeks ago, the massive amount of press that the Florida State Football player got when he sat down at the lunch table with an autistic boy that was eating alone? That player didn’t know the boy was on the autistic spectrum when he sat down with him…he just saw a boy eating lunch all by himself and decided to join him. A teacher snapped a picture of the moment and it went viral. That’s what made the story great….it wasn’t staged…it was just a real moment of human kindness….
Something that wasn’t right was fixed, and tied up neatly with a pretty little bow of kindness and understanding.
Is there a Remedy for People Suffering, Health Issues, Financially, etc. from Industrial Wind Turbines in Ontario ?– approximately 7700 planned for Ontario.
“Congratulations to Trish and Shawn Drennan!”
The Goderich Superior Court Room was filled to capacity when Shawn and Trish Drennan went to Court on January 19th to reverse the negative impact that the 140 Industrial Wind Turbine Project (K2), two transformer stations and several transmission lines have on their family, home and their Heritage Farm operation.
They put a compelling and sensible case together and spoke with passion and the strength of truth behind their words. One comment was that some felt they were witnessing an important step in this fight. I heard, from a lawyer,… “that a lawyer could not have done a better job in arguing the case”. Most felt the judge really got it and it was in no small part because of the time, work, expense and personal sacrifice they both have given to their case to put the facts on the table.
Shawn, “presented himself”, and told the court that the government has created an impossible barrier when he has to prove “Serious Harm to human health” at an Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT), when the turbines have not been installed or in operation yet. The ERT appeals and Divisional Court Hearings occur prior to the IWTs becoming operational. The Divisional Court also confirmed that the ERT’s lack the jurisdiction to determine the validly of section 47.5 of the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) and its constitutionality. In addition, to date, there appears to be no definition for the term “Serious Harm” even after all the ERT’s, Judicial Reviews and Divisional Court cases here in Ontario.
Shawn declared that the many witnesses who have come forward to testify that they have been harmed by turbines all over this province have not been given the gravity and respect they deserve for putting their testimony forward. Shawn told the hearing that the government and K2 knew the turbines will harm people even before wind project proposals and permits went ahead. The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) lobbied the government to remove Infra and Low Frequency Sound regulations and testing when the Green Energy Act was written and this requirement was subsequently removed. If Judge Raikes had asked, at least half or more of the people in the court room that day could have stood up and said, “ I am the evidence of harm from Industrial Wind Turbines (IWTs).”
Shawn told the hearing that the difference between then, (ERT Hearings prior to operation) and now (May 29 2015), is that now the switch has been turned on, and the IWT’s are operational and we are being harmed.
Judge Raikes challenged K2 and the MOE to tell him what remedy the Drennans have besides more time in court. We all watched them try to answer to no avail, because as was pointed out the only remedy right now is to move away. “Most people do not want to move away to begin with but do so to regain health. They are often penalized yet again when they have to lower the sales price to even get the home sold.
When Judge Raikes looked at the K2 lawyer, Mr Bredt, the judge tried to paraphrase what the lawyer had just said to him, “ So, the Drennans went to the ERT and Divisional Court, have complained to MOE, and still have no remedy, so it’s tough luck for them? Bredt replied, “Yes.” which drew gasps of disbelief from the full gallery of people who attended.
When it came time to argue about who should be named as defendants in the Charter Challenge; K2 and /or govt., it was interesting to watch the judge see both parties try to throw each other under the bus.
Those in attendance are waiting to hear Judge Raikes decision and keep their fingers crossed that Shawn and Trish can move forward in finding a remedy for the harm they have experienced. This hearing has implications for property owners and people living within at least a 10 km radius of a turbine project here in Ontario.
Thank you, on behalf of a whole lot of us in Ontario.
You put a compelling and sensible case together and spoke with passion and the strength of truth behind your words today. One comment was that some felt they were witnessing an important step in this fight. I heard, from a lawyer, that a lawyer couldn’t have done a better job in arguing the case. Most felt the judge really got it and it was in no small part because of the time, work, expense and personal sacrifice you’ve both given to this to put the facts on the table.
You told the court the govt has put up an impossible barrier when we have to prove at an ERT that a turbine installation that isn’t built yet, will seriously harm us and that the judicial review confirmed the ERT’s decision.
You declared that the many witnesses who have come forward to testify that they have been harmed by turbines all over this province have not been given the gravity and respect they deserve for putting their testimony forward. You told them the govt and the wind company KNOWS it will harm people even as the proposals and permits go ahead. And I note that if the judge had asked, at least half or more of the people in that room today could have stood up and said, “ I am the evidence of harm from turbines.”
You told them that the difference between then and now, is now the switch has been turned on, the turbines are running and you too are being harmed.
The judge challenged the wind company and the MOE to tell him what remedy the Drennins have besides more time in court and we all watched them try to answer to no avail, because as was pointed out the only remedy right now is to move away.
When the judge looked at the wind company lawyer and tried to paraphrase what the lawyer had just said to him with, “ So, the Drennins went to the ERT and judicial review, have complained to MOE, and still have no remedy, so it’s tough luck for them? The wind company lawyer replied, “Yes.” which drew gasps of disbelief from the full gallery of people who attended.
When it came time to argue about who should be named as defendants; wind company and /or govt., it was interesting to watch the judge watch both try to throw each other under the bus.
I await to hear the decision and keep fingers crossed that you can move forward.
On January 19, 2017 Shaun and Trish Drennan will continue to pursue the Constitutional Challenge against the Green Energy Act. Self represented this time- they will be bringing before the Ontario Superior Court a revised statement of claim seeking remedy found in the protections guaranteed in Canada’s constitution. Most importantly the action’s goal is to actively use the law to grant relief and prevention of harm from wind powered complexes.
WHAT: Constitutional Challenge WHEN: January 19, 2017 10 am
WHERE: Goderich Court House (Ontario Superior Court-Divisional)
Unite The Fight
In 2014 four families (Dixon, Ryan, Drennan, Koplein) acted as the appellants leading the novel case. Falconers LLP acted on behalf of the families. The Court’s decision failed to move the contested issues towards the desired resolution. Documents from the hearing can be reviewed at: http://www.falconers.ca/casestudy/wind-turbines-drennan/
The renewable energy approvals for K2 Wind, Amrow Wind and St.Columban Wind remain in the sights and cross hairs of law and legal argument. If the action succeeds it will impact statutory authorities enabling wind power.
Mothers Against Wind Turbinesjoined forces with other community- based interest groups that formed the Community Coalition (14 groups in total) which was accepted as interveners in the original hearing in 2014. (Lambton County was accepted as an independent intervener)
Please show your support to Shaun and Trish. Your seats in the seats would be appreciated.
I am writing you to let you know that on September 22nd we received a response from Minister Jane Philpott to our open letter dated June 15. The response is attached.
Prime Minister, your appointed Health Minister discarded our concern to give voice to the families being impacted by wind turbines.
She suggested we would hear from departmental officials regarding the Radiation Emitting Devices Act and the Health Canada Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study, which we have received. It is not helpful.
Let me be clear. The families that are being impacted right now as I write this have been waiting years to have voice with our government. Some have passed on from this earth without resolution or acknowledgement of the harm that has been imposed on them without consent. Your renewable energy policy continues to aggressively promote wind energy while completely ignoring those who are being directly harmed by it.
Many of us have communicated with your governmental departments on the aforementioned health study and the RED Act. If things were settled with those two exercises I can guarantee, we would not be writing to you in plea for an appointment. In fact, the RED Act has been violated and the health study is widely known to be flawed, undoubtedly in effort to support continued implementation. We’re not buying it Prime Minister and we have had enough.
Please, try to understand the frustration at being harmed, literally having to lose our health and our homes by wind turbines that are operating around us.
Where is the compassion of the Canadian Government for our families? Why are rural people so callously discriminated against as if we do not count when it comes to protection from industrial facilities?
Your Minister “commended” me on advocating for rural communities. How insulting it is to be artificially commended at the same time that our concerns are blown off. I am not an advocate any more than the 250 people who signed on to the open letter and to the thousands others who have been lodging formal complaints, attending government and community meetings, researching and writing letters to authorities for over 10 years demonstrating the harm to them. Is this a responsible answer when there are suffering families who have lost all hope waiting to hear something meaningful from our government? What of those advocates who are ill right now and who have lost all faith in you and your ministers? Any optimism at your promise to care about all Canadians has been shattered.
I lost my home Prime Minister. My husband and our pets suffered the health impacts from the wind turbine operations to the point we could no longer live there. That was our home. Not coming from entitlement – our families, our homes and our communities are very important to us. Yet these wind turbine projects have had rural families under attack for at least a decade. I recently heard a comment about how undignified protesters can become when government officials present themselves in their communities. Where is the dignity in imposing repeated, unending harm without consent that is never addressed by any official of any level of government? How would you feel and what would you do if your young children were feeling the way these children in rural Ontario feel every day and night?
Do you know how it feels to have extended family members and friends look at you as an oddity because our government continues to tell them there are no problems with noise and infrasound from wind turbines and it is just our bad attitude about them that is causing all of our grief? How degrading. Do you know how it feels to sit in your driveway at 11 o’clock at night having just finished loading the last bits of your belongings in your car because you had to leave the home you loved, and not for any reasonable life event but because you were bullied and harmed by the very ones who were supposed to protect you? The anger and the pain brought upon families by this government’s irresponsibility is hard to reconcile.
Has this government not recently learned a strong lesson from years of neglect in our Indigenous communities? Yet here you are doing exactly the same thing to rural families. Denying and allowing continued harm is not an answer to this problem any more than it was for our native Canadians.
Prime Minister, you can rest assured there are a lot of families right now who are suffering from the indignities brought on by these wind turbine projects. My heart is with those families who have lost everything. They have lost the ability to control their health, some have lost their homes or have abandoned them, they’ve lost their livestock and pets, and their children because some parents won’t allow their children to live in their house anymore and have relocated them.
Your Health Minister’s answer is unacceptable.
You need to act on this Prime Minister and it must be dealt with just as you deal with discrimination and harm to others. We have our own refugees who cannot live in their own homes in this country all due to a bad policy.
We are all asking once again for a meeting. I hope that your Minister (or you yourself) will reconsider the decision to download these serious concerns onto your departmental officials.
We are asking for collaboration, not defense and deferral, on this serious issue.
In this spirit I have attached a copy of your mandate to your Health Minister.
676425 Centre Road
Excerpts from your mandate:
“Canadians need to have faith in their government’s honesty and willingness to listen. I expect that our work will be informed by performance measurement, evidence, and feedback from Canadians.”
“Canadians expect us, in our work, to reflect the values we all embrace: inclusion, honesty, hard work, fiscal prudence, and generosity of spirit. We will be a government that governs for all Canadians, and I expect you, in your work, to bring Canadians together.”
“When Canadians are in good physical and mental health, they are able to work better, be more productive, and contribute more fully to our economy while living healthier, happier lives.”
” We have committed to an open, honest government that is accountable to Canadians, lives up to the highest ethical standards, and applies the utmost care and prudence in the handling of public funds. I expect you to embody these values in your work and observe the highest ethical standards in everything you do. When dealing with our Cabinet colleagues, Parliament, stakeholders, or the public, it is important that your behaviour and decisions meet Canadians’ well-founded expectations of our government. I want Canadians to look on their own government with pride and trust.”
Mayor Higgins of North Frontenac has petitioned in Ontario court to be an intervenor in the Judicial Review (JR) application filed by CCSAGE Naturally Green (over the approval granted for the White Pines project in Prince Edward County). Green Energy Act removes Municipal government’s authorities over the placement and operations of renewable energy projects. Renewable Energy projects and installation of wind turbines have devastated rural communities in a manner that urban areas are not subject to.
The purpose of the JR is to ask Ontario Superior Court questions of law about the burden imposed, processes followed, biases and Constitutionality surrounding the Green Energy Act (GEA). The GEA is the legislation that creates Renewable Energy Approvals required to authorize wind projects. GEA: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/09g12
“The JR has the potential to help protect all rural Ontario from the continued onslaught of these industrial machines.If you are an organization, coalition or individual anywhere in Ontario who has suffered as a result of actual or threatened installation of turbine projects, you may be able to assist in one of two ways. One, by applying to the Court for status as an Intervenor for which a lawyer is required for those incorporated, and, two, by providing us with an affidavit containing information not otherwise already dealt with”.