Wind power has been (and continues to be) a controversial topic in the North Country. It’s a subject of debate in Ontario too, including a court case in which Prince Edward County land owner Ian Hanna is challenging current regulations governing industrial wind turbines.
The Ottawa Citizen has an interesting article by Lee Greenberg on an informational meeting held in North Gower, Ontario, with an estimated 125 in attendance this past Sunday.
Wolfe Island resident Janet White painted a bleak picture of life among wind turbines. She said corporate wind developers have driven a wedge in the small community between those who oppose the development and those, like her neighbours, who support it and have allowed a company to install three turbines on their property.
White said the Wolfe Island wind turbine developments have created few jobs or other economic benefits for the community as a whole. “We’re not building anything, there’s no legacy here,” she said.
The article goes on to detail how orthopedic surgeon and former medical school dean Dr. Bob McMurtry went from wind power fan to critic.
After spending more than 2,000 hours researching the issue, he concluded that people living within two kilometres of the turbines are in danger of experiencing adverse health effects.
Greenberg has a follow-up article which presents an over-view of Monday’s actual court proceedings. Ontario government lawyer Sara Blake discounted the testimony presented by McMurtry and two other physicians that questioned current safety standards.
Blake said McMurtry expresses opinions in a deposition that he is not qualified to give.
“This is pure advocacy,” she told a three-member panel at Osgoode Hall in Toronto Monday. “He is not an expert … It is the belief of a passionate person.”
Hanna’s attorney Eric Gillespie countered with criticism of how existing regulations were enacted.
(Gillespie took)… issue with the fact that a planning expert — and not a public health expert — reviewed the science on the impacts of turbines.
“On a matter of human health it is not enough to have a land use planner say we considered it,” he said in court.