The Ontario protest at Queens Park, organized by Toronto Wind Action, was energizing! We had about 500 attendees, some from as far away as New York. It was good to share our experiences with people from around the world. Letters of support came in from Denmark, Germany, Quebec, The UK, the US, Nordic and Baltic States, France and Australia. Students and staff also strolled over from Central Tech High School at Bloor and Bathurst.
Here is an excerpt from Lorrie: It looks like it was an empowering experience for all, and as you can see, people travelled for hours to get to the event.
People from all corners of the province came to voice their concerns about wind turbines! To name some areas represented (I’m sorry if I miss some); Thunder Bay, Tiny Township, Toronto, Renfrew, Ottawa, Clinton, Meaford, Flesherton, Markdale, Mapleton, Blue Mountains, Belwood, Shelburne, Kingston, Wolfe Island, Manvers, Woodstock, Kincardine, Underwood, Armow, Orangeville, Creemore, Honeywood, Chatsworth, Dundalk, Clear Creek, Hamilton and Bruce Peninsula. There were certainly more than 4 people from each place. McGuinty must have had something blocking his view when he claims a hundred people were there. Best guess is that there were at least 500 people at the rally, some leaving early, more coming to take their place.
Speakers included several MPPs, Dr. McMurtry, Ian Hanna, Eric Gillespie, Michael Trebilcock, Carmen Krogh, John Laforet, people who have had to cope with living near turbines, municipal representatives and some of us everyday people. The musicians, Seb, Karen, Benny and Bruce were amazing, and had protest lyrics. Benny and his son Jonah stayed long into the day.
At one point, it was brought to everyone’s attention that a couple of farmers who had taken a very precious planting day off to attend the rally had also donated a significant sum to the Ian Hanna legal challenge of the Green Energy Act right there at Queen’s Park! And there were others who did the same.
We then marched to the Ontario Power Authority ( the people who award contracts to wind developers) down the road with police escort, chanting and sign waving. John Laforet called up to see if anyone would come out and address the crowd. No one would even pick up the phone. We marched back in time to line up to go into the gallery in the legislature.
There were a few empty seats in the public gallery as at least 30+ people waited to get in to see the debate on an issue that is going to effect their lives so dramatically. Some of the people waiting were victims of turbines in this province. I’m so sorry all were not allowed to enter because there WAS room for them to sit and be there. Since when does security have so much power that they can deny access to a public building?
The motion was put forward by John Yakabuski:
I move that the Legislative Assembly of Ontario calls for a moratorium on all wind farm projects until an independent, comprehensive study of the health and environmental impacts of wind farms is completed and Premier McGuinty restores the planning authority governing them to municipalities and local boards.
The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): I’m just going to remind all the members who are in the galleries today-I saw you were just about to clap and you caught yourself there-that you’re allowed to observe, but as much as you may desire to participate in the process, you can’t; you have to be elected and down here.
Mr. Peter Kormos: They can smile or frown.
The conservatives were wonderful in their debate! They continually challenged the other parties who hollowly prattled out the same old debunked and outdated arguements!
The Deputy Speaker (Mr. Bruce Crozier): Further debate?
Ms. Helena Jaczek: I’m happy to rise today to enter into this debate on the motion introduced by the member from Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke. He is clearly doing it in the best interests of having a full public debate on the particular concerns that he’s raised.
We have also had the opportunity previously, courtesy of the private member’s bill from the member from Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound that was brought in at the end of last year, and I was happy to enter into that debate to focus specifically on the health concerns related to wind turbines. At that time, I reviewed what had been done in terms of investigation of these potential health effects, and certainly I was very satisfied that in fact our government had taken serious steps to review the health concerns raised by residents who feel that they may have been impacted.
We have many, many years of experience in Europe in relation to potential health effects. They have been studied.
We are particularly fortunate here in Ontario that we have the Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion, established by our government, which is a repository of excellence in terms of environmental epidemiology. One of the individuals there at the agency is Dr. Ray Copes. He’s the director of environmental and occupational health. He presented a full and very thorough scientific review of the potential health hazards of wind turbines in a webinar on September 10, 2009. His review-this is a totally objective individual with tremendous expertise in the area-concluded that there is no evidence of noise-induced health effects at levels emitted by wind turbines. The literature reviewed did reveal that there were anecdotal reports of symptoms such as sleep disturbance, headaches, dizziness, anxiety, concentration and learning problems, and ringing in the ears, but there was no scientific evidence to date to demonstrate a causal association between wind turbine noise and adverse health effects. There were a few Swedish studies that reported that noise from wind turbines was certainly annoying to some people.
There has been a concern expressed that turbines produce sound commonly referred to as low-frequency noise and that this can be harmful. However, there is no published data that confirm the claims of adverse health effects for low-frequency sounds of low pressure.
NORMA! Norma, tiny little wisp of a thing, flew to her feet, spoke from the deepest place in her heart. She was like a smack in the head, a kick in the stomach as to the reality of this issue! I have to paraphrase because I can’t remember it word for word but she was strong and sure when she spoke told them that she WAS evidence that something is wrong, that this IS real, that people ARE getting sick, that she is an RN, THAT SHE KNOWS ABOUT HEALTH and knows symptoms, that she has been sick since the Enbridge wind turbines started up, that she has experienced the headaches, the nausea, the sleep deprivation, she has had to give up her job; a job she dearly loved, that she is going to have to give up her home of 32 years, the home she raised her 3 children in.
The Deputy Speaker (Mr. Bruce Crozier): Sergeant, will you remove that person, please?
Interruption. NORMA! (The security person did NOT remove Norma. To the credit of the security guards, they were courteous and sensitive to the situation.) Norma, who continued on said: HOW DARE THIS GOVERNMENT, a government who is supposed to protect us deny that this is happening to us! How can you all sit there and deny what is going on? Where is my government? Where is Carol Mitchell? Where is Carol Mitchell, my MPP who is supposed to be representing me? Where is my government? Where is my government? YOU SHOULD ALL BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES!
Many in the gallery said, Shame on you! Shame on you!
You could feel the pressure building in the room and, in the blink of an eye, the entire public gallery on either side of the room was ON THEIR FEET VIGOROUSLY APPLAUDING AND CHEERING! THE CONSERVATIVES WERE STANDING, LOOKING UP AND APPLAUDING NORMA AS WELL!
The Deputy Speaker (Mr. Bruce Crozier): This House will recess for 15 minutes while the galleries are cleared.
As the gallery cleared some continued expressing concern by sitting quietly and refusing to leave. As some people slowly left, one municipal person clearly and loudly voiced his disgust that this government would dare to take their voice away at the municipal level and were now doing the same in the provincial legislature, another asked where the ministries were to defend the environment, the wildlife and proper process. Another asked if any elected representatives had been forced to abandon their homes as she had been forced to do.
The House recessed from 1651 to 1709.
When Norma came out from retrieving her belongings she was again warmly and enthusiastically applauded by the crowd outside!
Many who witnessed Norma’s courage in the gallery gave her warm hugs and wishes!
It was a powerful day! I wish you all could have been there for all of it!
GUILDWOOD HAS NO REPRESENTATION!
Scarborough Guildwood Provincial PC Association
Thought you’d like a transcript of what PC member Norm Sterling said at Queen’s Park yesterday about Scarborough-Guildwood.
OPPOSITION DAY -WIND TURBINES
Mr. Norman W. Sterling: “I wanted to speak to this motion on behalf of some of the Ontarians who live in Liberal-held ridings and feel their concerns are not being voiced by their own MPPs. Specifically, I speak on behalf of those residents in Scarborough who live south of Kingston Road and who are represented by their MPP for Scarborough-Guildwood, Margarett Best, who coincidentally serves as Minister of Health Promotion.”
“The Ministry of Health Promotion’s vision includes making the province “a healthy, prosperous place to live,” and includes in its goals “to create healthy and supportive environments” and “lead the development of healthy public policy….”
“Many of the people living in the Guildwood Village area in her riding and elsewhere along the Scarborough Bluffs believe that wind turbines are not a healthy public policy and do not create a healthy environment. Her constituents would like to hear what the minister has to say about this issue, both as MPP for the riding, which is facing the possibility of an offshore wind farm, and as the Minister of Health Promotion. Has the minister undertaken any studies with regard to the health effects of wind turbines? Isn’t that her responsibility?”
“Since no one on the government side is standing up for those Ontarians who live near wind farms and are concerned about the possible health effects, we in the Progressive Conservative caucus are doing that in our resolution today, our motion. Our motion calls for a moratorium on all industrial and wind projects until an independent study of the health and environmental impacts is completed. We are also calling for the government to return planning authority where it belongs-to the municipality-in this matter. It’s time for the member for Scarborough-Guildwood and other Liberal government members to make their position clear on this issue. I submit they can do that today by voting in favour of this motion.”
Our MPP Best skipped the vote on the moratorium, so again we had no voice on this issue!
Barbara Ashbee’s letter to the Government of Ontario
“You told many Ontario families that they are not credible. You told Dr. Robert McMurtry and Carmen Krogh that they are not credible even with their exceptional credentials and unparalleled professional experience.
Your incompetence, your neglect and your apathy forced my husband and I from our home. You are fully to blame and I resent that you continue to do this to additional families in Ontario with all of the information you have at hand. Instead of correcting the problems your choice is to continue to publicly and callously demoralize and cause harm to people.”
Wind Power Green and Deadly!
“Wind power, like every other source of power, has its hazards and negative effects on nature. There is no free lunch, ecologically speaking. Every action by man-or any other species for that matter-affects the environment in some way. We are all for wind power where it is appropriate and can operate economically. If appropriate means not along known bird migration routes, near nesting sites or areas with a lot of bat activity the potential for wind power may be a lot smaller than even moderate estimates.”