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The wrong people profit from wind farms, says homeowner. ‘Grossly unfair’ for government to steal our futures, says Kemptville letter writer

Nowhere near Toronto and Queen's Park: wind power projects reduce rural property values
Nowhere near Toronto and Queen’s Park: wind power projects reduce rural property values

Ottawa Citizen, March 16, 2016http://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/letters/your-letters-for-wednesday-march-16-water-windmills-women

Re: New Eastern Ontario wind farms a betrayal, mayors near Ottawa say, March 11.

Home ownership is the biggest investment a person can make.  Many people depend on the value of their homes to underwrite their futures, whether it be generating capital for their kids’ educations, serving as a stepping stone to a better home, or even financing their retirement. Folks who choose to live in rural areas already face challenges in marketing their properties, compared to their city cousins.

With the looming prospect of giant wind farms in their backyards, they are now told they must accept unanticipated decreases in their property values without complaint because “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” Rural dwellers also pay comparatively huge electricity transmission costs – and, ironically, will likely continue to do so even with the gargantuan structures towering over their homes. It is also likely that their municipal tax burden will not be adjusted to reflect the decrease in their property values.

It is grossly unfair for an all-powerful government authority to callously steal rural homeowners’ futures so that a corporate entity can profit from huge government subsidies and distant cities can meet their rapacious energy consumption needs. At the very least, these folks should be compensated for their loss.

Perhaps a good starting point would be to waive the “welcome tax” levied by the provincial government on home sales for those located within a set radius of wind farm installations, thus boosting the marketability of affected properties. Another measure would be to give these homeowners a discounted rate on their electric bills, or even the same remuneration provided to the farmers who profit from having such installations on their lands.

Burton Blais, Kemptville

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