autism, autistic children and noise, EDF, Francois St Amour, Grant Crack MPP, Green Energy Act, Marc Bercier, Nation Twp, Not a Willing host, Ontario Farmer, RES Canada, signing leases for wind farms, wind farm, wind farm noise, wind farms Eastern Ontario, wind power, wind turbine noise
By Ian Cumming
Emotions were high the late afternoon of August 10 among the 200 or so folks who gathered outside the Nation Township Municipal Hall. They also lined the road beside, waving No Windmill signs, with most trucks and cars driving past honking support.
Doctors told mothers of ill children: you have to move if the turbines come
Two concerned mothers approached Ontario Farmer one the day before this protest, the other at the protest; one with an autistic son, the other with a daughter waiting for a heart transplant. Both said they were given medical advice that “we’ll have to move if the windmills come.”
The son, Michael, “who can hear a grasshopper deep in the grass that far away,” would be tormented beyond anyone’s comprehension, from the windmill swooshing sound that non-autistic people can barely sense, said his mother Susan, a former nurse. “When I drive by windmills I cry and choke with anger.”
Marc Bercier had windmills go up plus a substation on his land*, to the minimum sum of $95,000 per year for 20 years. A heck of an offer for a father who has two sons wanting to take over the operation.
“I’m pulling out of the windmill contract,” said Bercier recently. He detailed the venom that his family has faced for their decision to have windmills, including his elderly mother, when attending a public meeting the week before. [Editor: this was the huge meeting attended by 500+ people in St. Bernardin.] “I don’t want to put my family in that situation.”
The $22,000 he gets to keep as a down payment from EDF “wasn’t worth it,” said Bercier, “We value peace and family over money.” *
Even when he [Bercier] had gone public to Ontario Farmer (June 23) and other media this summer, detailing his contracts and the reasons for signing them, farmers who had done the same “attacked me, wanting me to keep quiet,” said Bercier.
Perhaps it was that self-imposed silence and the smoothness of the wind company EDF attempting a quick sales job for the community which contributed to the mounting opposition, said Bercier. “EDF didn’t do the real work with people.”
Phone call from the Liberal MPP
A last-minute pitch from EDF, which included offering to double the yearly stipend to the Nation Township from $150,000 to $300,000 per year on August 10, came the exact same day his council was meeting to reverse its earlier decisions to support the two projects [Editor: the writer fails to mention that there is a 150-MW project by EDF, and a 40-MW project by RES Canada being proposed] and declare itself an unwilling host, said Nation mayor Francois St. Amour. … The motion to reverse [Nation’s] earlier decision hadn’t even been on the agenda, but a call from local Liberal MPP Grant Crack to the mayor to deal with it, forced the issue ahead.
… [Developer EDF commented…] If people in the area have legitimate health concerns, we can certainly work with them and place the windmills so they are not affected, [Stephane Desdunes, director of development] said.
*Editor: you just don’t care about other people’s families and peace…
community opposition wind farms, EDF, Grant Crack MPP, green energy, Leda Clay, Nation River, Nation Township, Ontario, Ontario economy, Sauvons La Nation, Save The Nation, United Counties Prescott Russell, wind farm, wind power, wind turbine, wind turbines, windmills
500 residents crowd community centre: “this will destroy The Nation”
More than 500 residents of the municipality of Nation, about 45 minutes east of Ottawa, met on Wednesday night to learn more, and discuss action on two wind power proposals for their community: a 150-megawatt project by EDF, and a 75-MW project by Leader Resources.Among the speakers was Carmen Krogh, known internationally for her research on the impacts of wind turbine noise emissions on human health. A particular concern for Krogh, she expressed that evening, is the effect of the wind turbine emissions on children. Despite clear guidance from the World Health Organization and other bodies in public health about exposing children to possible harm, Ontario has proceeded to build wind power projects in communities close to homes.
Other speakers detailed the environmental impacts of the proposed wind turbine arrays, and commented on the degree of impact on the community for very little benefit.
Organizer Julie Leroux commented that the public was left out of a decision by council to support wind power; after signing an agreement to be an unwilling host as a member of the United Counties of Prescott-Russell, Nation then approved a motion of support for a wind power project by Sierra Nevada, in 2013. Nation’s mayor has gone on record in the agricultural media as saying he supported the current EDF proposal, and that Nation is a “willing host.”
We are not, said Leroux.
The community group Save The Nation requested time to make a presentation to Council but was not scheduled to do so now until August 31st; the deadline for wind power proposals under the new process is September 1st, the next day.
Questions and comments afterward were a clear demonstration not only that the community is already well informed on this issue, they are passionate about protecting their way of life, the social fabric of Nation, and the agricultural economic base.
“This will destroy the Nation, if it happens,” said one gentleman.
Another, who had travelled to Wolfe Island to see turbines to educate himself (Note: a better trip would be to Brinston, south of Ottawa, where EDP is operating 3-MW turbines in the South Branch power project), said he was shocked at the environmental impact of the wind power machines. “The foundations for these things are huge,” he said, “and they will never go away.”
If the wind power projects are approved said one young farmer, who said he was speaking for others in his demographic of 20s and 30s, it will destroy the local economy and way of life in Nation. “We’re leaving,” he said simply.
Organizers for the event and members of Save The Nation said that no members of Nation council attended the meeting as far as they knew but MPP Grant Crack’s executive assistant was there.
Breaking News: Wind Concerns Ontario has learned that Nation Council will be discussing the community reaction to the wind power proposals on Monday, August 10.