Strathroy – Today MP Bev Shipley sent a letter to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty requesting a moratorium on the development of further wind turbine projects in Lambton-Kent-Middlesex. MP Shipley is asking for an immediate halt pending completion of the Health Canada research study that will explore the relationship between wind turbine noise and health effects reported by people living near wind power developments.
Shipley says he is supporting the call of many concerned constituents who have contacted him, as well as his provincial counterpart MPP Monte McNaughton in requesting this moratorium. Currently 8 projects consisting of some 400 turbines are slated for construction in Lambton-Kent-Middlesex.
Shipley noted that there is currently not a scientific consensus to conclude whether there is a relationship between exposure to wind turbine noise and harm to human health. But he says that is what the federal health study announced by Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq this week may be able to determine one way or another. “There is no question we have an abundance of first-hand reports from residents living in close proximity to wind turbine projects of significant health effects including headaches, nausea, sleeplessness, anxiety, ear aches, blurred vision and others. If there is a link between noise from wind turbines and human health, we need to protect our citizens before the province of Ontario compounds the problem by moving ahead with additional projects,” said Shipley.
In his letter to the Premier, MP Shipley also encourages him to use the time between now and the projected completion of the study in 2014 to re-evaluate the efficacy and the cost effectiveness of wind turbines as an alternative source of energy. “The Province of Ontario and my riding of Lambton-Kent-Middlesex in particular need to create jobs and grow our economy,” said Shipley, pointing out the cost of electricity in Ontario has sky-rocketed becoming a major barrier for consumers, new business investment, competitiveness and business retention. And Shipley noted many leading experts have suggested that existing projects have resulted in a net loss of jobs while increasing energy costs at a time when the Ontario economy can least afford it.
Shipley also says he has been surprised by the relative silence of major environmental organizations in their failure to speak up in calling for a moratorium. “I know MPP Monte McNaughton and Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak first called for a moratorium in 2010, and yet environmental groups who are not usually shy about making their views known seem to have lost their voice on this one for reasons I do not understand.” Shipley added, “You would think that when it comes to protecting human health they would want to be as diligent as they are when the concerns are far less compelling.”