Bonnechere Valley Township – Failed Resolve

January 15, 2009 at 1:20 pm Leave a comment

The New Year is a time of resolutions made and resolutions broken. This is human nature, a part of the eternal struggle of willpower versus whimsy, and most of us are well used to the reality that some good intentions get left behind on the road of life. 

Still, few resolutions have been so short-lived as the one passed at the Jan. 6 meeting of Bonnechere Valley Township council and rescinded at a second, hastily convened meeting less than three days later. Each time, the vote was 4-1. 

As resolutions go, township Councillor Bob Peltzer’s was fairly innocuous. It called upon the Province of Ontario to impose a moratorium on the construction of industrial wind turbines until such a time as provincial, federal and scientific authorities have assessed whether health concerns that have been associated with prolonged exposure to wind turbine operations can be assessed and proved or disproved. As Peltzer’s resolution pointed out, the resources and expertise required to do this sort of review are beyond the scope of municipal governments. 

Peltzer also said that environmental surveys and even the more rigorous environmental assessments generally don’t assess a project’s impact on human health. He says he wants guidelines drawn up “on the basis of good, well-founded science,” adding that this should come from the levels of government that have the resources to assemble this information. 

It should be noted that Peltzer is not against wind power. But he does see the way in which the issue is causing a rift in the community he serves – indeed, the anger was palpable on both sides of the issue at Friday’s meeting where Peltzer’s resolution was rescinded. He wants public concerns on the health issues addressed before it is too late to do so. 

In any case, there are good reasons for a bit of prudence and little justification for haste on the wind turbine issue. In 2008, Ontario’s total electricity consumption fell by 2.3 per cent and our total coal-fired electricity generation – the bugbear that is driving much of the rush to green energy – fell by 18 per cent, according to statistics released this week by the Independent Electricity System Operator. 

There is a place in Ontario for wind energy. Indeed, the province now leads Canada in wind power capacity, with over 700 megawatts-worth of installed wind turbines, and more on the way. It is the way that we fit them into the landscape that is the rub. It is not mere NIMBYism to argue that wind farms should be located so that they intrude as little as possible on our lives. 

Posted By Douglas Gloin 

Barry’s Bay This Week 

14 January 2009


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Bonnechere Valley council reverses wind power resolution Carmen Krogh to appear at Council Meetings

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