QUEEN’S PARK – Yesterday in question period, Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP Jeff Yurek pressured the Premier on her inconsistent stance with regards to wind turbines. While the Premier has stated she believes communities should have a greater say in wind farm locations, her government’s green energy strategy gives final approval to the Ontario Power Authority and not municipalities.
“I have spoken to councillors and constituents – particularly in West Elgin and Dutton – that have expressed concern over encroaching industrial wind turbine development,” Yurek said following question period. “They fear the detrimental health effects of turbines and their properties losing substantial value if a wind farm were to be developed near their homes.”
Yurek cited in his question the fact the West Elgin voted last November to be an unwilling host to any proposed industrial-scale wind turbine development. However, passing a resolution to be an unwilling host does not preclude a developer from building turbines.
Yurek also referenced a survey conducted by the Municipality of Dutton-Dunwich from January. The survey asked if respondents were in favour of wind turbines. Of the 3,021 people surveyed, 84% stated they were not in favour of wind turbines.
“Do you think these people [Dutton-Dunwich residents] are wrong?” Yurek asked the Premier in regards to the survey results.
While Mr. Yurek acknowledged he did not expect the Premier to answer his question directly, he said he wanted the Premier to understand the nature of the opposition to these developments.
“I think we’ve seen a policy created in Toronto that is being imposed on rural communities,” said Yurek. “There are legitimate concerns regarding these developments yet the government – at a time when we have surplus energy in the province – continues to force wind developments on rural residents”
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