Wind turbines and the need for consultation and evidence

by Aaron Wherry

I asked Megan Leslie for an NDP response to the general issue of wind turbines and the recent announcement of a Health Canada study. Here is what she wrote in reply.

The NDP is very supportive of renewable energy technologies. However, as with any project, there needs to be true community consultation. There is tremendous insight and expertise at the community level, and we need to tap into this resource.

As we have said with the oil sands, all energy sources in Canada should be developed in a way that is safe for Canadians and for our environment. This study is a good example of how proper scientific evidence, led by public research, can help people understands the impact of these systems. More of these studies should be conducted to better understand the impact of other sources that have raised public concern, like cellphone towers. The NDP supports the use of science and evidence in decision making, which is in stark contrast to the way Conservatives have been making their decisions lately.

Speaking of evidence, it’s odd to see the Conservatives funding studies on green energy technology while at the same time they’re killing environmental assessments for fossil fuel projects. Why the double standard? While the health and environmental concerns of large wind turbines merit study, the huge problems of smog and the thousands of deaths directly attributed to air quality, mercury contamination, and climate change, all deserve immediate and decisive action, and this government has provided neither. And where are the long-promised studies of oil sands development on the First Nations downstream of the oil sands?

When the PMO directly calls the group lobbying for this delay, I can’t help but think that this is a crass political move to undermine the development of renewables. I don’t remember the PMO calling anyone in Ft Chipewan about their health concerns living downstream, or any of my constituents with concerns about cell towers in their neighbourhoods.

This last bit is reference to the Globe’s report this morning that the Prime Minister’s Office contacted Wind Concerns Ontario to let the group know the study was being pursued.

Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq’s office explains that the minister requested the study after hearing from MPs—primarily from Ontario—that constituents had concerns about the health impacts of wind turbines. The department had apparently been working with the provinces and territories to establish voluntary guidelines for “set backs,” but that process concluded without firm decisions.

The official notice to stakeholders is here. Relevant questions and answers are posted here and the members of research design team are listed here.




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Wind turbines and the need for consultation and evidence

  1. Wind turbine reviews are the new gun registry: proof of just how dumb the CPC base can be.

  2. Purely politics….Con vs Lib, and oil vs wind.

    Studies were already done

  3. Meaghan Leslie is just an opportunist and is anti-west as anyone can be. Her comments on oilsands and Fort Chipewyan are not factual. Medical studies were done by the Alberta Cancer Board and no negative medical effects were found due to the oilsands. In fact most of Fort Chipewyan WORK in the industry…she has NEVER been to Fort Chipewyan. Vern Janvier, Prairie Chief of the Cree said in 2009..”we dont have an environmental problem. all our problems (native problems) are due to drugs and alcohol and car crashes..” Thats a Chief speaking. Note that Leslie never quotes the Cree Chief. Over 180,000 people take their drinking water from the Athabasca River…if there was a problem do you really think that many would be affected? Of course. Local Hospital has no records of any downstream illnesses…they call it politics which it is. Also Keyano College has a College Campus in Fort Chipewyan and also Fort Chipewyan has a new water treatment plant. People dont drink from the Athabasca River or the Fraser River or the Bow River or the Ottawa River or the North Saskatchewan River or the Great Lakes…its all NDP propaganda for their power struggle. NDP have NO ethics at all. Real facts dont matter to them.
    Propaganda rules at NDP. Visit Fort Chipewyan and find out. Its Alberta’s oldest community. 1,300 people live there. Planes fly in and out daily. Leslie never talks about QUEBEC ASBESTOS which “CBS-60 minutes” TV program says kills 200 Indian and Pakistani workers annually..ALL ASBESTOS FROM QUEBEC. Ask Leslie about that.
    Facts are hard to take with the NDP. Nobody dies at the oilsands… its all NDP BS.

    • NDP powered by wind, unions and taxpayers!

  4. Good questions from Leslie; the Wind Concerns Ontario looks like astoturf to me. I bet they are funded by the Kochs or some other rightwing loonies.

    • There are other bloggers out there who have come to the same conclusions about WCO (that they are astroturf rather than grassroots).

  5. IN the UK about 4 years ago it was all one character woman that was hallucinating brain damage. The heavy models in the USA SW in the 1970s emitting low freq sound waves. That is, these sounds are already in Occupational Health and Safety literature somewhere.
    Plz don’t confuse with cellphones. The latter really do cause brain cancer, especially among children. The world save AB won’t use tar in 20 years. There will be crop failures by then. It doesn’t look like AB is at the very least, saving money in rainy day trust. If you aren’t on the wind/solar/battery bandwagon now, is it because you play golf with Chamber of Commerce corporate execs, and you think it would be awkward?
    Y’know what’s awkward? Getting your foot driven over by a drinking pal. Accidentally smoking a pal in the head with a club when he keeps moving your tee-off ball. Giving the party behind you grief for driving their shots past you; telling them how solemn and traditional the game is, 10 seconds before pulling your pants down in front of them to take your next shot. Get over it. AB-ans are losers, CPC are losers, CoC is losers. You’ve again bet on the Leafs to Cup this year…

    • …playing with someone from SK who keeps hitting you in the balls during teeoff. AB should buy Vestas right now while is a discount. AB won’t. AB is dumb. Rae is dumb. Coyne is smart.

  6. Its high time for Megan Leslie to resign. She doesn’t represent the views of Halifax or Nova Scotia.

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