February 11, 2013
Petition Calls for a Moratorium on Local Wind Project
MP Poilievre presents petition in the House of Commons as Health Canada releases new Health Study details
Ottawa, ON —Pierre Poilievre, MP for Nepean-Carleton, presented a petition in the House of Commons today calling for a moratorium on the Marlborough Industrial Wind Turbine project, proposed for just outside the village of North Gower, until Health Canada Study completes its study on the possible health implications this could have on nearby residents.
“Due to increasing reports of health problems, a lack of consensus on this issue and the need for properly designed clinical research, these residents are asking for a moratorium on the project,” said Poilievre.
The Marlborough Industrial Wind Turbine project proposes the construction of 8-10 turbines in close proximity to the village of North Gower. With a population of over 2,000 people (according to latest available census data), the majority of the village is within three kilometres from one or more of the wind turbines. Some homes are within a mere 800 metres. While there is no current date for the project to go forward, the company, Prowind, is waiting for the Government of Ontario to determine the feasibility of adding this project to the provincial power grid.
This petition presentation comes one day after Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq revealed the revised research design for the study, which will look at how wind turbine noise can affect health. “Our Government is committed to protecting the health and safety of Canadians, and this study is in response to questions from residents living near wind farms about possible health effects of low frequency noise generated by wind turbines,” she said.
The initial design of the study was posted on the Health Canada website in July 2012, and received over 950 comments during the 60 day public consultation period. After an evaluation of the feedback, changes were introduced to the research design, including an assessment of infrasound as well as changes to the questionnaire administered by Statistics Canada. Initially, the revised study will target 2000 homes near 8-12 wind turbine projects located across Canada. In addition to measuring the physical characteristics of each participant such as blood pressure, researchers will also conduct face-to-face interviews and take noise measurements from inside and outside the homes. Study results are expected in 2014.
“The residents of the North Gower and Richmond regions in Ottawa, and in fact across Ontario, are grateful for Mr Poilievre’s support in presenting this petition,” said Jane Wilson, Chair of Ottawa Wind Concerns and President of Wind Concerns Ontario. “Large-scale wind power is expensive, unreliable and we are still not fully aware of the health consequences for those living in close proximity to the turbines. Ontarians demand a return of local land use planning controls so we can determine the future of the communities we call home.”
More details about the Health Canada study and a summary of the public comments received during the consultation period can be found at www.hc-sc.gc.ca or by phone at 1.866.225.0709.