Monday 75 representatives from Ontario's rural municipalities got up and walked out on Premier Dalton McGuinty's keynote speech to open the Rural Ontario Municipalities of Ontario conference in Toronto. The action came shortly after the Premier claimed that the government had "listened" to rural communities and was prepared to "give" some control back to them for planning wind power projects.
But Wind Concerns Ontario is dubious.
"In Ontario today, we have councils who have passed motions for a halt to wind projects. They have demanded economic impact and health studies to be done. In fact, the Auditor General for Ontario stated no studies had ever been done on either count," says Jane Wilson, president of the province-wide group. The coalition of individuals and community groups also says the Green Energy Act is seriously flawed: "It does not protect health, the environment, or the economy," says Wilson.
Wind Concerns says a portion of people living near the giant industrial wind towers are becoming ill from the environmental noise and vibration they produce. Property values are dropping in the communities that have been transformed into industrial complexes.
"This government needs to repeal the Green Energy Act and restore democracy and peace to the communities of this province," Wilson said.