Ontario PC Party support for wind moratorium threatens jobs, investments and rural economic development
The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) today expressed its concern with the Ontario Progressive Conservative party’s continued support for a Private Member's Motion put forward by MPP Lisa Thompson (Huron-Bruce) which calls for a moratorium on wind energy development until a third party health and environmental study has been completed. Such an action would put thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in new investments at risk -- and is not warranted based on the review of scientific evidence to date.
"We are keen to work with all political parties to ensure the responsible and sustainable development of wind energy in Ontario, but that dialogue must be based on fact and not misinformation spread by those opposed to clean and affordable wind energy,” said Robert Hornung, president of CanWEA. "We are discouraged to see the PC Party of Ontario official website displaying a petition in support of a moratorium against an industry that is operating responsibly in every province of this country and 90 countries around the world. The wind industry here in Canada is comprised of hundreds of companies that employ thousands of people, a majority of them here in Ontario. It is disappointing to see this at a time when Ontario is being celebrated globally for ending dirty coal production and attracting clean energy investments."
While it is important to review new and credible information related to wind turbines and human health, the balance of scientific and medical research to date – including a report by the province's own Chief Medical Officer of Health – has found that sound produced by wind turbines does not harm human health. Several legal proceedings have now reviewed expert information on wind energy and human health and have found no justification for halting wind energy development. Health Canada is planning a study on wind energy and human health, but has not sought any moratorium while the study is undertaken.
The PC Party website also contains incorrect information about wind energy, including the assertion that new wind is driving up electricity rates in Ontario.
"I would encourage members of the PC Party to consult with the Ontario Energy Board which has clearly indicated that wind energy has been only a minor contributor to recent increases in Ontario’s electricity rates. Looking forward, the PC Party is focused on the development of new electricity generation from sources that are more expensive than wind energy. It is time to recognize that wind energy’s growing contribution of clean, emissions-free electricity in Ontario is being provided at a fixed, transparent and cost-competitive price," said Hornung. "The wind energy industry wants to work productively with all levels of government and stakeholders to ensure jobs, investments and affordable clean energy continue flowing. A moratorium would prevent thousands of farmers and landowners and dozens of municipalities from participating in Ontario's clean energy economy, ultimately hurting rural Ontario."
Please find below a link to a number of reviews of the scientific and medical literature on wind turbines and human health: http://www.canwea.ca/wind-energy/talkingaboutwind_e.php.
CanWEA is the voice of Canada's wind energy industry, actively promoting the responsible and sustainable growth of wind energy on behalf of its almost 400 members. A national non-profit association, CanWEA serves as Canada's leading source of credible information about wind energy and its social, economic and environmental benefits. To join other global leaders in the wind energy industry, CanWEA believes Canada can and must reach its target of producing 20 per cent or more of the country's electricity from wind by 2025. The document Wind Vision 2025 - Powering Canada's Future is available at www.canwea.ca.
For more information please contact:
Media Relations Officer
Canadian Wind Energy Association
Office: (613) 234-8716 ext: 228
Mobile: (613) 867-4433