Ontario Conservative Party call for a moratorium on wind energy development putting jobs at risk

The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) today expressed its profound disappointment and shock at Ontario Progressive Conservative Party energy critic John Yakabuski’s motion for a moratorium on wind energy development in Ontario.

“Passage of the Progressive Conservative Party’s motion would put thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of investment at risk at a time when jurisdictions throughout North America are aggressively competing to capture wind energy opportunities,” said CanWEA President Robert Hornung.

“Why is the Progressive Conservative Party seeking to halt deployment of a clean, renewable energy source that was the largest single source of new electricity generation in both Europe and the United States in 2009 and is now commonplace in more than 70 countries around the world?”

The motion expresses concern about the municipal role in wind energy project approval processes.

“We see municipalities as key stakeholders in any new local development and strongly encourage them to take advantage of all opportunities to bring issues and concerns forward within the wind energy project permitting process,” said Hornung.

“We know that wind energy projects cannot succeed without community support and we are actively working to develop, in consultation with municipal leaders, best practices in community engagement for the wind energy industry that we will seek to make an integral part of the project development process.”

The motion also advocates for further study on the environmental and health impacts of wind turbines. Based on a vast amount of scientific and medical information from around the world, it is CanWEA’s position that there is no credible evidence that sound from wind turbines can have a direct impact on human health and no plausible mechanism through which it could have such an impact.

CanWEA notes that Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Arlene King, has stated “… there is no scientific evidence, to date, to demonstrate a causal association between wind turbine noise and adverse health effects” in an October 2009 memorandum to Medical Officers of Health and Environmental Health Directors throughout Ontario.

This view is supported by the December 2009 findings of an international panel of experts which conducted the most thorough review of its kind ever produced by a group of medical or scientific professionals on the subject of wind turbine sound and health effects. The review, available at www.canwea.ca, was commissioned jointly by the American and Canadian Wind Energy Associations.

CanWEA is the voice of Canada’s wind energy industry, actively promoting the responsible and sustainable growth of wind energy on behalf of its more than 460 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