The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) said it is issuing a call for a respectful and fact-based dialogue on wind turbines after a construction worker on a wind farm project was reportedly threatened with death in West Grey, Ontario, on July 26, by a man armed with a shotgun.
According to CBC News Canada, Jeff Damen was performing preliminary work at the site of a proposed wind farm in the community of West Grey, Ontario when he says a red pickup truck pulled alongside his vehicle and the driver asked what he was doing. After Damen explained the work he was doing, the driver pulled out a gun, the article said.
“He reached over his back seat, and pulled out a shotgun, pointed it at me and stated, ‘Why don’t you leave us all alone? If I catch you back here again, I’m going to kill you,'” Damen was quoted as saying.
Damen was unable to get a license plate number. The local police have launched a police investigation into the event. Wind energy has been a topic of considerable discussion in the media, in many communities with proposed projects and among provincial political parties as Ontario phases out coal power and replaces it with clean energy sources, according to CANWEA. In supporting its mission of responsible and sustainable wind energy development, CanWEA has developed, promotes and provides training with respect to Best Practices for Community Engagement and Public Consultation which were informed by the experience of dozens of municipal leaders across Ontario.
“We fundamentally recognize the right of citizens to express their views, whether they support wind energy or not, and to be dealt with respectfully. In return, we cannot and should not expect individuals supportive of wind energy or associated with the wind energy industry to face threats on their life or to endure other aggressive or criminal behavior,” said Robert Hornung, president of CanWEA.