Members of the the Wallaceburg Area Wind Concerns group dropped off a stack of petitions to Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP Monte McNaughton’s office in downtown Wallaceburg on Wednesday, December 6.
Mary Rosseel, who has been going door-to-door gathering signatures in the community, told the Sydenham Current the many people are opposed to the Otter Creek Wind Farm project, which is planned for north of Wallaceburg.
“The residents here in Wallaceburg are very against this construction of the Otter Creek Wind Farm,” Rosseel said.
“We are canvassing people in the immediate area of the turbines near the North boundary of Wallaceburg. We’ll go to the doors, I introduce myself and who I’m with, and I have my fliers with me. The fliers contain very good information about the negative effects of the wind turbines, not just for water wells being contaminated, but also for the noise,especially infrasound… the killing of birds and property devaluation.”
Rosseel said their group has been working hard gathering signatures.
“People are very upset about this and upset about hydro rates,” Rosseel added.
“We’re going to be passing this on to our grandchildren, the debt is going to be enormous for hydro we don’t even need. This is very upsetting to everyone.”
Denise Shephard, another member of the Wallaceburg Area Wind Concerns group, said they wanted to provide information to the community through their door-to-door campaign, but also give them a chance to voice their opinion through the petition.
“With this Monte (McNaughton) can go forward into the Legislative Assembly and let the concerns of the Wallaceburg citizens be heard,” Shephard said.
“So many people are saying ‘what can do, this is terrible, we have to do something to stop this, we’re really concerned.’ So this was a method of capturing all that.”
Shephard said the group is still fundraising in preparation of a legal battle with the wind company.
Once the Renewable Energy Approval (REA) for the Otter Creek project is brought forward by the company, the Wallaceburg Area Wind Concerns group, or anyone in the community, will have 15 days to decide if they are challenging the REA and bringing the issue to a tribunal.
“Our funds are growing, but we certainly need a lot more,” Shephard said.
“This is a big task that we are taking on. We need the people of Wallaceburg to get behind us and let their voices be heard with their financial contributions as well. We are thankful for the one’s that have contributed and we’re thankful for the one’s that opened their door and let us raise their awareness abut what is happening in the community.”
Mike deBakker, another group member, said many people don’t realize how close the 12 proposed turbines will be to houses in Wallaceburg.
“I think the biggest reaction I’m getting from people is when I show them the map and I say’ do you know how close they are to you’ and they go ‘they’re over there by Otter Creek somewhere.’ I go ‘no, they’re right behind you, when you look out your house, you;re going to see it right there, because they are so tall’,” deBakker said.
“They are not aware that they are so close to them. They are right on that fringe of Wallaceburg, effecting the nursing home, effecting the schools. You’ve got kids playing, you’ve got people going about their day-to-day stuff, and these things are going to be churning all the time.”
Judy Listhaeghe, a constituency assistant at MPP McNaughton’s office in Wallaceburg, told the Sydenham Current that McNaughton has presented many of these petitions already in the Legislature.
“He will continue to present any petitions that are signed,” she said, adding that more information is available at montemcnaughtonmpp.ca.
To read the Wallaceburg Area Wind Concerns group’s newsletter, click here.
Here is some more of our recent coverage about the the issue:
– Photo credit: Dana Haggith
– With files from Dana Haggith