Politicians and community advocates are calling for a moratorium on the development of wind turbine farms, at least until Health Canada finishes a study looking at the affects of turbines on human health. That study won’t be completed until 2014.
Lisa Thompson, the MPP for Huron Bruce, announced her support for the moratoriam at a press conference on Friday. “All facts point [to the fact] that we are going too fast, so let’s hit that pause button right now.”
Health Canada said last week that it would send 25 independent experts in acoustics and health assessment to 2,000 homes around wind turbine farms across the country.
The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) dosen't think that’s necessary. In a statement they said: "It is clear that the balance of research and experience to date - including hundreds of thousands of people living and working near wind turbines in 89 countries around the world - concludes that wind energy does not adversely impact human health."
Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Arlene King, went on record two years ago, saying there's no direct link.
Residents like David Hemingway, disagree.
“[The report] did not address the indirect adverse health affects experienced by a significant number of residents.”
Judge rules Chief Medical Officer of Health must testify in wind turbine case
A judge has ordered Dr. King to testify in a case relating to the health effects of wind turbines.
A Goderich couple, whose family farm sits in a proposed wind farm, say they are being blocked in their efforts to determine if the turbines cause any adverse health effects.
Shawn and Tricia Drennan's farm sits in the proposed Kingsbridge II wind farm and one turbine will be about 650 metres from their house.
Shawn Drennan says they heard some people living near an earlier wind farm project sold their properties to the wind farm operator after suffering health problems.
The Drennans say they couldn't talk to those people because they were banned from discussing health issues and are hoping to have non-disclosure clauses in the sale agreements lifted.
Superior Court Justice Mary Sanderson has quashed a lower court ruling and ordered Dr. Arlene King to testify in the Drennan's case.
"We are delighted with the court's ruling," Shawn Drennan said. "It means those who claim to be in charge of my family's health will be accountable,"
Their lawyer Julian Falconer said this kind of litigation "simply feeds an unfortunate perception that someone in government does not want to answer the tough questions."
"I am surprised that the Drennan family should have to go to these lengths to simply be entitled to ask questions relating to legitimate concerns about their health," Falconer said.
Ontario's panel that rules on turbine approvals says that there are "legitimate concerns and uncertainties about the effects of wind turbines on human health," but noted there is a lack of peer-reviewed science on both sides of the debate.
Shawn Drennan said his family has lived on the farm for nearly 90 years and they don't want to leave their community.
With files from The Canadian Press