Private Member Lisa Thompson, Progressive Conservative-Huron-Bruce, has introduced a motion that calls for a moratorium on wind energy development in Ontario until a third-party health and environmental study has been completed.
According to the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA), such an action would put at risk thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in clean energy investments.
Despite Thompson's proposal, third-party studies already have shown that wind turbines pose no health risk in Ontario. In addition, a recent Oracle Research poll shows strong support for wind energy in Ontario, with 78% of Ontarians stating that wind energy was one of the safest forms of electricity generation.
In March 2011, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled in favor of the provincial renewable energy framework, citing that standards were developed following significant public consultation and review of science-based evidence. The province's current 550-meter setback for wind turbines is among the most stringent in North America, CanWEA notes.
‘As a responsible industry, we continue to work with Canadian and international experts in health and science to review all new and credible information pertaining to wind energy and human health,’ says Robert Hornung, president of CanWEA. ‘Wind energy is broadly understood to be one of the safest and most environmentally friendly forms of electricity generation.
"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," he continues. "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 at a time of economic challenge.’