Alberta rancher to bring wind message to Ontario

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Heidi Eijgel has lived next to a large wind development for 10 years


That question is the stock in trade of any theatrical production, and a similar question should be pondered by the Pembina Institute before it sends someone to Ontario to be, almost literally, "tarred, feathered, and ridden out-of-town on a rail". Simply stated, if they can't find someone from Ontario prepared and/or willing to do the job, they would be well-advised to leave out-of-Province "hired guns" at home.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

96% of the people surveyed near Listowel rejected wind power! Wind power can't be stored economical. Property value declines for towns and small holdings. Noise regulations need penalties for cyclical, pulsating low frequency noise. The list goes on and on. The juice ain't even remotely worth the squeeze folks.

Interesting that you would not say: "Hey, here's a rare opportunity to hear from someone with actual experience."

I heard on the radio this morning that this out-of-Province person received a "rocky" reception at a meeting near Grand Bend last night - no, I wasn't there because I don't like seeing people humiliated in public.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

There are lots of people in Ontario who can share their experiences. Chatham-kent, Clear creek, etc.
Unfortunately most are negative. A bunch can't even talk about their negative experiences once the turbine companies bought them out. Gag orders all around.

Is (she) getting paid to talk about her positive experiences? Did her property value go down? Will her insurance company still cover her for liability? Are her neighbors suing her? Did a wife divorce her husband because he signed up for turbines?

Yes, positive experiences indeed. So groovy we should celebrate and have a party.

Comment modified by editor

It's just that without conflict it does not make the news.

Tim and Heidi are really out of touch coming to Ontario and telling us that Wind Turbines are great for Renewable Energy here in Ontario. Heidi even showed us where she was from originally ...Holland and one of the "Windmills" from her homeland, which was very cute, but had no relevance to these Industrial monsters that are sprouting up over rural Ontario. Tim says he is from Ontario, but has spent too much time studying engineering and living around the Alberta oil problem that when he comes back to rural Ontario he forgets we grow crops, have livestock, that people live on 100 acres not 2 or 3 sections and hasn't figured out that these Wind Turbines are just plain ugly and really don't work here in Ontario...this is not Denmark or the windy hills of Pincher Creek. Sorry Tim has narrowed his vision instead of really coming back here to see the whole picture, which would of been refreashing to have this Pembina group help instead of pushing their idea of a perfect world on us country folk.

I don't understand how if Pembina claims that this is to show one example, then why didn't their meeting include one example of a positive experience with wind farms, and one negative one. If they are truly looking for answers. I'm also a little miffed with Heidi trying to give advice on "how to avoid bad situations". She says her wind developer allowed her input when she spoke up. That's great, but according to her, her town was involved in the planning also. I was notified that the turbines were going to be near me and told "you won't even notice them, they are not loud, there are no health affects and most people say they even forget they are there"....An outright lie and when we began experience issues, which we never expected, we were put while it's nice for her that she is a mile away and has small turbines down wind, I am surrounded and have them within 780ft and they are so loud that it would be an impossibility to "forget they are there". Someone should arrange a national broadcast showing the good, the bad and the ugly on turbines and really educate the masses. Most people haven't got a clue what's even going on.

And just how far are the turbines set back from Heidi's house? A real lack of basic information here. Far be it for me to suggest Ontario is the centre of Canada's universe, we get enough of that. BUT fully a third of the country's population is in Southern Ontario. No one has been able to answer a simple question - why can't these turbines be put in a remote area unihabited by people?

Even north of Sudbury would be better. How about northern Manitoba where the wind really blows?

Putting aside the very important health concerns for a second, let's all have an honest discussion about reduced real estate values. Owning a house is the single largest investment most of us make in our lifetimes. For many it forms a significant part of our retirement and our children's inheritance. It is not selfish to look at the issue in this way. To further pretend that wind turbines don't affect real estate values is ridiculous.

If you are shaking your head, let me ask a simple question - would you spend $250000 on a home that was 500 meters from a wind turbine?

If the answer is, I'm not sure, then can we at least agree that real estate buyers will have the same reaction?

Now apply that doubt to the dozens of proposed wind turbine farms in Southern Ontario, known and unknown, and you have a real estate market that is frozen with uncertainty. Add to this that sales of rural properties are slower than urban and you truly have a frozen market. Those that are buying are either in areas where no development is planned or simply uninformed about what is coming.

If it is the latter, then they are looking at a significant reduction in the value of the real estate they just purchased.

Bruce Robb

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