Anne Murray lends voice to opponents of N.S. wind farm


By DARRELL COLE The Canadian Press | 5:41 PM

GULF SHORE — Nova Scotia’s songbird wishes a proposed wind farm in Gulf Shore would just fly away.

Singer Anne Murray, who has a summer home in the area, is joining other residents in opposing the construction by Atlantic Wind Power Corp. of 20 to 27 100-metre-high wind turbines in the province’s northwest corner.

“I just think it’s too close. It’s in all our backyards,” said Murray, who grew up in nearby Springhill. “I think wind power is a good thing, and I am all for them when they’re in the right place. I don’t believe these ones are in the right place.”

The project is presently undergoing an environmental assessment. Depending on how that goes, construction could begin in 2009.

Area residents have been fighting the project since it was first proposed and urged Cumberland County to set the distance between the turbines and their properties at a minimum of two kilometres. Instead, the municipality passed a bylaw setting the distance at the greater of three times the height of the turbine, or 500 metres.

Company president Charles Demond has said a two-kilometre setback would kill the project.

Murray feels the concerns being raised by the Gulf Shore Association and area residents aren’t being taken seriously. She believes there are too many unanswered questions surrounding the placement of turbines close to homes, including the effects of noise, vibration and shadow flicker.

“Some people think this is just a bunch of hysterical people opposed to change, but nothing could be farther from the truth,” she said. “These people are in favour of wind power, but the bylaw passed by the county doesn’t set the distance far enough between their homes and these turbines.

“I’m all for progress and I’m all for change, but not this close.”

Murray said she’s also not opposed to using her celebrity to help project opponents because she feels this wind farm will have a “catastrophic” impact on Pugwash and the Gulf Shore area.

The Amherst News

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10 thoughts on “Anne Murray lends voice to opponents of N.S. wind farm

  1. Pingback: Wind warnings « Ww - Wolfville watch - Ww

  2. Ok folks. Let’s be real for a minute. Wind power may work in nearly any (windy) environment. Examples in Canada would be Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, the Territories. As for the Pacific west, well, their ocean oil reserves are larger than oil content in Afghanistan.

    When we discuss Canada, we are fortunate to say “from sea to sea to sea”. It is well known that the Great Lakes, too, are the largest fresh water areas in the world.

    Also, consider that we live in a very technologically advanced day, when there are infinite options in one of the world’s three richest countries. We have manageable and vast renewable resources here in Canada that we should consider with care and long-term vision.

    I was sorting some boxes of Popular Science magazines from the 1960’s, finding one issue that promoted the technical fundamentals of ocean turbine power.

    My basic research tells that the technology is viable and not expensive. Even a quick seach on Google.ca, inclusive only of Canada, reveals some very interesting projects. There are research and real projects going on here in Canada already.
    >>cleanenergy.gc.ca/international/project_e.asp?item=59
    >>www.aslenv.com/newsletter/ASLNewsSept2005.pdf
    There are many examples that you can find.

    Hmmm. I have been on the oceans as some of you have, there are both wind and waves of tremendous force. Those incredible resources can be harnessed with diligence, from Nova Scotia’s very coastal areas. I would think that this would be the first idea to be investigated when considering new power options for Nova Scotia.

    On another point, I am distressed to search the internet for stories about this “news item”, finding mostly negative commentary:
    — Anne’s Cottage nearby
    — Not in My Backyard attitude
    I would welcome Anne Murray’s publicists and other representatives to push the positive in Canada’s media. I believe that she represents this issue appropriately and well.

    Consider the luxury that surrounds Ottawa, our capital. The “cottages” (or rather mansions) of the government officials and their minions are there. There is certainly some focus on maintaining the peace and privacy of these folks when any kind of environmental issue may be raised. Their expert publicists keep that kind of thing away from the news.

    I wish you the best of luck in fighting against the stupidity and ignorance of so many people. I would be glad to support you in your efforts, just to make a sensible point to Canadians that we can produce products or services as we need, using our creativity, intellect, profound resources of every kind (natural and human) as we need.

  3. Unless I am mistaken, Anne Murray, nor I stated
    that we were opposed to wind farms. Just as
    gravel pits can only be established where there
    is gravel, wind farms can only be built where
    the wind conditions are correct or suitablle.
    That’s pretty obvious. Nevertheless, wind farms
    should only be established after the nearby propert
    owners’ concerns are heard and recognized as being valid.
    If the decision does not stand up to close scruting,
    it probably is a bad decision. Having travelled
    Nova Scotia extensively, there does seem to be
    an abundance of locations where wind farms could
    be considered. It is wrong to expect citizens to readily
    accept the location of any enviornmentally- helpful
    company simply because a company believes the
    location is correct. The company is concerned about
    a profit before it is concerned about the environment.
    Not all environmentalists hold the view that we
    should embrace ” solutions” at any cost. Here in the real world, realist understand that there will always be
    numerous variables that must be considered
    when selecting solutions. Leadership isbeing brave to
    enough to say, ” What’s the best solution?” Not:
    “What’s the easiest and quickest solution?”

  4. Unfortunately, all the examples you’ve made about construction in peoples’ “backyard” are poor ones. A garbage dump, a quarry, a cell phone tower??? These are things where the location can be selected, taking into consideration peoples’ proximity them. In contrast while the proposed locations of wind farms try and be respectful of peoples space, the wind is not the same everywhere. When you are trying to harness energy from a natural source like that, you have to build where that source is. You wouldn’t attempt to collect solar power in a cave, or valley..shielded from everyone’s view (as well as the sun!). I’m not saying that Anne Murray can’t give her opinion. However, with her local celebrity status that opinion may carry more influence and she should be mindful of that (but I’m sure she is well aware of what she is doing). With attitudes like these it isn’t surprising that Nova Scotia remains one of the top polluters in the country. Something drastic needs to be done, and if people aren’t willing to make compromises, the future looks grim.

  5. Anne Murray is allowed to give her opinion here. She is a landowner. I would not want a wind farm in my back yard either. She has said she is not against wind farms, this project is just too close for comfort.

  6. Those who criticize Anne Murray’s stance regard
    ing wind farms are assuming a self-righteous attitude. No one in their right mind wishes to have something such as a wind farm in their backyard. It could be argued that garbage dumps are a necessary evil, but who wants it in their backyard. I personally curse the day, that a cell phone tower was erected on a neighbour’s land. All that Anne Murray is saying is that we must be prudent when deciding where these farms are placed. Just as the people in Preston were correct to object to a dump in their backyard, just as the people in Digby Neck are correct to object a quarry in their backyard, the people of Pugwash are correct to want safeguards put in place regarding the proposed wind farm. I appreciated the fact that Ms. Murray was willing to speak up knowing full well that her name alone would make her a target. She has made a career out of being refreshingly honest. Those who are in support of the wind farm would do well to keep in mind that the owners of the farm stand to make a profit while Ms. Murray will probably not profit from her opposition.

  7. Those who criticize Anne Murray’s stance regard
    ing wind farms are assuming a self-righteous attitude. No one in their right mind wishes to have something to tack awa

  8. The fact about wind power is that it works! Unfortunately sometimes turbines have to be in somebodies “backyard”. Wind power companies don’t control where the wind blows. The location and construction of wind turbines is decided by the best wind data acquired, where power generation will be most productive. Anne Murray doesn’t like the way wind turbines look..who cares. Wind power generation is one of the best ways to save our planet from an environmental catastrophe.

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