Green Party of Canada Opposes Placing Industrial Wind Farms too Close to Homes


The following article is the first of a new series dedicated to local issues. We’ll try to present topics of interest to everyone and we invite readers to share their experience and knowledge on local challenges. This article was written by Bernard Viau, editor of Green Canada Vert and secretary of the electoral district association (EDA) in the Quebec riding of Montmagny L’Islet Kamouraska Rivière-du-Loup, located in the lower Saint-Lawrence river area.

Wind farm projects are being announced every month in Quebec and are growing like mushrooms, but the air is turbulent in the wind industry. The promoters tell us that wind farms will reduce greenhouse gas emissions (but reducing our consumption of meat will do more to reduce the GHG emissions).

Don’t be fooled, the money they are investing in wind energy has nothing to do with the environment. Promoters build wind farms because there is a lot of money to make. Firstly, it’s a tax shelter and a very efficient one. They also receive production bonuses from the government and special credits for reducing air pollution.

Wind farms may be built on private land but they affect the landscape, which is common property, so to speak. Opposition to wind farms has focussed mainly on this spoiling of the landscape. Most of the time, we judge things according to their potential return on investment and so, it is only normal that promoters and shareholders are at loss when one speaks of the “value” of a landscape. In Europe, citizens are complaining that miles of landscape have been destroyed by wind farms; many are even complaining about health hazards associated with them. In Europe, land values have fallen around wind farms, and tourism also. Let’s face it, a wind farm is like a forest of huge towers with intermittent headlights on top of them for airplanes; nobody can miss them!

Also construction needs a lot of cement; a sea of cement would give a better picture. Thousands of trucks, very heavy, very broad and very long, damage the roads, on top of polluting with diesel fumes, noise, vibrations, dust and traffic. House foundations will be affected, and the following spring roads will break up.

In 30 years, if the promoters have not declared bankruptcy to avoid paying for dismantling of wind towers, the foundations will be left to the grandchildren of the original owners. It would be better to force promoters to put money in trust to cover end-of-life dismantling; a form of asset fund for future generations.

If promoters and shareholders had their way, public enquiries would not be necessary. Industrial wind farms are not nice and green like the promoters want us to believe.

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6 thoughts on “Green Party of Canada Opposes Placing Industrial Wind Farms too Close to Homes

  1. Pingback: Wind energy: beware, turbulence ahead « Blowing Our Tax Dollars on Wind Farms

  2. Below is a comment from the Green Party. I am happy to see they had the sense to put the article back up on their website. Regardless of how you feel about wind energy, there are many problems that must be addressed. Pretending they don’t exist is not the answer.
    Ron

    Note: All articles in the Green Canada Vert are, unless otherwise stated, the opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the policies of the Green Party of Canada.
    When this article first appeared, it caused considerable reaction and, for a period of several days was removed from the GPC website. The Green Party respects a diversity of opinion and this newsletter invites debate. Green Party policies recognize wind power as an important part of the solution to global warming; however, local situations and other environmental factors must be considered in how and where wind generators are built.
    There will be more comment in the next issue of the newsletter.

    Doug Anderson
    Federal Councillor
    Green Party of Canada
    co-editor Green Canada Vert

  3. Too bad the Green party actually does support wind power. The author of this article was out of line with the Party’s policies and views and the article was pulled from the website. An official correction will be published in next month’s edition of the Green Party’s newsletter. Now let’s do some fact checking before we publish non-news!

  4. Elizabeth May, the Green Party leader whose riding is in Nova Scotia, said she sides with Murray in the debate. “She’s clear she supports wind power and is talking about siting. Perhaps we can agree cottage country is not the best site for wind farms.”

    Instead, May expressed surprise that Atlantic Wind Power – previously involved in a siting controversy in Nova Scotia in 2005 – hadn’t learned its lesson and was fighting uphill against public opinion

    again. In 2005, the company developed its Pubnico Point Wind Farm in southwest Nova Scotia. At least one family moved, complaining of noise from that development.

    May suggested hilltops in the province might be more appropriate for wind developments rather than the coastline.

    “I think Anne Murray was right to say she supports wind power, but this isn’t the right place for it.”

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