Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Wind Turbines like 'Nightmare Neighbours' but Law 'Rigged,' Court Told

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Wind Turbines like 'Nightmare Neighbours' but Law 'Rigged,' Court Told

Article excerpt

Wind turbines like 'nightmare neighbours'


LONDON, Ont. - Wind turbines are like new neighbours who might drive you to distraction and out of your home because you have no legal way to deal with the situation, a packed Ontario court heard Monday.

In submissions to Divisional Court, a lawyer for four families fighting large-scale wind-energy projects compared the turbines to a neighbour who is always noisy and in your face.

"This neighbour never once ruptured your eardrums but that neighbour slowly drives you crazy," Julian Falconer told the court.

"These turbines are those nightmare neighbours."

The families are trying to get the court to declare provincial legislation related to the approvals of large-scale wind farms unconstitutional.

In essence, they argue, the legislation makes it impossible to scuttle a project on the basis of potential health impacts.

"The priority is to get the turbines up come hell or high water and that's what they do," Falconer said.

"My clients have to wait until the turbines are spinning before they get to make an argument they must be stopped -- it's Alice in Wonderland."

The Drennans, who live near Goderich, Ont., are among the families involved in the first constitutional challenge to the Green Energy Act to reach the appellate court level.

Twelve turbines of the proposed 140-turbine K2 Wind project are being put up within two kilometres of their long-held farmstead.

"I must prove it will harm me, where if I was a drug company, they would have to prove they were safe," Shawn Drennan said in an interview. "The wind company does not have to do that."

Falconer, who sought to introduce a new Health Canada study as fresh evidence, said the science on the health impacts of wind turbines is unsettled.

A summary of the federal study released Nov. 6 turned up no direct link between wind-turbine noise and health effects, such as headaches, high blood pressure and stress. …

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