June 1, 2017 5:55 pm
Updated: June 1, 2017 6:04 pm

Dutton-Dunwich calls on Queen’s Park to scrap wind farm project

FILE - Wind turbines are seen as part of a wind farm near a farmer's field in Dundalk, Ont., on August 6, 2016.

THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Giordano Ciampini
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The environmental assessment for a massive wind farm project in Dutton-Dunwich is already underway, but the community’s mayor says it’s not too late to stop the development.

The provincial government is continuing to investigate the Strong Breeze project, a 57.5-megawatt network proposed by the Chicago-based Invenergy in the municipality of 4,000, just west of London.

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Eighty-four per cent of the municipality’s residents voted against the project in a referendum last year, declaring the community an unwilling host for wind turbines. Mayor Cameron McWilliam has been an opponent of the project since the start, but his latest call to action was prompted by evidence he says indicates the government is ignoring resident noise and health concerns.

READ MORE: Woman sued over opposition to wind farm despite giving up fight

“It is very clear that much more research needs to take place to get to the bottom of the health concerns for the sake of all rural citizens forced to have these monstrosities near them,” he said.

Documents obtained under Freedom of Information laws by Wind Concerns Ontario, an anti-wind turbine advocacy group, reveal the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change received 3,180 complaints across the province from residents near wind turbines — mostly about noise — but only 24 were made priorities. The documents further revealed the ministry didn’t conduct a site visit on 1,730 of the complaints and the remainder–1,424 — were classed as “deferred” or “planned.”

READ MORE: Want local support for a wind farm? Involve the locals, study suggests

McWilliam said he is “appalled at the government’s lack of response to the thousands of complaints put forward to it.”

Wind Concerns Ontario estimates 450 Dutton-Dunwich residents would be within the noise range of the Strong Breeze turbines, calling on the government to acknowledge these complaints.

A release from the Municipality of Dutton-Dunwich says McWilliam is “demanding the provincial government put more regulations in place to ensure compliance by these large corporations, like the Chicago-based Invenergy, as we know these companies are also not addressing complaints.”

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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