Ted Arnott, MPP
Wellington – Halton Hills
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 22, 2010
Premier refuses demand for wind farm moratorium
(Queen’s Park) – Under opposition questioning, Premier Dalton McGuinty refused to express
support for a moratorium on new wind farms until comprehensive and credible studies can show
they are safe for human health.
That was the demand from Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott, who took the Premier to task
yesterday in question period.
“The government’s policy is uncoordinated and will lead to a massive increase in our hydro bills for
years to come,” charged Mr. Arnott. “There are legitimate concerns about [wind farms’] potential risk
to human health, the economic cost and the denial of real opportunity for public input.”
The McGuinty government’s Green Energy Act is the foundation for new wind farm proposals, many
of which are located in communities that do not want them. That legislation also limits opportunity
for public input and curtails local municipalities’ powers.
In an effort to restore those traditional municipal planning oversight powers, Dufferin-Caledon MPP
Sylvia Jones tabled a private member’s bill last week. She also followed up on Mr. Arnott’s question
to the Premier.
“Sylvia Jones deserves credit for this initiative,” said Mr. Arnott.
On March 25, Mr. Arnott introduced a resolution in the Ontario Legislature in which he called for
completion of a comprehensive and credible study, which would document the full health effects of
wind turbines, before any new wind farm proposals could proceed.
– 30 –
Attached: Ontario Hansard
Ontario Hansard – 21-April2010
Mr. Ted Arnott: My question is for the Premier. This government’s flawed and undemocratic Green
Energy Act has ignited a surge of wind farm proposals, pitting neighbour against neighbour and tearing
communities part. The government’s policy is uncoordinated and will lead to a massive increase in our
hydro bills for years to come. There are legitimate concerns about the potential risk to human health, the
economic cost and the denial of real opportunity for public input.
Today in the chamber we have residents of the Bellwood area in Centre Wellington township who want
an answer to a simple question: Why won’t the government place a moratorium on wind farm approvals
until they complete a comprehensive and credible epidemiological study on their health effects?
Hon. Dalton McGuinty: I thank the honourable member for his question. We took a long, hard look at
the experience in other parts of the world-not only their experience in terms of how they sited and their
setback requirements with respect to wind turbines, for example, but at any medical evidence or
knowledge that might have been developed in connection with wind turbines. We have come to the
conclusion that there is nothing that indicates that-given what we have done and the setback requirements
we’ve put in place, which are the most aggressive in North America and some of the most aggressive in
What we have done, out of a sense of responsibility, is we’re also funding ongoing research. We are
funding a new research chair to take a look at these things so that we can begin to collect, on our own,
data specific to Ontario.
The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Supplementary?
Ms. Sylvia Jones: When the Premier is doing all that deep studying perhaps he should be looking at
where France and Germany are actually ramping back their wind turbine developments because they are
finding that there are issues with it.
So far, 50 municipalities in Ontario have passed resolutions asking the provincial government to return
the planning power for wind energy to them. Last week, I introduced a private member’s bill, Bill 29, that
would do just that. The Minister of Energy and Infrastructure has already been quoted in the newspaper
that he will not be supporting my bill. Premier, will you be instructing your Liberal caucus to vote against
my bill or will you allow them to vote on behalf of their communities and return planning power for wind
energy projects back to municipalities?
Hon. Dalton McGuinty: It’s up to members to make up their own minds when it comes to private
members’ issues. But what I can say is that while I’m very confident of the safety standards that we’re
putting in place with respect to how and where we put up our wind turbines, I’m also-
The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): There have been a number of personal attacks that aren’t directed at
government policy but are directed at individual members, coming from this corner back here. I’d just ask
members to be more conscious of not directing a personal attack at a member. It’s one thing to do it to a
Hon. Dalton McGuinty: The other thing that is important to keep in mind here is that while we continue
to have a growing demand and certainly over the longer term a growing demand for more energy in
Ontario, we’ve got to come to grips with one of the best sources of that energy. We have made a decision
as a government to eliminate coal-fired generation. There is no doubt whatsoever about the harm and
dangers associated with coal-fired generation. On the other hand, harnessing the power of the wind and
harnessing the power of the sun are important new initiatives and new opportunities that create jobs and
help provide us with electricity that we are going to need in the future.