Alert! More Wind Turbines Coming to Eastern Ontario

The Prescott Russell Landowners Association (PRLA) quickly pulled together a public information meeting held at the Russell Legion on June 19th. The purpose of the meeting was to alert residents of Prescott Russell of the proposed industrial wind turbine projects already underway in the county and to let people know about upcoming public meetings hosted by the wind power company.

Tom Black, President of the Ontario Landowners Association explained that many people have challenged wind turbine projects but mostly on the health effects which have failed in court. The OLA looks at the installation of wind turbines from a property rights perspective. The 500 metre setback requirement can result in a neighbouring property being effectively expropriated by the project. To meet the setback requirement, erecting a building on a property surrounded by turbines could become prohibited. Tom referred to the case of the Antrim Truck Stop Restaurant which sued under expropriation law and won. Bypassing the restaurant with the new highway 17 left the establishment on a dead-end road and destroyed the wealth of the business, something not allowed without compensation.

Elizabeth (Liz) Marshall, Director of Research for the OLA recounted, as relayed to her by Dave Hemingway, president of Huron Perth Landowners, the experience of a farmer in southern Ontario who signed an agreement to have an industrial turbine erected on his property only to find out afterwards that the company had placed a lien on his property for $420 million. Further, it was discovered that under the Road User Agreements, the Turbine Company had also placed demand debentures on municipal properties (road allowances). She has met with the Multi-municipal Wind Turbine Working Group, a group of municipalities concerned about harm to the health and well-being of residents as a result of wind turbines. The group consists of about a dozen municipalities in southern Ontario. Discussions included what municipalities could do as unwilling hosts to large wind turbine projects. The group has expressed that they will contact other municipalities in Ontario.

Speakers also included Philipp Mayr, president Prescott Russell Landowners Association, MPP Jack MacLaren. Master of ceremonies was Ron Barr, General Manager of the Greater Ottawa Truckers Association who commented on the growing number of wind turbines he sees in his travels across Ontario. Links to videos of the speakers can be found here.

The Prescott Russell Landowners Association is planning a follow-up meeting in July. Watch our Events page for more information.