Wind turbine impact on children questioned

October 16, 2013

Peterborough Examiner

MILLBROOK – Mothers Against Wind Turbines added their voice to the opposition against a proposed wind farm in the Bethany-Cavan area.

The group, formed by two mothers who have been waging fights against wind farm proposals in their own communities, spoke to a group of 25 people at the Cavan Monaghan Township municipal office Tuesday night.

Focused on the impact of wind turbines on children, the talk was part of a series of recent town hall meetings hosted by Deputy Mayor Scott McFadden and Coun. Tim Belch.

Shellie Correia, who lives in the town of Wellandport in Niagara Region, has been fighting the construction of a mega wind turbine project in her backyard.

Despite an opposition campaign that included meetings with the leaders of all three provincial political parties, Correia is faced with the real possibility that a 600-foot turbine will be built 550 metres from her home, where she lives with her 12-year-old son Joey, a boy with sensory processing issues.

Joey’s condition means he is sensitive to certain sounds that wouldn’t negatively affect other people. For example, Joey is extremely irritated by the sound of ripping Velcro.

The proposed wind farm that would feature more than 77 massive turbines near Correia’s home is in the final stages of Ministry of the Environment approval, she said.

She still has avenues for appeal, but she fears if the project gets a final go ahead, she’ll be forced out of her home.

“I think it’s going to be devastating, that’s why I’m fighting so hard,” she said. “If my son is suffering … there is no way I could stay there and force him to endure that.”

Linda Rogers, the other half of Mothers Against Wind Turbines, is facing the imminent enclosure of her home and farm by wind development in Haldimand County on Lake Eerie.

She says her nine-year-old son William is especially vulnerable to wind turbine disruptions due to his congenital and medical conditions.

“Noise intrusion will definitely impact on his ability to function,” she said.

Rogers, a nurse practitioner, has been fighting proposed wind farms in her area for years. Despite her protests, a farm with 16 wind turbines two kilometres away from her home was recently green-lighted.

She joined Correia Tuesday as they discussed their experiences.

McFadden said he will continue to host the town hall meetings on the dangers of wind turbines to keep the issue in the spotlight.

“A lot of new faces are coming out and word is spreading. It’s keeping it in the forefront,” he said.

M.K. Ince and Associates Ltd. proposes to build five large wind turbines on the west side of Cavan Monaghan Township, north of Bethany near Devil’s Elbow Ski Area.

The company is hosting a public meeting about the project Nov. 5, running from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Rolling Hills Public School west of Bethany in Manvers.

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