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Minister fails to grasp the impact wind farms will have on tourism

When debating wind energy, there is one point we can all agree on: there are sites suited for wind energy and sites that are not. Our beautiful township is not suitable. The moratorium passed unanimously by our Township Council reflects this. One visit here and it will be clear to you. ...The point is, Mr. Smitherman, our main industry is tourism and recreation. Visitors drive for several hours to enjoy the sense of wilderness our beautiful township offers. They come here to get away from industry. Please understand, this township's livelihood and way of life depends largely on the natural beauty of this land.

Editor's note: In a letter to the editor carried in the Oct. 29 issue of This Week, Ontario Energy Minister George Smitherman was highly critical of South Algonquin council's decision to place a 10-year moratorium on the approval of any wind turbine projects in the region. Following is a response to the minister's letter.


Dear Mr. Smitherman,

When debating wind energy, there is one point we can all agree on: there are sites suited for wind energy and sites that are not.

Our beautiful township is not suitable. The moratorium passed unanimously by our Township Council reflects this.

One visit here and it will be clear to you. I'd like to invite you to go canoeing on Headstone Lake. Or hiking up to McFee Lake. Or we could go snowmobiling along Rapid Lake, fishing on Lobster Lake, hunting on the way into Hardtack Lake, or camping in the Upper Madawaska River Provincial Park.

There are more than 30 lakes within the proposed Whitney Wind Farm study area, which lies adjacent to beautiful Algonquin Park. Your government would like to place 48 turbines here - each the size of a 30-storey building. This is a densely forested place that is 95 per cent undeveloped, where the only buildings are the... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Editor's note: In a letter to the editor carried in the Oct. 29 issue of This Week, Ontario Energy Minister George Smitherman was highly critical of South Algonquin council's decision to place a 10-year moratorium on the approval of any wind turbine projects in the region. Following is a response to the minister's letter.


Dear Mr. Smitherman,

When debating wind energy, there is one point we can all agree on: there are sites suited for wind energy and sites that are not.

Our beautiful township is not suitable. The moratorium passed unanimously by our Township Council reflects this.

One visit here and it will be clear to you. I'd like to invite you to go canoeing on Headstone Lake. Or hiking up to McFee Lake. Or we could go snowmobiling along Rapid Lake, fishing on Lobster Lake, hunting on the way into Hardtack Lake, or camping in the Upper Madawaska River Provincial Park.

There are more than 30 lakes within the proposed Whitney Wind Farm study area, which lies adjacent to beautiful Algonquin Park. Your government would like to place 48 turbines here - each the size of a 30-storey building. This is a densely forested place that is 95 per cent undeveloped, where the only buildings are the occasional cottage, fishing shack and hunt camp.

The point is, Mr. Smitherman, our main industry is tourism and recreation. Visitors drive for several hours to enjoy the sense of wilderness our beautiful township offers. They come here to get away from industry.

Please understand, this township's livelihood and way of life depends largely on the natural beauty of this land. What tourist or naturalist would want to escape to a wilderness littered with turbines?

I applaud our council for standing up to the Ontario government. I believe their unanimous decision reflects the feeling of the entire community. It showed great leadership and a real understanding of our region.

Finally, you talk about "the trade-offs" we all have to make as Ontarians.

How is this a fair trade for us?

No Ontario municipality should be forced to trade-off the heart and soul of their heritage. It is grossly unfair to ask the people of South Algonquin to allow a huge section of their public land to be developed in a way that puts their very livelihood at risk.

And for what purpose? So that highly subsidized electricity can be transmitted out of the township and down to southern Ontario for use?

Sorry, but South Algonquin can't afford such a trade.


Source: http://www.barrysbaythiswee...

NOV 5 2008
https://www.windaction.org/posts/17767-minister-fails-to-grasp-the-impact-wind-farms-will-have-on-tourism
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