OFA calls on government to suspend wind turbine development in Ontario (2012)

GUELPH, ON [January 20, 2012] – Escalating concerns about industrial wind turbines have prompted the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) to urge the province of Ontario to suspend further development until farm families and rural residents are assured that their interests are adequately protected. The OFA unveiled its strong stance in a new position statement on industrial wind turbines, released today, that will be presented to government later this month.

Since 2007, when the development of industrial wind turbines began in Ontario, the OFA has worked with government on regulations, cautioned farmer members on the pitfalls of wind leases and expressed concerns about pricing. Many of these issues have not been addressed, causing tremendous tension among rural residents and community neighbours.

“We are hearing very clearly from our members that the wind turbine situation is coming to a head – seriously dividing rural communities and even jeopardizing farm succession planning,” says OFA President Mark Wales. “The onus is on our provincial government to ensure the interests of rural Ontarians are protected. OFA is speaking up to clearly outline the issues that must be addressed right now.”

The OFA’s new position statement on industrial wind turbine development addresses a number of concerns of rural Ontarians, including:

  • Price paid for wind power
  • Inefficiency of wind power – it can’t be stored for use during peak demand periods
  • Setback issues and induced currents
  • Health and nuisance issues
  • Removal of municipal input from industrial wind turbine projects

OFA has always supported Ontario’s need for a reliable, affordable source of renewable energy for our future. “We must all work together to ensure green energy projects respect concerns for noise, community involvement and price, balanced with the effective provision of energy,” says Wales.

Read the full OFA position statement on industrial wind turbines here.

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is the largest general farm organization in Ontario, representing 37,000 farm families across the province. As a dynamic farmer-led organization based in Guelph, the OFA works to represent and champion the interests of Ontario farmers through government relations, farm policy recommendations, lobby efforts, community representation, media relations and more. OFA is the leading advocate for Ontario’s farmers and is Ontario’s voice of the farmer.

Mark Wales
Ontario Federation of Agriculture

Neil Currie
General Manager
Ontario Federation of Agriculture

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Colette McLean says on January 20, 2012 at 10:16 AM


Cindy Travis says on January 20, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Well this is some good news. I was not going to renew my OFA membership this year due to your previous stance on industrial wind turbines. I suspect that many people were going to vote with their feet as well. Another issue that should be of paramount concern to your members is that landowners who host wind turbines are now being sued along with the wind developers by their neighbours for nuisance and decline in property values. Cindy Travis

Gary Thomas says on January 20, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Thank you for a position that makes sense. Our farm based business will be badly affected if a neighbouring wind farm proceeds.

Dan Wrightman says on January 20, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Bravo OFA thank you for standing with your members on this contentious issue!

Esther says on January 20, 2012 at 11:51 AM

YEA YEA!!!!!

Linda J Rogers says on January 20, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Immediate suspension of all wind projects and wind turbines operations must occur. Wind Turbines cause harm. Vicarious liability has been demonstrated with the pending ligation against the WPD wind project developer and the farmer who has leased the land for the project.

Christine Komaromi says on January 20, 2012 at 1:20 PM

So happy to hear this! No matter what side of the fence you are on the bottom line is what the OFA has stated above "Many of these issues have not been addressed, causing tremendous tension among rural residents and community neighbours" Lets learn from past expierence and get all the facts before moving forward.

Raymond Carter says on January 20, 2012 at 1:21 PM

I would gladly sign an online petition in support of this action. Any plans?

Betty Casselman says on January 20, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Thankyou for hearing our concerns and giving a voice to the little guy.

K says on January 20, 2012 at 1:42 PM

WOW thanks for someone finally taking a stand at these giants. I think it has been horrible the way they have cut out all opinions from where it counts, OFA, ABCA, municipal imput...these groups are there to protect our land in the right ways only to be shoved out with no say, all the while the windfarms have no care of what they do to our farmland, homes, and wildlife. Hats off to you for taking the stand its the best news I've had for ages!!!

Jeff Aramini says on January 20, 2012 at 1:43 PM

Thank you for putting the health and well-being of rural families ahead of urban politics.

jjaboni says on January 20, 2012 at 1:56 PM

Here is an excellent article.

Neil Switzer says on January 20, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Good old rural common sense has finally been reaffirmed. Let the healing begin while the battle closes out. I too was torn with my OFA renewal predicament but now am so relieved. Our heartfelt thanks in this difficult decision.

David Simpson says on January 20, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Thank you so much to everyone at the O.F.A. for taking a firm stance on this issue. Now we have to keep the pressure on the Provincial Government. So far they haven't listened to anyone other than the people who stand to make all the money off this scam.

Mary Ann Craner says on January 20, 2012 at 3:17 PM

Thank you O.F.A. I know of some individuals who have signed a lease to have a wind turbine put up on land that they own but they did not sign a lease to have one put up on the land that they actually live on.....this does not sit well with me. If they do not want a turbine next to their own house why should they be able sign a lease to have one put up near a family or an individual who has no control or say.

Walt Palmer says on January 20, 2012 at 3:42 PM

I am disappointed by the policy that your organization has adopted as regards wind power. If we accept that wind power development has presented problems in rural communities, it must still also be accepted that it offers huge benefits. Shouldn't your policies and positions reflect a nuanced comprehension of the issues rather a polarizing stance? If you had adopted a policy of requiring ongoing analysis and discussion of the pertinent matters, you would be credible. As it is, you look like an organization that has allowed one faction to dictate policy. Democracy should not be simply the result of a ballot. By that definition, all the people whose shoe size was lower than 12 could vote to destroy those with larger feet in order to conserve food! The essence of democracy is information. A plea for the government to figure out ways of making everyone better informed through means that assure objectivity would be great. Your policy has all the appearances of being a rant by an organization the majority of whose loudest voices dislike wind power. So what? Are you relevant, or are you a low grade 'political wind'-driven mouthpiece organization for the 'prejudice of the day'.

Robert Edmunds says on January 20, 2012 at 4:14 PM

Did the OFA make a submission to the FIT review process? It seems likely that the government is already going to address many of these issues when they announce new rules in about a months time. In particular, ensuring community ownership of wind projects and perhaps allowing farmers to adopt communal land leases are hopefully on their way. Also, the prices for all technologies under the FIT program are expected to come down as part of the review. Your comments on unreliability of wind are completely misguided, and demonstrate that you have less concern for facts than attacking wind. Wind power is far more reliable than you claim when aggregated across a wide geographical area. Also, wind power producers only get paid for electricity they deliver, so if the wind isn't blowing - we aren't paying.

Brenda Stewardson says on January 20, 2012 at 5:22 PM

Thank you OFA, I have no desire to live 550 meters away from my neighbours wind turbine. I also do not want our dairy cattle to live even closer, as there is no minumum distance requirements between wind turbines and livestock barns.

Laura Griffin says on January 20, 2012 at 5:38 PM

to Walt Palmer: Exactly what "huge benefits" are you referring to? Wind power is costly, inefficient and ineffective. It is also responsible for causing massive toxic wastelands at facilities that mine the rare earth elements necessary for turbine production. Just because something is called "green" does not necessarily make it so. Wind power is a colossal failure and it's time to move towards something that is truly green and effective, rather than continuing to flush good money after bad and burdening future generations with the GIGANTIC bills created by these monstrous errors.

Denise Broniek says on January 20, 2012 at 5:44 PM

Thank-you OFA! Perfect timing for membership renewal... Maybe a little too late for some with turbines already in the background, however this would help future farmers preserve land from being destroyed and abandoned to industrial wind monstrosities!! Keep up the pressure, please. We need this!

Gerry Meyer says on January 20, 2012 at 6:09 PM

It is great to see an organization finally understanding the downfalls of "big" wind. Wind energy is a hoax. It needs to stop. Many sick people can attest to the ills of wind energy. Politicians need to understand the truths about health affects, property value loss and shadow flicker to name a few.

Cheryl Murray says on January 20, 2012 at 6:09 PM

Thank you OFA for a well thought out position statement on this issue!! Here's hoping the powers that be will listen and act accordingly...

CBayne says on January 20, 2012 at 6:09 PM

@Walt Palmer "Shouldn't your policies and positions reflect a nuanced comprehension of the issues rather a polarizing stance?" In fact we celebrate this new comprehension of the issues and recognition of facts which at last replaces a polarizing stance based on ideology and sales pitch. The essence of Democracy is ACCURATE information which permits an informed public to make wise decisions; the misinformation revealed by the Auditor General of Ontario is a mere fraction of the fiction which has been Greed Energy.

Gerry Meyer says on January 20, 2012 at 6:10 PM

It is great to see an organization finally understanding the downfalls of "big" wind. Wind energy is a hoax. It needs to stop. Many sick people can attest to the ills of wind energy. Politicians need to understand the truths about health affects, property value loss and shadow flicker to name a few.

wendy says on January 20, 2012 at 6:39 PM

Thankyou!!!!!!!!!!!!! Is there anything I can do to support your stance? I'm more than happy to help.

Sean Gander says on January 20, 2012 at 6:44 PM

Thank you..... I just renewed my membership We need NEW health studies not reviews of old ones sponsored by pro wind

John Foreman says on January 20, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Unfortunately, at least to me, it seems more like a "reversal" of position, by the OFA, than a well thought out stand on the issue. I fear what their next official "position" may be! Hopefully they will not "flip-flop" on the stand taken most recently and will offer Ontario's rural population the on-going support they've been missing since the so-called GREEN Energy Act came into existence. Good neighbours don't "saddle" their un-willing neighbours with Industrial Wind Turbines!

Larry says on January 20, 2012 at 7:24 PM

What the (deleted content) took you so long. But I am glad you guys finally woke up and smelled the (deleted content) from queens Park and the Wind crooks.

Kevin Elwood says on January 20, 2012 at 8:58 PM

Finally a voice for the farmer. Wind power developers are extremely over paid under the FIT contract. They claim it is capital intensive to build turbines. So are nuclear and hydro eletric plants, and they get paid a third of the price of wind power. There is no protection for the farmer as this starts to unravel as the deal with the farmer is with the wind developer and secured by nothing. The farmer/landowner is paid under 5% of the gross revenues and the other 95% goes to the wind developer which cannot happen without the farmers land and consent. Not a single farmer in this province should have signed a contract until it was a good deal for the farmer. Once agian the farmer and rural Ontario is getting ripped off and to make it even more sickening it is tearing apart their communities. Hold your position OFA. Your membership is on fragile times until wind turbine development ceases on Ontario farmland.

Graham Martin says on January 20, 2012 at 9:49 PM

80% of Ontario's total elecrtircal production needs to be replaced/refurbished/reconstructed in the next 20 years. We can't build petrol/coal plants because they damage the atmosphere and 'divide communities.' We can't build Nuclear reactors because they produce unrecyclable radioactive waste, no one wants a reactor in their back yard, and 'divide communities.' Solar power doesn't work at night, and we are all but out of workable locations for Hydro plants. Leaving wind power to supplement Solar and Hydro generation, or ... ??? Something has got to give folks... So much misinformation here as well. Manufacturing of wind turbines is no more toxic then manufacturing any other generator. 10 independent reviews (in various countries. The last one in Britain.) all agree that "annoyance has far more to do with social and psychological factors in those complaining than any direct effect from sound or inaudible infrasound emanating from wind turbines". "Low frequency and very low-frequency "infrasound" produced by wind turbines are the same as those produced by vehicular traffic and home appliances, even by the beating of people's hearts. Such 'infrasounds' are not special and convey no risk factors." The only forms of resource used anywhere or anyhow to produce electricity that can be "be stored for use during peak demand periods" are petrol, coal, nuclear, and to a small extent Hydro.

Leeann Swallow says on January 20, 2012 at 10:39 PM

It is about time! I also would like the OEF to start an online petition to accompany their statement to the Liberal and NDP members of parliment next month. Another step forward for those of us who realize that we cannot afford to allow the loss of 5 to 7 acres of productive farmland for every farm that is allowed 2 turbines. Realtors certainly agree that massive losses in Property Values for thousands of Rural Lifestyle property owners, located within 5 kilometers of each Industrial Wind Power Generating Facility, has already occured. . Would anyone, in their right mind, buy a million dollar home 500 metres from dozens of montrous 500 foot spinning turbines? Farm animals on neighbouring farms are not being protected and they are the livelyhood of those farmers. Our Liberal and NDP MPP's plans to continue to fast tract approvals for 9000 Turbines spread over 25,000 acres of prime farmland in Southern Ontario with no regard for public safety, wildlife, or the environmental and economic impacts to thousand of rural residents and business owners and employers. That should effectively distroy forever the beautiful ONTARIO YOURS TO DISCOVER. They just don't belong on farm land and clustered by the hundreds purly for profit. Farmer's should be paid fair prices for their farm produce and programs should be aimed at conservation and helping farmers and communities produce the power they use in a safe and environmentally friendly manner. Our entire eco-system will be severely effected by the wide spread use of massive turbines.

John Conrad says on January 21, 2012 at 12:00 AM

Thanks you OFA. We have been wondering where you have ben on this matter. I can see that the OFA position has been well researched and is very robust. We are greatly relieved to see this. We need the Ontario Government to listen. We are tremendously pleased with yiur stance. Thank you. John Conrad, MSM, CD

Al says on January 21, 2012 at 12:15 AM

This is a good idea to stop and have a look at all the issues the OFA have stated. The Ontario Government should stop and have a look at this again. The Ontario Government is going a head with all these wind turbines guaranteeing set prices for the power,Wind power is paid 13.5 cent a kilowatt hour and they are selling it for 6 or 7 cent a kilowatt hour. I think there is something wrong here. Don't you just wish they would do the same for the farmers in Ontario. Just think they would pay you twice as much for your products. Then they would sell to your buyers for the regular price. Thank You O.F.A.

C. says on January 21, 2012 at 9:49 AM

Thank you for your stance. Our family OFA renewal form has been sitting on the counter, wondering what to do ... renew? ... go elsewhere? Now we know what to do :)

A MaCkENZIE says on January 21, 2012 at 12:23 PM

windmills generate power which is so expensive that We/ Industry cannot compete in todays workplace. "No" Windmills.

A. Urbshas says on January 21, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Happy to read this news!!??

Larry Becker says on January 21, 2012 at 4:11 PM

To Walt Palmer I say this: Democracy IS simply the result of a ballot.. The "ballot" has elected a dictator and his democracy consists of not listening to the people that elected him.. To make comments like you have made makes me question where you, sir, are coming from, because it appears to me like you have a vested interest in what the government and these carpetbaggers are doing to the citizens of this province...

Anne Johnston says on January 21, 2012 at 4:48 PM

Three cheers for OFA

Harvey Wrightman says on January 21, 2012 at 4:55 PM

The wind industry and govt., preferring a secret, pre-ordained process, has brought us only strife and division. I had a letter written to withdraw my membership in the OFA, but have now reconsidered. What Mark Wales has written, both here and in his letter to the Chatham Daily News hits on all the points that have enraged rural residents, farm and non-farm. The deception practiced by the wind industry was aided by govt. indifference to legitimate complaints. We were all told " ... it is for the greater good of society." As soon as that argument is made, raise your guard. Now that the OFA has declared "Enough!" it must support the actions we are taking to defend ourselves - action over words. We are willing to co-operate with those who will help us.

M Anderson says on January 21, 2012 at 6:15 PM

OFA is taking a brave stand here. The right thing to do! Thank you.

John Rodgers says on January 22, 2012 at 8:29 AM

Any organization that concerns itself with the dispatchability of renewable energy, advocates for the interests of the rural gentry over the interests of farmers and recommends another level of government control of farmland does not represent me. What's more, I do not recall being consulted or advised prior to this change in position. I am removing the O.F.A. signs from my farms. Perhaps its time to update the G.F.O. legislation.

M Cowling says on January 22, 2012 at 10:26 AM

Thank you OFA! The health and well being of both human and livestock in rural Ontario must be addressed. Listen up Provincial Government!!

Sara Tyrrell says on January 22, 2012 at 10:26 AM

Thank You! Now to see if anyone listens.

Larry says on January 22, 2012 at 10:58 AM

Great to see OFU's reversal, why is it never mentioned the largest part of the next 20 years imense profits is leaving the province!

Mark Davis says on January 22, 2012 at 2:41 PM

For the 1st time in my farming career I was having trouble joining OFA because of their sit on the fence approach to IWTs while rural Ontario gets decimated. Thankyou very much for your stance and let's keep pushing.

J Zelasko says on January 22, 2012 at 3:11 PM

It's like I've always said, farming is all about families, friends and community. If there ever was a way to destroy any of the formentioned, put an industrial wind turbine in your backyard. The folks that have done so in my area are viewed as... well its not fit print. It should be noted that if the Premier of the Province Toronto should ever decide to put these things Lake Ontario,( Hamilton ) the Liberal Party would be wiped of the political map. It should also be said that our local governments are practically spineless in dealing with this issue. They should say enough is enough no matter what the consequences

Carol Barker says on January 22, 2012 at 4:02 PM

THANK YOU!!! One of my concerns, which wasn't mentioned in your excellent position statement, is the potential impact of proximity to industrial wind turbines on the productivity and welfare of agricultural animals - cattle, chickens, pigs, goats sheep and horses. We breed and market show horses which are flight animals and, despite years of training and domesticity, will flee in panic from their perception of possible predators. Flickering light/shadow and noises will very possibly cause horses to run into or through fencing causing injury, perhaps fatally. I am also concerned about the health of domestic animals, for instance dogs, who seem to suffer anxiety from noise frequencies. Again thank you OFA for your position on IWTs. I hope that your support will be unwavering when/if confronted by "stakeholders" like Canada Wind Energy Association and the wind energy developers.

Judith Atkinson says on January 22, 2012 at 6:31 PM

Graham Martin , check your facts. Ontario has enough capacity using existing hydro-electric production for decades to come, and our use continues to drop due to the number of manufacturing companies fleeing Ontario because of high energy costs stimulated by our "Greed Energy" policy. The production crew at Sir Adam Beck can tell you they are forced to bypass the turbines to allow expensive windpower electricity to be accepted on the overloaded grid, when hydro electric power is economical and wind power is and ever will be produced at costs exceeding sale. The wind "industry" is not an industry, it is a boondoggle, or it wouldn't be sucking our tax dollars as a subsidy, they would be making money and contributing taxes on their earnings. Wake up and smell the demise of Ontario's rural communities. Meanwhile, hurrah for the OFA, your support is just in time to put an end to this insanity.

greg schmalz says on January 22, 2012 at 7:13 PM

You are to be commended on taking your stance on wind turbine placement in our province. You have breathed new energy into and given hope to the numerous groups tirelessly working on this issue. BRAVO!

Cathy Vitucci says on January 22, 2012 at 8:51 PM

In the weeks ahead I can image the OFA will finally hear from the silent majority. Glad I wasn't too quick to send in our membership renewal.!! As a current OFA member it would have been nice to be polled prior to the OFA's first position taken on wind. Perhaps then there could be a true representation of it members. Cathy Vitucci Farmer and mother of 4!!

Kal says on January 22, 2012 at 9:28 PM

Oh so much to say with so little space. First off Thomas needs to do a tad bit more reseach about the European views on windfarms. I am Danish and can tell you just because the windfarms have been around for long periods of time, doesnt make them great. Diseases have been around forever as well, doesnt make them great either! Well over 36 European COUNTRIES just to point out (out of 50!) have joined in the fight to stop the progress of them. Denmark included! I also have felt the sting of these giant companies and even though I have no contracts, I too have lost 9 acres of use of my land from encroaching wind farms with siting from land owners that dont even reside in my township. Unless your in my shoes I guess you wouldnt be at all offended by the disgrace of their decicions and how they effect persons just residing in the communities they overtake. We have 5 windfarms overlapping and keep getting more and more projects approved, there will be hundreds in our small township. They dont care how much impact they do to our lands and smurk as they have really been given a green light to do as they wish at anyones expense. Even signed farmers out here wish to exit their contracts as they have been treated so poorly, but its like signing with the devil, theres no outs! And give me a break who do you think will be paying for all this crap, we all will for many many years ( did the wind reps tell you different?) Give your heads a shake!! How can anyone say they arent expensive, it costs over 3 million dollars each turbine! Solar is about 50 thousand each and proven a bit more effective. You do the math! I'm not for or against solar, but if I had a choice I would be happier to have them as they dont carry any health risks, noise concerns, unsightly views and cost as the turbines do. How about throwing some solar on the tops of the many highrises flat rooftops in the cities and let them do their part so we can do ours and use our lands to do what they are there for, farming, crops and livestock! And speaking of the dividing of communities, I'm living it right now and its horrible! Family get togethers this last season where a whole new ball game with family members signed up for the cash and others not. I'm no phycic here but this in the future will be the end of loving family get togethers for certain as there was much said and heated comments made instead of laughter. Even the kids at school, friends and cousins which are plenty in our small country school are throwing opionions and is sad to watch. Neighbors, long time friendships have totally collapsed as well. Its a look out for yourself mode and shocking to see and hear. And I might add, the turbines aren't even up as of yet. I can't imagine how much worse it will get. I know of people already getting thier homes and farms appraised, giving up on the only life plan they know. Thats a little piece of whats at stake in my small neck of the woods, and even if you still want to move? Good luck, every township surround us for hours is underfire and slated to have them as well. So where do you go?? For those saying they will be pitching their OFA signs, sad indeed but you go ahead I as a sign holder don't need your type in our group anyway, no good land owner would! Good job OFA stand up for our muted voices against these invaders!!!!

Allan says on January 23, 2012 at 8:55 AM

Mark Wales is correct OFA had always had several wind concerns. In fact, in July of 2009 OFA submitted their GEA consultation document stating they wanted a complete health study before further construction took place. Currently they are simply trying to walk the talk and the government and a few selfish landowners act surprised. Science from all over the world is mounting. As for being the most stringent regulations, Ontario is currently well down the list behind about 35 other areas with far better regs. Get it right, then proceed!

Gail McKenzie says on January 23, 2012 at 9:17 AM

Thankyou to the OFA. Where are we to add to the poll to answer yes to this? Please everyone read the comments from "Kal". We who are not living it need to pay heed to those who have and will. Hopefully in our community we will succeed in stopping these monsters. The government at present is paying hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to send power to the U.S. Why then are we adding more to the cost of electric power by installing this type of machinery in our midst. To add to all of this my understanding is that after 20 years no one will take responsibility for these turbines and also that acres of land immediatly under and around the turbines becomes unuseable. Should a fire occur (which does happen) all that can be done is to watch them burn and fall! So many things to think about. This only scratches the surface. I really believe that there is a more efficient and less costly method to produce hydro without desimating our country side. Gail

Jim Ford says on January 23, 2012 at 9:36 AM

I just listened to the news regarding the new OFA stand on wind turbines. How stupid can you be!! I was counting on the potential revenue from a wind turbine on my farm to be part of my retirement income. You should be ashamed of yourselves for bowing to such ( non-farmer ) pressure to take such a position . After being a long term member of your organisation, I will now be asking for my membership fee to be returned. I will be encouraging my farmer friends to do the same. I will not be part of such a foolish organisation.

Diane Griffith says on January 23, 2012 at 10:16 AM

I am in agreeance with all of the above persons when I say "THANK YOU" for your current stance on industrial wind turbines. They must be called industrial because to call them anything else would be a falsehood. I would like to question whether Walt Palmer, Robert Edmunds or Graham Martin live within any proximal distance to a wind farm project? I would find it unlikely. As always, persons who are not directly involved are able to have a very academic response. I, on the other hand, am faced with a very real response. I am DIRECTLY FACING the possible location of 3 X 417ft industrial wind turbines (Whittington Wind Project). To be placed approx 550m directly in front of my home. I should correct that, directly in front of my home on my farm. 4 things are happening here. 1 - the wind turbine is not proposed on my farm so I don't have a say, 2 - I am accross the road & in another township, so I don't have a say, 3 - the power has been taken away from the municipalities to decline a project at their level, so I don't have a say, 4 - One man has decided how to affect our community & over 200 homes. He is the only one who gets to have a say. Democratic? You wouldn't think so either. I mentioned that the persons who are strong proponets of wind farms most likely don't live near them. Neither do the people constructing them. I did a casual oral survey of the wpd employees at their info night here. They come from Mississauga, Toronto, Waterloo, etc. None come from an area even remotely near a wind farm. They just build them & then leave. Regarding jobs that are created from wind developments those are only very short lived. The turbine is constructed and then it only takes a couple of guys to check maintenance on 40 or 50 turbines. Not much of a job creation project. They are expensive to build. Why do yo think your hydro costs keep going up? "Green" is expensive. I don't believe green is wrong I just don't think that littering our farmland with wind turbines is the solution. We ourselves have entered into the solar microfit program. We had to pay for it, by ourselves. It does not offend our neighbours, makes no noise and since it is tucked in behind our grain bins & is low profile it is not offensive to view. What will be offensive to me is to have to look at a huge tower directly out of my front window. To be directly downwind from resultant noise. To be directly down shadow from resultant flicker (McGuinty says to get a blind & it will be fine). These are very real issues and they are very imminent. We want this project stopped before it starts. We are counting on you, the OFA, to help farmers & neighbours to make the government invoke the precautionary principle that should have been in effect before these projects even began. They have been unwise, unfaithful & disregarded the people of rural Ontario in their mission to "appear green" to their voters. Unfortunately the greatest concentration of these voters are in large urban areas that will benefit from but never see or be exposed to industrial wind turbines. My family & my neighbours families are counting on your bigger voice to help us all.

Angela says on January 23, 2012 at 10:50 AM

To Mr Ford: As a farmer I will never have a retirement income plan that depends on compromising my neighbours’ health, quality of life and lively hood. Good job OFA!

Nick says on January 23, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Watching someone else make money can be a hard thing to do. I do think that the OFA should have taking a voted on this matter before open there big mouths.

Wendy Omvlee says on January 23, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Thank you OFA! Dalton McGuinty, please do the appropriate studies! See what the GEA is doing? Tearing up rural Ontario. Pitting neighbour against neighbour - farmer against farmer - family against family - friend against friend. The evidence is posted on this page for all to see.

Joe says on January 23, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Very disappointing that OFA takes such a political position without consultation of the farmer base or thorough review of facts versus perception This seems to serve mostly the interest of rural non-farming groups concerned about real estate values of their non farm properties.

Don Ross says on January 23, 2012 at 2:46 PM

The FEAR TRAIN ( you can be sure it's not an electric train, so must be coal or diesel fueled ) just keeps chugging along in this province picking up passengers who prefer being scared rather than being hopeful. There are many of us in rural farm communities who are disgusted by the decade long delaying tactics being deployed by the anti-wind zealots and have been welcoming wind farms with open arms. This OFA decision is stepping backwards at a time when it is crucial to be moving forward instead.

Jutta Splettstoesser says on January 23, 2012 at 4:30 PM

As a farmer and mother of 4 children I welcome wind energy development in Ontario. I volunteer my time for education about renewable energy and never give up hope that some day we will have respectful conversations in our communities about our energy plans. Get the big picture, open your mind and listen to all sides! I personally think that our farm organizations could start the process together and start an exchange with farmers from other countries who have gathered a lot more experience. With Wind We All Win!

Abe says on January 23, 2012 at 4:44 PM

The number of birds and bats killed by these machines eclipses the ducks killed in the Syncrude tailings pond. They were fined $3M, about $1800 per duck. Should windmill owners not be held to account. Why the double standard?

Jon says on January 23, 2012 at 4:57 PM

Walt Palmer - it seems is correct in his statement 'Your policy has all the appearances of being a rant by an organization the majority of whose loudest voices dislike wind power.' fear mongering comes to mind....

Kate Reid says on January 23, 2012 at 5:48 PM

Thank you for making a clear stand. Like many others, I was going to withdraw my support from the OFA unless it stood up for the farming and rural folks it represents. Now, I feel our voices will have a chance of being heard.

Dan Wrightman says on January 23, 2012 at 6:51 PM

The OFA adjustment of their wind turbine policy position reflects the shifting attiudes of most farmers. The majority of farm operations both large and small that signed wind turbine leases 2-5 years ago are now wanting out . This seismic shift of support in rural Ontario means the wind turbine debate is now over. Residents both farm and nonfarm, signed and nonsigned are taking back their communities by uniting against the wind companies .

DAVE says on January 23, 2012 at 7:47 PM

Lets keep the pressure on the province to put a stop to the turbines before its to late. Keep the farm land in the hands of the farmer and not the large corps , prime farm land should be zoned as such and not be allowed to be industrialized . Ontario is a hugh province and there is a place for wind power just not on prime land.

John Thompson says on January 23, 2012 at 8:55 PM

I was able to get clarification from OFA. The Board wants a suspension of the awarding of any new FIT contracts for wind. The OFA does not want to halt development of any approved FIT contracts. I don't know why the news release was worded so that nobody got it. An official clarification would help with damage control resulting from this poorly worded press release.

Wm. T. Almond says on January 23, 2012 at 9:18 PM

Thanks O.F. A. If you keep up the fight you will be getting my memership.

Diane Griffith says on January 23, 2012 at 9:40 PM

I must point out to those of you who are planning on using wind turbines for your "retirement". What happens if you retire at 65 (an example) and then die at 70 or even 75? Your neighbours & other locals will have to live with "your" turbine for a total of 20 years. This is an extremely long term commitment people are making here. Many of whom may/may not be around to see the end result of it. To Thomas Rankin: I completely understand your reasoning regarding fossil fuel plants. It is a sound position. I would guarantee you that most of the people protesting the wind turbines agree with you as well. Just because we don't want a 417ft high turbine slapped dab in front of us doesn't mean that we believe that fossil fuel is correct either. You are missing the point here. The problem is that it has divided the rural neighbourhoods. Pitting farmer against farmer, friend against friend & sometimes dividing families. In rural communities we usually all try to work together & you need to count on your neighbours for help & assistance from time to time. The installation of wind projects is destroying this very basis of rural existance. Frankly, we don't really care what the urban people are doing, and apparently they don't care what happens to us either.

Peter Byvelds says on January 23, 2012 at 10:06 PM

Just in time I was going to give my renewel to an other orgnization.

Lawrence Manto says on January 24, 2012 at 7:51 AM

It would appear from reading most of the above comments that OFA's reversal in opinion is based mainly on membership numbers and not a researched and educated desicion.

Oldie49 says on January 24, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Wind farms are welcome here! What alternative do the naysayers prefer? Coal-fired plants polluting the air they breathe, nuclear-generating plants with spent fuel bundles buried under farmland or in deep underground fissures, polluting water systems? Gosh, those vibrating wind-turbines sure are a threat to health, aren't they? Too bad the OFA listened to a special interest group of dinosaurs who can't plan for the future! Bring on solar and wind. At least I can breathe the unpolluted air near the wind turbine. Try living down-wind from an ethanol plant on a summer day!

Lorrie says on January 24, 2012 at 11:40 AM

We have been forced to try to protect ourselves from our own provincial Liberal government for too long now. Thankyou OFA for sending the message to a government's crusade to jam turbines in at any cost to rural families health, home and community. What will Don McCabe's stand be at the FIT forum in April of this year?

Barbara says on January 24, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Thank you for taking this stand.

Paul Reid says on January 24, 2012 at 12:11 PM

I would like to thank you for doing the research and concluding that the current Renewable Energy program in Ontario,and Green Energy Actam are seriously flawed. It takes courage to stand up to the hand that feeds and I commend you for that. Please do not give up under the weight of big government and big business pressure to come. No matter how they position it, IWTs are a scientific and financial fraud. Best, Paul Reid

Gary Mueller says on January 24, 2012 at 12:14 PM

As a member-I would like to thank-you for taking this position.

peggy says on January 24, 2012 at 12:42 PM

We all greatly appreciate your stance against wind turbines and hope you can cause a halt on this land appropriation tactic, which is at the expense of the people providing everyone's food. It is a curious anomaly that our government has taken us,the food-providers, as their enemy, by forcing this industrial turbine power plant on our lands.

Joan says on January 24, 2012 at 1:26 PM

I applaud you for taking this stand! Bravo!!!

Deborah Hudson says on January 24, 2012 at 1:32 PM

As a farmer and present OFA member I am asking, “Since when did the OFA become the mouthpiece for rural residents and not farmers?” In this position paper you have caved in to the fear mongering by the anti-wind lobbyists who do not base their opinions on peer reviewed, scientific studies. In Saskatchewan’s Red Lily Wind Farm court case Judge Mills ruled against placing an injunction on the wind farm because Dr. Nissenbaum assumed the role of advocate against wind farms and he made “bold, unsupported statements on issues critical to the injunction”. In light of the overwhelming scientific evidence of climate change it would behoove farmers to be good stewards of land, water and air. (Read James Hansen’s “Storms of My Grandchildren”). The OFA is not advocating for farmers - it has caved in under a noisy anti-wind lobby. I am looking to change my membership to an organization that supports farmers.

Ginny says on January 24, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Thank You OFA for coming out! There are so many things wrong with this industry that volumes have been written about it. The government, the proponents, and those who profit from this boondoggle, choose to ignore the evidence. Even the Auditor General can’t make them see the light. Opposition numbers are growing exponentially as the numbers of IWT generation plants come on line, we are becoming a force to be reckoned with. Thank you again OFA for insisting that the numerous contentious issues be addressed.

Gwen Browne says on January 24, 2012 at 2:11 PM

Great Job OFA.

Tim says on January 24, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Thank you OFA for standing against a policy that benefits only the premier's friends, Hydro One, property owners who have signed leases, and some contractors. Otherwise, there are no benefits. Health problems continue to plague many residents. Industrial Wind Turbines are a very expensive, useless technology (no net jobs produced, no benefit to the environment) that destroys our property value and the harmony of our farm communities. The disastrous effect on populations of bats and migratory birds and insects will increase the cost of food production as more pesticides will be required. The Ontario government and the wind companies deny these issues. The scam needs to be shut down. A full investigation must be made to determine exactly where all the money has gone/is going.

Doug Wittick says on January 24, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Not only is the energy poor quality, but also the impact on farmland and also property values must be addressed. thanks for halting this.

nancy says on January 24, 2012 at 3:30 PM

Thank you for your support . We need more people to see the sham of IWT

Irvine Holliss says on January 24, 2012 at 3:46 PM

Industrial turbine installations are politicaly driven. They are at best 25% efficient in delivering the rated capacity of power. But worse than the terrible economics is the underlying health problem that can develop from the low ( below audible range) vibrations. ie subsonic sound. It can make you sick, it can affect your heart rate, it can drive you crazy. My opinion is not yet scienticaly supported but will be before this terrible show is over.

John Ionson says on January 24, 2012 at 4:34 PM

Well done!! Windpower applied to electrical power generation simply does not work! Spend the billions on workable 24 hour 365 day generation alternatives. Cancel the wind turbine programme completely.

Brenda says on January 24, 2012 at 5:12 PM

Our membership renewal came at the beginning of the week and we had decided not to renew with the OFA; then, the announcement! We now will remain members. Thank you to the OFA leadership for stepping up. It is about time that the concerns of rural Ontario are addressed.

Kelly says on January 24, 2012 at 5:31 PM

Thank you OFA for the support and for sending the message to Ontario's government . Our farm will be adversly affected if a proposed wind farm DIRECTLY WEST OF OUR PROPERTY LINE were to proceed. If the industrial wind turbine companies hadn't received promise of financial assistance from the provincial government, this wouldn't be happening. The fact is that IWTC can't sustain themselves as a business. Hydro rates will rise and customers will end up paying the price. This program takes advantage of certain farmers who can't manage their business finances and plan accordingly for retirement.

Ray Harloff says on January 24, 2012 at 5:37 PM

In addition to all the other negative comments made about wind turbines I would like to say that I have always supported my farming habit by working off the farm in the construction industry. My livelihood is being put in jepardy because who in their right mind would want to build a home next to these metal monsters?

W Maven says on January 24, 2012 at 6:23 PM

Of the thousands of acres under lease in Ontario most of the farm owners are OFA members. None of them were consulted before this announcement, including the President. It would seem Mr. Wales' judgement is clouded due to the lack of oxygen available inside the hip pocket. He most certainly does not represent the opinion of the general population of Ontario nor that of the OFA membership in large. But keep writing letters. Some of us are actually doing something for the planet. Remember - if you are not part of the solution.........well you know.

Dan Wrightman says on January 24, 2012 at 6:54 PM

Permanently putting agricultural land out of production to build industrial wind turbines and service roads is poor policy. For decades one of the priorities of provincial and municipal planning was to enact zoning regulations that ensure farmland is used for agricultural purposes only. Why was there a sudden turnaround in policy several years ago with this wind energy push? It's as if provincial decision-makers and some farm leaders gave up on farming and decided to focus on industrial energy production instead of growing food. Industrial wind turbines are a poor way to support farmers and some of the unintended results of this policy will be a shift to more non farm absentee owners holding onto farmland for turbine lease payments rather than selling to neighbouring farmers . This will lead to a weakening of productive farms as improvements to farmland like systematic tiling is more common with land owned by a farmer than with rented land.

Jane says on January 24, 2012 at 6:57 PM

Thank you OFA, for taking a stand on wind farming. Our home is surrounded by these unsightly things and noise levels can be quite unbearable at times. What is the point of green energy if people are bothered health wise?

jack d says on January 24, 2012 at 7:38 PM

i personally know some of the well off farmers in west lincoln (some relatives) dont care about helping the enviroment. its all about the money ($50,000 per year per windmill). who cares who it hurts!!!!!!

Angie Greenwood says on January 24, 2012 at 7:51 PM

Thank you OFA for taking a stand on this controversial issue and doing what is right. There are too many unknowns with IWTs, which make it irresponsible and wreckless for the government to go ahead with these projects until further independent studies are done. Anyone who puts up a turbine on their property can't claim it is "for the environment" or "economically feasible". It's for the money, and to hell with thier neighbours valid concerns about health and property values.

Larry Bacon says on January 24, 2012 at 8:02 PM

Congratulations to the OFA for taking thsi stand on this issue!

Lynne says on January 24, 2012 at 10:02 PM

Thank you OFA for looking at the whole picture and standing up for rural Ontario. This scam is a net drain on our economy, for which we will all pay.

Leona says on January 24, 2012 at 11:23 PM

Thanks so much! Hopefully they are listening in parliament!

Malcolm Hamilton says on January 25, 2012 at 6:56 AM

I am a wind supporter but not an OFA member, although I own a farm that is operated by an OFA member. I am surrounded by five wind turbines and I'm pleased by that. I recognize the names and arguments of many Wind Concerns Ontario members in these comments. I doubt if many of them are OFA members and I know that very few of them even live near a wind turbine. On the other hand, hundreds of farmers host turbines on their land and live closer to them any of their neighbours. They sleep very well at night and enjoy the income. Many of them are OFA members. I'm disappointed that the OFA Board went down this path before talking to their members. Given the importance of this decision, it would not have been too difficult to poll their membership. Poll after poll in Ontario, including rural areas has found very high levels of support for wind. For more details go to Ontario Highlands Friends of Wind Power ( I believe that if we can find ways of sharing royalty income with neighbours and putting in place property indemnification agreements that we can all get back to being good neighbours again.

Karen M says on January 25, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Hi THANK YOU OFA, i am so pleased about you taking the stand, i know these farmers and they are money greedy people, careless about their neighbours, also know people who these wind turbines have effected badly, and the big monopoly is all about money, money for farmers not anyone else, i have did a lot of research on this issue, i suggest for everyone to really look into the scam really bad scam GO OFA, HOPE THEY FINALLY HEAR YOU

Ross says on January 25, 2012 at 10:55 AM

As a Realtor, I can assure you, that even a proposed Industrial Wind Farm (IWF) can have a catastrophic impact on the ability to sell a property near the IWF site. The existence of even a proposed IWF near a property for sale MUST be disclosed to any potential Buyer. Failure to disclose this will probably result in the Seller being sued for damages. The stigmatization of properties near IWFs can drastically reduce the value of these properties. Anyone counting on the sale of a property near an IWF to supplement their retirement income, for example, is going to be in for a rude awakening.

R&C Lamb says on January 25, 2012 at 2:48 PM

We can presently count 37 turbines from our living room window. The swishing sound is constant, the flashing red lights at night annoying . A true blight on our landscape. Thank You OFA, you have our support.

Concerned Farmer says on January 25, 2012 at 2:54 PM

In reponse to Mr. Hamilton's comments: Some of us WERE members of OFA and withdrew our membership because of the OFA's involvement in the Green Energy Act and its unwillingness to listen to the concerns of members whose lives, families and livestock will be impacted, not to mention the devastation of food-producing land by industrial machines. So, yes, we might not all be members of But after years of trying to educate the public, finally the OFA is coming to its senses and realizing it needs to represent its members, not just the small subset who want to turn their communities into industrial power factories. Thanks to the OFA for (finally) taking on this issue. Some of us want to be able to pass along our farms to future generations for agriculture, not hand control over to industry and foreign corporations in the interest of a few bucks. Consider this quote from a farmer offered a signing bonus and significant yearly contract: 'I don't hate my neighbours that much yet'.

Joan Rawski says on January 25, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Thank you for having the courage to take a stand. As a rural dweller seeking peace, I greatly appreciate this.

Melodie Burkett says on January 25, 2012 at 4:13 PM

Thank you OFA. You have shone a light where there was darkness. Our concerns are your concerns and vise versa. What I can not understand is the resentment from the sign ups. Us farmers and non farmers who have built their homes in our rural area have contributed to the community. Taking a short cut to retirement at your neighbours expense is just not fair. Farmers that need encouragement to keep farming ...perhaps they should get the feed in tariffs to keep farming..Just a thought. PS. 99 % of the rural homes built on farm land are still cropping out their land in our area. They are good stewards of the land so why the resentment?

Virginia says on January 25, 2012 at 5:34 PM

Most of the members of Wind Concerns Ontario are made up of individuals who are touched by IWTs either by a project already on line, one waiting to go on line such as the one that surrounds Mr. Hamilton or a project that is proposed in the future. WCO members have strong feelings about the impacts of IWTs because of first hand experiences shared by those who have been negatively affected by developments already in operation and the countless cumulative years of research we have invested. Many WCO members are indeed farmers or have a farmer operating their land. As a neighbour to Mr. Hamilton, I can attest that he is the original developer of the project which surrounds him as it does me and my neighbours. Many of us who live within this project (many of whom are farmers) have expressed their resistance in a letter to the editor with 25 signatures attached. Mark Wales in an interview on Goldhawk made it clear that members of the OFA who are leaseholders and have IWT on their property also have concerns regarding problems with stray voltage, noise, and health issues. Regarding indemnification, we live here because of the life style which it provides us. Compensating folks for their loss of property value (which in itself recognizes that property values will decrease) will not compensate for the loss of quality of life or in the safety and security of persons. This will never alter the facts. The Ontario government and the industry must provide the science and economics that demonstrate that it is viable and safe for the citizens of Ontario before they proceed. The OFA is wise to call for a review of the issues.

Tom says on January 25, 2012 at 5:49 PM

Wind Power is a testimony to ignorance and greed, period.

Rick O'Donnell says on January 25, 2012 at 6:01 PM

I agree one hundred percent with the OFA's position on Industrial Wind Turbines. Thank you for taking a stand Rick O'Donnell

Kim Allen says on January 25, 2012 at 6:07 PM

Thank you for taking this stand on this undemocratic government policy. Kim Allen

Doug M says on January 25, 2012 at 9:50 PM

Thank you ofa. I am so glad you have the common sense, to see the truth behind iwt's. Our community is split apart. The green energy act is not based on Canadian values. Lets get together and tell our governments to stop all iwt's, until unbiased studies are completed. Life is hard enough, we don't need more stress, from a fit program, where one neighbour gets a large amount of money to have an iwt, while their neighbours can have health problems, and lower property value.

Robin says on January 25, 2012 at 10:39 PM

Mr Rankin, I do not live in a vacuum, but in my life's work across the field from your proposed turbine #3. I am a mother, and I bake apple pie using the apples from this land, but I do not wish to lay awake at night, or to be awakened in the middle of the night, by the blade of your 500 foot money tree, nor do I look forward to a red light in the night, or shadow flicker during the day. If my daughter gets sick, you will see motherhood in it's most primal form. Please do not make such ridiculous comparisons. Support for wind energy does not constitute motherhood... Thank you OFA.

Marilyn Votary says on January 26, 2012 at 3:46 AM

Thanks OFA for taking a stand to halt construction of these wind turbines till some things are figured out. The more I hear about these things and the destruction they do to our birds, bats and bees alone, it is hard to comprehend why things are continuing at a dizzying pace. Thanks again. It is disheartening to hear of the over 100 + turbines they still want to build near Grey Bruce/Melancthon area.

Lynn & Greg Ayres says on January 26, 2012 at 8:08 AM

Thank you for taking such a stand. Perhaps the government will now understand just how many landowners and rural residents oppose wind turbines and realize we're not just a fringe movement.

Dave says on January 26, 2012 at 9:50 AM

I would like to thank the OFA for starting to take a stand. However I would like to see the OFA clarify where they want to suspend turbine development. If the OFA stand is to suspend wind turbines to those turbines without a fit contract they have let another 50% more turbines get install than we have already built in Ontario. However if OFA is stating that they want all turbine development stopped that does not at present have a Renewable Energy Approval (REA) or a Notice to Proceed it would be a lot more effective in helping to solve the issues . The decision of OFA still needs to be monitored and before OFA gets a green light as supporting the majority of farmers and rural landowners they need to revise their stand and let members know what message they are presenting to the government as well as Don McCabes presentation to the wind industry & government on April 3 &4th at the conference in Toronto. All the recent poles on the OFA website show clearly that more people want the OFA to push for the suspension of IWT development. Maybe democracy isn't dead but just seriously ill. The question is can it be revived?

John Gillespie says on January 26, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Full Disclosure I am President of the Bruce County Federation of Agriculture. There have been many comments posted here, stating that OFA made this decision suddenly and with no input from members. This issue has been discussed by OFA, and the county federations for quite some time. County federations (and not just the one I represent) have been contacted by many members who have had concerns about wind turbine development for many years. Concerns have been brought forward on various issues, from the leasing process, the terms of leases, costs, use of farm land, noise, shadows, electrical interference and other issues. Counties have tried to address these concerns but have had limited success. The OFA board has decided that the best next step is to stop and get some of these issues resolved before we build more turbines. This was done after input from local associations. To say that the decision was take with no input is simply not true. I am told by my OFA board member that the issue was very thoroughly discussed at the January OFA board meeting before the current position was take.

Colette McLean says on January 26, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Input from the northern counties may have been considered and I thank the local Federations from Bruce, Grey, & Huron counties for having the courage to come out on the issue and press OFA to adjust their position. Unfortunately the input from Essex & Kent County was completely absent despite the heavy development that is presently happening. The Presidents of Essex & Kent both indicate that there appears to be no problems since no members are bringing forward issues. Yet when I talk to others from the farming community many are not happy with the Green Energy Act and the largess that the wind & solar industry are benefitting off the backs of the taxpayer resulting in very large increases (8%/yr according to the AG report) to their electricity bills. This PERCEPTION by Essex & Kent also forgets that many in the farming community do not want to appear to be against something that has been so blatantly promoted as clean, green and wonderful, and fear being labelled as anti-progressive, NIMBY or jealous of neighbours who have signed on to having turbines on their land. It's easy to respect a neighbour's rights to make money especially when the majority do NOT understand the drawbacks to wind development. In Essex & Kent the effects on nearby resident is only just begun in the last year, Bruce & Grey have more experience since wind development started well over 7 yrs now. Hopefully with this more recent awareness, Essex & Kent farmers and affected residents will be more willing to share the problems they are experiencing.

Margaret Hutchison says on January 26, 2012 at 12:54 PM

It has probably been ten years since I was a member of our County Federation of Agriculture Board. Wind turbines were just becoming an "agricultural/rural" issue. To the OFA's credit, they allocated time and expense for their research staff to examine lease contracts, liability issues etc. Farmers are traditionally "progressive", willing to adopt new technologies and methods, but always with an eye on their finances. However, gradually over the last decade, it has become evident to the farm community that large commercial wind turbines, as opposed to small ones, are not a good investment and in fact are detrimental to everything farmers require to succeed, including community support. Land use issues, technical issues, and social and health issues have become evident. Through access to the World Wide Web, anyone can access technical material from every corner of the world where the wind energy experiment is being conducted. Individuals have come to their own conclusions, and finally the OFA has decided it has to take a position in support of its community. It has been depressing for many to live in communities which are being torn apart by this form of alternative energy. The Liberal Government needs to get its head out of the "green" sand and stop forcing this "incompatible" land use on rural Ontario.

Tee says on January 26, 2012 at 7:17 PM

Still waiting for some scientific proof to confirm the existence of the harmful effects produced by these gentle giants. Arguments that concern the loss of productive land border on ridiculous when you stop and compare generated outputs ... 1.5 megawatts from wind versus just 10 kilowatts that a FIT solar system produces. Lets face it, we're all hooked on power, why do we want to leave our future generations with CO2 from burning fossil fuels or the nuclear waste alternative. Seems as long as its not in my back yard, Its okay to consume power and remain oblivious to its production.

Kathy says on January 27, 2012 at 11:48 AM

Way to go OFA! Your leadership efforts toward positive change on this issue are greatly appreciated. Those of us in the rural communities slated for turbines find announcements as this provide continued hope that common sense will surface somehow. Industrial scale wind turbines are wrong ... period. It's a fact. Strength in numbers. Thank-you OFA! Do the right thing.

Anita says on January 27, 2012 at 9:46 PM

A tip of the hat to you for doing the right thing. Thank you very much.

sandra says on January 28, 2012 at 6:08 PM

good job OFA !!

Mike Francis says on January 29, 2012 at 1:27 PM

I agree with this decision by the OFA Mike Francis

Wiesje Dobrucki says on January 29, 2012 at 6:01 PM

I just got back from a holiday and upon hearing about the OFA's new stance regarding the IWTs felt compelled to say Thank you! Now if only the McGuinty government could come to their senses and see the impact on people all over the world,as well as in our own province, that these industrial turbines have caused. I tend to believe the testimonies of those people who have suffered health wise and from the other impacts associated with these turbines vs. the word of the companies trying to put them up in our communities! If these things are so safe why was the McGuinty government willing to place off shore turbines in the northern side of Lake Ontario off the shores of Toronto, 5 km. away from shore instead of 2 km. and yet they say 550 meters away from our rural homes is safe for us! Does not make sense to me other than the fact there are more votes for him there than in our neck of the woods to worry about. We DO NOT want IWTs in our community nor do we want this issue to cause problems between friends, neighbors and family! Unfortunately, I believe that it already has and will continue to be, regardless of what happens. McGuinty's legacy could very well be the destruction of the rural community as we know it now.

Gord Benner says on January 29, 2012 at 10:57 PM

The OFA has made the right call. Thank you for having the fortitude to say what needed saying. Industrial wind turbines are wrong on all levels and will be remembered as the biggest boondoggle to ever hit this province, or anywhere else, for that matter.

Lisa DeJong says on January 30, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Thank you OFA for making a stand.

Esther Jenkins says on January 30, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Thank you OFA for helping us raise a voice against the turbines, they already have been detrimental in so many ways, I can only imagine how damaging they will be in the quantities they are talking about.

Doug Dingeldein says on January 30, 2012 at 4:40 PM

Hats off to the OFA. This must have been a wrenching decision for OFA as your organization was an active member of the lobby group, The Green Energy Alliance, that pushed for the Green Energy Act. It's clear now that the adoption of this Act has had numerous negative (and perhaps unanticipated) social, economic, health, and community consequences. During the pre-legislation period, many of us had difficulty understanding how the OFA could have been so blind to the downsides of this legislation. You are to be commended for having the courage to recognize now that there are real problems with some aspects of the Act and you have the thanks from thousands of us in the farming community for your change of heart. On a related note, I attended an OFA talk a few years ago that addressed the issue of inefficiency in the many electric motors used on farms. Many such motors, while still functioning well, are decades old. The speaker mentioned that if these motors were replaced with modern models, this would conserve megawatts of electricity in the province. Rather than subsidizing industrial wind farms that have dubious benefits, why not use some of that subsidy to help farmers replace these motors?

JB says on January 30, 2012 at 6:54 PM

Thank You OFA , you have done the right thing , the truth is there and millons of people now know it , thousands always did.

Bill says on February 1, 2012 at 1:37 PM

Thank You-- for taking this stand--you have my membership now!

C RUSSELL says on February 5, 2012 at 7:50 PM

We appreciate your stand but unfortunately it is to late for many rural families.The problem is the developers are given the power to do what ever they want with with farmers land in regards to transmission lines as well as access roads.I have also seen it first hand that the developers {WPD} are attemping to install a 2mwatt machine approx 46m off a neighboring property line .These machines stand 146m base to tip and the property owners appose this development and it appears WPD is not adhearing to the present liberal guidelines who is supposed to be policing these companies?Stantec engineering is the consultant who is siting these machines you cant tell me they weren't aware.From what I understand they trespass on private land to do their assessments thats if they are being done at all. I seen their presentations and they are very low budget and amateur at best!!!!!! IF OAKVILLE AND MISSISSAUGA CAN STOP EFFECTIVE POWER GENERATION IN THEIR BACKYARD ITS TIME RURAL ONTARIO DOES THE SAME AND STOP THE EXPENSIVE INEFFICIENT IWT PROJECTS

Peter Middleton says on February 10, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Thank you Mark Wales and the OFA. You have taken a courageous stand. As a result I have renewed my membership in the OFA. Around the world, countries that have invested heavily in wind energy are finally realizing that the promise of wind energy is falling well short of the anticipated benefits and contributing heavily to government bankruptcies. It is refreshing to see that so many of the members that have commented here have taken the time to understand the issues and realize how detrimental the GEA is to rural Ontario. Good work, and keep up the pressure on the Liberal party. It is clear from the last election that their policies do not have the best interests of rural Ontario in mind.

Betty Guindon says on February 14, 2012 at 4:08 PM

Thank You! If I had wanted to live in the middle of an industrial park-that's where I would have bought my property. Also I believe that a better way to generate power is on the horizon and that will make wind turbines obsolete.

Harry says on February 16, 2012 at 7:40 AM

With the population growing steadily and the need for energy expanding, how many options are left to us and our children and grandchildren. Coal fired generators are no longer an option if we want to continue breathing and nuclear energy, although clean, has a problem with waste. Where do you bury it without taking the chance of it eventually contaminating the ground water? and if a nuclear facility should melt down due to problems from age or nature or human error which are more and more likely as time passes,the resulting contamination will render the surrounding land ( tens if not hundreds of square miles) uninhabitable forever! The only viable options for us are solar and wind power, both are absolutely clean and renewable. To me, the sight of a wind turbine ( being from Essex county I can see about twenty from my house) gives me a sense of hope for the future. Many people obviously don't see it the same way, they see turbines as a blight on the landscape. I'm sure the first telephone and hydro poles ran into the same sort of opposition, because they sure aren't pretty, but we don't complain about them anymore because they're necessary to our way of life, they've become "part of the landscape". Although a few turbines are close by my house, noise is not an issue either as they are very quiet. Yes there are problems but don't forget that this industry is still in it's infancy,with growth comes more research and development and evolution of a better product. We have to move forward because we cannot continue producing energy the way we used to, it just doesn't make sense to keep polluting our environment when we have better,cleaner options. This is the future folks, accept it.

Sue says on February 21, 2012 at 8:45 PM

I did switch organizations because of your original stance but am thankful for your new found enlightenment.

Neil says on February 23, 2012 at 12:04 PM

My family fully endorses the OFA in their stand against wind turbines. When I found out my neighbor was putting a 492 foot turbine 567 metres from our home I went and asked if he would reconsider as a good neighbor. His comment was "yes a neighbor, but also a business man!' It's all about the money. Thank you OFA!!!!!

Phil Brown says on March 3, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Its quite hypocritcal of the OFA to state this view when past prez Ron Cox of Tilbury has 9 windmills on his property.

Mike Barnard says on March 8, 2012 at 3:13 PM

It's a pity that non-issues are being bundled with issues as if they have equal weight. It's true that a subset of people find them to be annoying. It's not true, and has been shown in study after study that they have no detrimental health effects. The Ontario setbacks are among the most stringent in the world and the noise of wind turbines is substantially lower than that experienced by every urban dweller 24 hours a day. It is true that wind power is not instant on at any time, however, in an interconnected grid with 24 hour spot energy markets and weather forecasting, they are a very effective part of the energy ecosystem. Wind that is part of an energy ecosystem requires approximately 4% of nameplate capacity provided by gas turbine generation. Wind energy is increasingly cheap with, Brazil seeing almost 1 gigawatt of new generation in the 5.5 cent per kilowatt hour range, and the best sites in the USA seeing costs as low as 3.5 cents a kilowatt hours. Ontario's feed-in-tariff has been an excellent mechanism to assist in moving off of coal, which has secondary health costs that are enormous. The best analysis shows that 13,000 people a year in the USA die because of coal generation. You're correct that challenges regarding leasing and ensuring appropriate community interactions are necessary. Removal of municipal input is a concern and worthy of addressing, as the McGuinty government is already doing. Suspending wind energy is throwing the baby out with the bathwater. By adding inaccurate information and positions to your overall position, you weaken it significantly. Wind energy has downsides, but is an economic and viable portion of our energy ecosystem necessary in the larger goal of improving all Ontarians' health. Arguing for a suspension of development while the downsides are fixed is short-sighted and foolish. The OFA would have been better served by not establishing this position paper.

Patrick Jilesen says on March 29, 2012 at 8:59 PM

Coal use has been dropping for the past ten years. In fact, coal fired generation has been slowing down even before wind energy had begun on a measurable scale in Ontario. What has been taking the place of coal? Not wind. Nuclear. So are we making a choice to stop nuclear? Furthermore, Mike, coal use has dropped significantly in the past ten yrs, yet the death rate in Ontario directly linked to coal fired generation (1800/yr), HAS STAYED THE SAME! Furthermore, Mike Barnard, 96% of pollutants from coal in southern Ontario, originates in the USA (Stats Can). Furthermore, sir, we are selling our excess power to the US, AT A LOSS! And where has that excess power come from? WIND. Uncontrollable, unpredictable, non-dispatchable, non-storable, wind. This is not the USA, this is Canada! Keep up the good work OFA!!

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