The writer has lived in Fort William and Port Arthur – now Thunder Bay – for over 85 years. I am supportive of green energy initiatives, but am adamant in my opinion that wind turbines should not be permitted to be placed on Johnson Mt., part of the beautiful escarpment that encompasses our city. I shudder to think of the destruction of the natural beauty of the facade of that area created by the necessity to create a roadway for vehicles to take the monstrous turbines to their installation position, and later to create a clearing for the positioning of the enormous towers to carry the wires and electricity down from the escarpment to join up with “the Grid”.
I have travelled extensively in our area over the years, and have observed that there are many many other areas, a fact confirmed by experts, in which the turbines could be effectively placed. My parents were charter members of the first Ski Club on Mt. McKay. Skiing was a great sport for families way-back-then, and my children grew up spending every weekend possible at Loch Lomond Ski Club. It is absolute madness to risk endangering the enjoyment of the trails at Loch by the operation of the turbines in that area, and to destroy the home of wildlife and beauty of the unique trees that enhance the joy of hiking there in the Fall, when there are so many other locations throughout the area in which they could be installed and function effectively. We experience long winters in this part of the province. Access to a long established downhill and cross-country skiing development is a major drawing card for tourism, and a plus in encouraging employment in professions, business and industry.
I live now in the Port Arthur section of Thunder Bay. I will not have the turbines looming over my home as will those who have located over the years at the base of the Norwesters. More recently very beautiful homes have been introduced. None of these folks were consulted regarding the introduction of the turbines “over their heads”. And as more and more information came forth regarding the serious problems arising from turbines being installed close to home-occupied areas, those citizens and others like myself, who dearly value the natural beauty that surrounds Thunder Bay, became involved in a movement to try to stop the installation on the Norwesters.
We are now at the point that the majority of the present Thunder Bay city councillors realize that due diligence was not conducted prior to the leasing of the property on the Norwesters for the installation of the turbines. Our two Liberal MPP’s, Mr Bill Mauro and the Hon. Mike Gravelle have spoken out vehemently against the proposed location, as has the Fort William First Nations, whose territory on the mountains is involved. They too were not consulted apparently when the lease was created. And the Municipality of Neebing in which the leased land is located has also taken a stand that they are not in favour of such an installation.
The Liberal Party, faced with a minority in our Provincial Government, but now led by a new Premier, is at present working on legislation setting forth regulations for prior consultation with those involved in the location of turbines within the province. The Provincial Government has a lot for which to answer in mismanagement of environmental concerns during their time in office. Here is an opportunity for your government to make a wise, well-defined decision by protecting the Norwester Escarpment in the Neebing Township of Thunder Bay.
Do not end the existing legislation on a grossly negative note by granting approval to the Big Thunder Wind Renewable Energy presentation in light of the overwhelming evidence against it!
Use the thinking that is going into the proposed legislation regarding the necessity of regulations for the acceptable placement of wind turbines, and deny approval of this project in this location. That decision will create a “forever” environmental tribute to you.
With my thanks for considering my appeal,