An ill wind blows…
The winds of public opinion blow hot and cold on the issues surrounding wind energy. But one thing most observers can agree on is that there’s something fundamentally wrong with a process in which small communities and individuals are expected to fend for themselves against big companies like Skyway and wpd Canada.
That’s why we applaud the Federation of Agriculture’s desire to help rural and farm families maintain peace within our communities. Although the Federation’s call to “suspend further developments” seems an unlikely prospect, their concern that wind projects “are causing tremendous tension among rural residents and community neighbours” is well founded.
The OFA, which represents 37,000 farm families across the province, states that many issues, such as the pitfalls of wind leases and concerns about pricing, have not been adequately addressed by government. And that this has created dissension and unease in many rural areas.
Indeed, this has come to pass in our own community with Sylvia Wiggins’ recent launch of a lawsuit against her neighbours, the Beattie Brothers, who have signed lease agreements with wind energy giant wpd Canada Corporation.
“The wind turbine situation is coming to a head,” the OFA stated, “seriously dividing rural communities, even jeopardizing farm succession planning.”
Like the OFA, we are in favour of building a strong, cooperative and prosperous countryside. This is hard when people are faced with economic uncertainty and the fear of losing everything they have worked so hard for. This fear, combined with the frustration of powerlessness in the decision making process can result is every man for himself attitude. There must be a better way.