An open letter to the Honourable Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario
[Letter written by County resident R. Y. McMurty, CM, MD]
Before and especially in 2003 I had the privilege of working with you closely in an advisory capacity and on the Transition Advisory Group following your success in the October election.
I felt fortunate because I admired and respected your values and genuine concern for social justice and the welfare of the people of Ontario. The years 2003-07 saw your government balance the provincial budget while making an historic investment in postsecondary education and strengthening Medicare.
Now, with respect, Mr. Premier, that fine legacy is threatened. Among many missteps which I will not belabour, there is the misadventure of the Green Energy and Economy Act. The intentions may have been the best, but the aggressive campaign to erect Industrial Wind Turbines (IWT) too close to people’s homes will be a disaster. There are better and more just choices for greenhouse gas abatement.
The recent Environmental Review Tribunal in Chatham-Kent recognized the adverse health effects of IWTs but deemed them insufficiently serious to halt the Kent-Breeze project. However, I believe I am the only physician who has personally engaged with more than 40 Ontario victims of other wind projects. The results have now appeared in a peer-reviewed journal which has my article and eight others confirming adverse effects.
Based on my firsthand knowledge, I consider these health effects very serious. Many victims have suffered acute hypertensive episodes; most have chronic and debilitating sleep disturbances as well as stress and psychological stress. Children experience nose bleeds and regress in their development until they move away from the environs of IWTs.
These “not serious enough” adverse health effects, detailed in the peer-reviewed journal Science, Technology and Society, have resulted in homes being abandoned or sometimes bought by wind developers. Remarkably, this latter tactic is not being tracked by your government! The victims are also silenced by nondisclosure clauses. As a medical practitioner and health policy adviser, I find this practice completely unacceptable.
Mr. Premier, this shameful behaviour of your government was once unimaginable to me—and certainly is not congruent with your values as I knew them.
R. Y. McMurtry, CM, MD