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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

MEDIA RELEASE

June 8, 2010 For Immediate Release

Ainslie Demands Wind Turbine Standards From Province
June 8, 2010(Toronto City Hall) - On Friday June 4, 2010 City Councillor Paul Ainslie, met with two provincial Cabinet Ministers, the Honourable Brad Duguid, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure (Scarborough Centre) and the Honourable
Margarett Best Minister of Health Promotion (Scarborough - Guildwood). The meeting centered around, a complete lack of Provincial guidelines or standards for offshore wind turbines, and better communication with residents. Hon. Minister Duguid confirmed the Province is currently working on setting these standards and he has been listening to the community input. Councillor Ainslie demanded not only standards be established, but site specific regulations and policies are required to
protect local populations, natural landscapes, especially those with sensitive eco-systems, and also historical value such as the Scarborough Bluffs.
“We need to define no-go zones,” stated Councillor Ainslie, “Areas which have to be protected from any present or future proposals. There are certain waterways which have environmental, historical, and aesthetic value which need protection,
especially the Scarborough Bluffs. You don't see anyone offering a wind turbine project on top of Niagara Falls."
Minister Duguid outlined there will soon be a plan for public consultation which will take place when the offshore guidelines and standards are outlined finalized. Councillor Ainslie asked for assurance which he received, so public
consultations will be widely advertised to the communities enabling all Ontarians to understand and comment on the guidelines.
"One of the biggest frustrations for myself and the residents in my community is a lack of credible detailed information and data from Toronto Hydro Energy Services on their project. They are about to commence wind testing on Lake Ontario. My community needs to be represented at the table, and I will fight on behalf of my Ward 43 residents, specifically those who live along the Lake Ontario shoreline who are directly affected."
Residents continue to raise concerns about how their health, the environment, and even how property values might be effected. Standards need to be established address these issues. Toronto's drinking water comes from Lake Ontario, and
there is an abundance of wildlife in the area which will be affected, not even mentioning the close proximity of the people living close.
While Toronto Hydro Energy Services is owned by the City of Toronto, the province has control over all licensing and environmental assessments (EAs) for this project. Councillor Ainslie has many concerns over the financing of wind turbines. "These turbines will cost $2-3 million each and only operate 15-20% of the time each year. As a City Councillor if I constructed projects like this I would be run out of town."
Ainslie was able to get a further commitment to meet with more community groups who want to ensure their voices are heard by Minister Duguid. "Myself, and my constituents are not anti-environment. There are alternative energy creating
processes available, ones which are more viable than wind turbines. We want to be able to show them to the appropriate levels of government."

                                    - 30 –

For further information:

Paul Ainslie, City Councillor
Ward 43, Scarborough East
416- 392-4008

 


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