To the editor:
I, along with many residents of Thunder Bay, recently received an open letter from Anthony Zwig, President and CEO of Horizon Wind Inc. The letter included nice little animations of a house, lightbulb, child at play, trees and Wind Turbines. If the Turbines were to scale with the child, the page would have had to be 50 inches tall.
Horizon Wind Inc. is proposing to install industrial wind turbines on the Nor’Wester Mountain Escarpment on city land at the end of Loch Lomond Road at a time when 41 Ontario municipalities are asking for a halt to further Wind Turbine developments until further studies are in place.
The City of Thunder Bay will be the first to allow this to be installed on city-owned land. This is one of many firsts.
Anthony Zwig opens the letter with Dear Neighbour. Anthony and Horizon are not our neighbours. He is a real estate developer on Yonge Street in Toronto. He has never successfully completed a wind turbine project in his life. He is simply taking advantage of the incentives in place by the Ontario Government to make significant profit, which in itself is not necessarily bad, unless it is at the detriment of others.
Horizon Wind Inc., in my view, is misrepresenting real, true, hard evidence on the detrimental effects including on health and safety and property devaluation. They show no concern with the destruction to the environment and wildlife; to land that has been protected as watershed for over 100 years.
I am amazed that the City of Thunder Bay would consider entering into an agreement with a company with no tract record, that offers no performance bond or no limits as to the number of turbines, and nothing but vague promises as to decommissioning.
It appears the city was "hoodwinked" with cash and gave up all sense of good administrative due diligence. There was no business plan and they never appeared before council.
So, I say to Anthony Zwig of Horizon Wind Inc.: If you’re so sure wind turbines don’t cause health problems, why not move your family out of Toronto to a house one kilometre away from the wind turbines and enroll your children at the Nor’Westerview School and allow your family to enjoy the shadow flicker and turbine noise.
If you’re so sure properties near your turbines won’t lose their value, why not indemnify the owners against whatever losses they might suffer?
If you’re so sure local tax revenues will not decline as a result of diminished property values, why not offer to make up any difference in lost tax revenue to our city.
It is time for the City of Thunder Bay to create a process to investigate the full merits (pros and cons) of this proposed project with full public input as they did with their other natural asset, the waterfront.