Anti-wind turbine groups welcome new councillor’s stand

Gary Crawford’s opposition to the proposed wind turbine project in his ward is making him popular with local environmental groups.

Wind Concerns Ontario, a coalition of dozens of anti-wind turbine groups from across the province, welcomes the Ward 36 councillor’s take on Toronto Hydro’s plans to erect the turbines off his ward’s shore.

“It’s important that he is against it,” said John Laforet, president of the group. “It’s a city project and if they’re not happy with it, the city can tell Toronto Hydro there is no project.”

Crawford said the turbines’ high price tag far outweighs any benefits they may bring.

“I am completely against it,” Crawford said. “They just don’t make sense at an economic level. The cost is too much.”

Consumers pay an average of 2.5 times more for power generated by wind turbines than normal system prices, local protest group Save the Bluffs states on its website.

The group also claims wind turbines erected too close to residential areas can affect the health of nearby residents.

But moving the turbines farther out can drive the cost even higher, Crawford said.

“It’s more economically feasible to have them closer to shore,” he said. “The cost increases the farther away you place them: it becomes directly high.”

Michelle Mears, office manager for Bluffer’s Park Marina, said she hasn’t heard any residents complain about the turbine project.

“The people who are against the proposal are the advocates from Guildwood,” she said. “The residents from the marina are not too concerned to my knowledge.”