The Liberals have found it harder to hold their traditional support base this year due to a widespread opposition against wind turbines at the shoreline of Rouge River and the Scarborough Bluffs.
With the Liberals holding all of Scarborough’s six ridings, the Progressive Conservatives have found one big reason to sway voters’ decisions in this year’s election.
Ever since the Liberals flushed out their Ontario Green Energy Act in 2009, concerns have been raised upon whether renewable power is ultimately beneficial for Ontario citizens.
Scarborough residents especially have been querying whether they should continue with their support of the Liberals if it means continuation with the act and problems that are raised by local wind farms.
“The Liberals don’t care about science, democracy, or reasonable economics,” said John Laforet, president of Wind Concerns Ontario and a resident of Scarborough-Guildwood.
“The reason that people’s health are being affected is because a lot of these wind turbines are situated too close to residences. It is anti-democratic and aggressive that the Liberals don’t admit the failure of the wind turbines and these jobs that they failed to create. Banning the wind turbines would be a good start for the Liberals, they have to acknowledge what they have done.”
Scarborough-Guidwood’s Progressive Conservative candidate Gary Ellis agreed with Laforet that many voters in his riding do not want wind turbines off of their waterfront.
“The effects of wind turbines have not been properly researched,” he said. “They cause environmental issues and affect the population of wildlife at Rouge Park including seagulls. We now have to deal with an industrial footprint caused by the turbines. People have been handing me hundreds of articles about the adverse effects of the turbines.”
He explained that many have misunderstood the moratorium on offshore wind farms declared by the Liberal government back in February as a stoppage of wind farms.
“The moratorium just postpones offshore wind projects for an estimated one to two years. Voters should look out for short-term promises that the Liberals make, the Conservative party strives to make long-term promises instead.”
Ellis has been actively supporting Scarborough East Councillor Paul Ainslie’s bid to pull Toronto Hydro’s wind-measuring anemometer out of the Scarborough Bluffs.
Sherri Lange, founding director of Toronto Wind Concerns, thinks that the wind turbine issue has been one of the top issues governing how Scarborough residents will vote in the October election.
“Scarborough is a mixed bag, there is a lot of people but an increasing number of them have been educated about this [wind turbines] issue and will vote against it,” she said.
“Voters should dig a little deeper and find out how the turbines will hurt the economy and human health. I have been out canvassing and talking to people who realized that the moratorium on offshore wind farms is just for now. There needs to be a wake up call to action when people realize that it depends on the party elected that will determine whether the Green Energy Act will be completely gutted.”