Turbine protest a unifying experience


Sir: It is amazing how strangers and people from all walks of life come together in a time of distress. People of different religious belief, different skin colour and different occupations came together recently to protest wind turbine construction on Bush Line. All caused by an obligation to stand up for the preservation of our aquifer in Chatham-Kent and thus trying to preserve our ancient pure water source for the enjoyment of future generations.

There were many individuals who devoted a lot of their time at the site and some who showed their support by driving by, giving encouragement, and many who dropped off food and coffee.

Except for the mayor and council’s inaction on this matter, Chatham-Kent is still a great place to live with many supportive people for a common sense just cause. The last number that I heard was 12 wells affected so far and that does not count those who leased land for turbines and may have also suffered well loses or perhaps some who believed that the MOECC will protect them if they encountered difficulties with water quality or quantity.

The protest was not violent, in any manner, as the leaders had been instructed on how to conduct civil disobedience without violence by the Council of Canadians, who are an environmental organization with membership across Canada. I can see however how this type of protest could escalate to something with much more serious consequences.

The selected location was manned 24 hours a day for 11 consecutive days. On Sept. 6, a judge ruled that the blockade of the construction site had to be cleared Sept. 8 by 4 p.m. and that the construction company could enter the site at that time to remove equipment.

All ceremonies for the removal of the Prayer Poles and the extinguishing of the Sacred Flame by the Water Grandmothers was carried out in a timely manner. Vehicles that formed the blockade were being removed when a vehicle parked on the road, blocking the exiting process. When asked by hand motion to move, he would not.

Fortunately, one of the large dump trucks that was working on the nearby pipeline construction, that had been waiting for him to move was waved to proceed forward and came within about 10 feet of the car before stopping even though he was waved to continue forward. The car finally did back up and then drive forward and leave the site. The last vehicle left just minutes before the deadline.

The construction crews arrived at the site at 4:10 p.m. and started construction activity at the site for about an hour before leaving with some of the equipment and a payloader.

On Sept. 8, Chatham-Kent CAO Don Shropshire said, “There have been conflicting accounts of the number of water wells experiencing issues in recent days and we want to ensure residents in any part of the municipality take immediate action if they have any concerns.” Mr. Shropshire suggests well owners contact North Kent Wind immediately.

However, Water Wells First strongly urges all impacted well owners to file a well interference complaint with the MOECC, and Water Wells First will assist anyone with filing that complaint as WWF is the advocate for the private well owner and the protector of the aquifer.

Mr. Shropshire, what kind of action do you want? When will you realize that the rural community is being attacked through its water wells by the poisoning of the aquifer? When will you convince the mayor and council that they need to find the maximum contaminant threshold of black shale particles now coming into their wells?

Mr. Shropshire, do you think we should use water contaminated with black shale for bathing, washing clothes and drinking? Was it you who convinced the mayor and council to invest $8 million in the North Kent Wind Farm? Have you noticed the response time for both North Kent Wind and MOECC for the driven pipe piling that are still not being sealed?

When will the buck passing stop and someone do something?

As the late Chip Gordon, who represented Wallaceburg on C-K council said, “When all is said and done, there is a lot more SAID than DONE.”

Peter J Hensel

Dover Centre


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