Barbara Ashbee

Submission to Health Canada Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study, 2012

Can you please direct me to a web address where I can view all public submissions regarding the Health Canada wind turbine study?

This is from an OLD compilation and reflect just a few of the affected families. Many people have come forward, some publicly some privately. Many have moved.

How will you capture these stories and these people for your study? They have been harmed beyond words.

>> Ernie Marshall at first supported the wind farm that was placed near his home near Goderich, Ont. However, he also says that once the turbines got rolling, his health began to suffer. “I had problems with my heart, with my eyes, my digestive system,” Marshall told CTV News. “It traumatizes your whole body.”…. “Everyone was calling me a liar,” Ernie Marshall said. (Ernie Marshall, Goderich Ont.)

>> “Each day is a struggle with excessive stress, anxiety, depression, headaches, and ear and stomach problems,” says Roger Oliviera, who lives on Seventh Line in Melancthon. “I rarely get a full night’s sleep, and have become dependent on prescribed sleeping pills to fall asleep. The sound comes right through my walls, I can no longer open my windows.” He says his symptoms became “very clear and persistent” about a month after turbines became active.
Roger had to abandon his home.

>> For over a year we have been trying to convince the wind farm developer and the government authorities of our personal situation regarding wind farm noise (sound pressure/vibration) without success… And, yes, depending on wind direction and wind speed, the impact of the cyclical noise can be extreme. Believe me, I have tried to “get used to it”- alas, it doesn’t work. (Bert Seeliger, Clear Creek Ont.)

>> The strobe effect gave her a pounding headache, Ms. Fraser said. “One day after 45 minutes I went to the basement — the dog beat me there. I thought the top was coming off my head. I was holding the sides of my head, my eyes were running, I was sick to my stomach.” Beyond the physical symptoms, Ms. Fraser recalls a feeling of uneasiness. “You can’t get that anxious feeling out of yourself; feeling like you’re in an Alfred Hitchcock movie. It upsets your equilibrium.” In 2007, on their thirty-fourth wedding anniversary, the Frasers moved into a house in the nearby town of Shelburne. The company had made them an offer and, after talking to the grown children, all living in Toronto, the couple decided to take it. “It was heartbreaking when we sold that house,” Ms. Fraser said. “Just heartbreaking.” (Helen Fraser, Melancthon Ont.)

>> "I am angry, helpless, and disappointed our government would let something like this happen. I am appalled at their ignorance and lack of compassion. It saddens me to watch my family and friends suffer from the same [health] effects of the turbines. "I spend as much time as I can away from my home, away from my son who is also sleep deprived. We are exhausted and miserable. I often seek refuge with friends, often falling asleep minutes after I arrive. I feel like a gypsy. "What was once a beautiful place to live has been destroyed." – (Tracy Whitworth, Clear Creek, Ont.) She has had to abandon her home.

>> “You might think that if a group of 11 victims reached out to the Premier of the province, the highest elected Liberal official, in a faxed letter, not once, but, four times that that would be enough to get intelligent, unbiased, scientists to investigate and help. But you would be disappointed. That is what I tried and my Premier or his Ministers didn’t and don’t care about rural Ontario taxpayers being harmed by wind projects,” said Sandy MacLeod. (Sandy MacLeod, Ripley Ont.)

>> "There's been no scientific studies on the impact of human beings surrounded by wind turbines," said Johnston, who has resorted to sleeping in a trailer at her son's home near Langton. "Nobody's looking at the effects these wind turbines have on us." Johnston and two other residents at the meeting followed Timm* outside the council room and pleaded with him to get his company to do something…..Johnston told Timm living near the turbines amounts to a form of "torture." (Stephana Johnston, Clear Creek Ont.)

>> It was another restless night in a long string of interrupted sleep. Amaranth's Leo Mendonca didn't feel quite right, like something was wrong, but he didn't know what, or why. When he got out of bed, he was struck by a wave of nausea…“I couldn’t function or leave the house,” he says, suggesting the feeling that overwhelmed him that May morning had been building for months. “I gave up. I had a breakdown. ... I was afraid to be alone.” Part of that fear, he acknowledges, stemmed from not knowing what was causing him to feel as he did. At the time, he didn’t know others living near turbines reported similar experiences. (Leo Mendonca, Amaranth Ont.)

Thompson introduced evidence at the hearing showing that the transformer station noise was audible within the house with the windows closed. He described the noise as a "nightmare" and a constant nuisance that not only affects his day-to-day activity, but also impacts the sales value and marketability of his property. In reaching its decision to cut his assessment in half, board member Marques wrote, "The Board finds that the constant hum alleged by Mr. Thompson does exist and significantly reduces the current value of the subject property. (Paul Thompson, Amaranth Ont.)
January 9, 2010 Bob Aaron

There's this horrible hum and vibration in our house. It just drives you mad. It's been there for the last six days. I'm sorry. It comes and goes, but it's so loud you can't sleep, and it's coming through the walls. The buried cable transmission lines go up the side of our property-we're on one acre-and I don't know if it's electrical coming through the ground in our house or what it is. We're looking for a rental now because we can't stay there… This hum and vibration is not covered in the guidelines. There are no guidelines for interior noise in our house. When the winds are whipping up, and we can't sleep for days and days at a time, there's nothing. You phone the MOE and I cannot tell you how many times I heard, "We're in compliance. We're in compliance." They're in compliance. They're in compliance…. (Barbara Ashbee – deputation at Standing Committee Hearings in London, Ont. April 15th, 2009)

>> “From our dining room table, they are there. When you wake up in the morning and you look out your window, they are there. When we go outside they are there. When we drive in and out of the community they are there. They are always there. They don’t go away.” The noise, he said, was a constant whooshing-type sound, and there was a physical sensation associated with it. “When the blade passes by the post, air and sound is compressed. And you feel this, in association with the sound. It’s a really strange feeling and sometimes I would feel like my heart rate was altering, going a little bit faster. (Nicholas Schaut, Melancthon has since moved away where he is now threatened with another project.)

>> “We live 600 meters from the wind turbines and in the beginning were supportive,” said Mrs. Horton. “That was until we started to have health problems.” According to Mrs. Horton, those problems included not sleeping, whooshing in the ears, and vibrations that go right through the body. “It is hard to explain, but I swear you can feel the vibrations in your bones,” said Mrs. Horton. “We are planning to spend thousands of to soundproof our home.”Mrs. Horton also pointed out that when their family is away from the turbines they don’t experience the symptoms. (Nikki Horton, Port Alma Ont.)

>> “We had a 30 minute meeting with Mitchell on Feb. 13. She stated that she knew all about us and the project. When asked if she would like to live in Glen’s home to experience the harm, she fired back and asked if we would rather live near a pig barn or grain mill,” said John MacLeod. (Ripley Ont.)

>> After an underground line failure and winter winds, severe health problems forced Glen and Brenda Wylds to purchase and move to another residence in Kincardine. More recently, in April, Kent, Melissa and their daughter Keiara Wylds have been billeted in a Kincardine motel by the oil company/wind developer. Today, two families have, at their own expense, been forced to modify their residence. Those who continue to reside in their homes continue to experience symptoms on a regular basis.

I took these quotes from newspapers in the province. These are real people. This is not anecdotal information. There are over 25 families that I am personally aware of that have been public about the distress in their lives since the start-up of wind projects around their homes. These stories have been told in Ontario for 5 years now and still, our government denies the link between adverse health effects and industrial wind turbines. These people are just the tip of the iceberg.

Today, there are families who continue to suffer in their homes. I had two more in the past 2 weeks privately get in touch with me to let me know they too are having problems but they are stuck.

You’re probably thinking there must be someone in our government responsible. Surely someone would help these people but you would be very wrong.

Affected residents have followed every protocol and rule when bringing forth their complaints to the authorities. They have

Aside from the above government protocols they have:

The Ministry has no way to measure if wind projects are running in compliance.

The Ministry has no guidelines for noise heard inside the home.

The Ministry has no guidelines and has no way of measuring low frequency noise or infrasound being emitted from the wind project.

The Ministry does not cover dirty electricity or stray voltage and do not have the tools or expertise to address it.

Ministry employees who are on the ground responding to call have their hands tied. There is nothing they can do. The bureaucrats downtown are not addressing the gaps and holes and yet authorities are proclaiming full steam ahead and the incidents are growing with each new project that is built.

There is no government organization that will help those who are adversely affected. The government says the developers are in compliance. The developers say they are running within government guidelines and our Minister of Health will not investigate.


End of compilation.

There have been many more families come forward since I wrote the above compilation. I implore you to impose a moratorium on any further wind projects until Canadian families can be protected.

Please, engage the assistance of the independent researchers who have done so much work on this issue.

Please, understand that government bodies have severely eroded the publics trust due to the lack of response to pleas for help.

I spoke before the standing commitee on the Green Energy Act. They at first denied my request to present saying they had no room for me. I found out that Minister Smitherman and Pembina Foundation had been granted two speaking slots each while I was denied. Someone graciously gave up their time slot in London so I could speak. I am attaching my Hansard from that day.

Having been able to speak directly to our government representatives I had a overwhelming sense of relief and utter confidence that for sure someone from our ministry would be at our door within days to investigate. We anxiously anticipated that help was coming.

We were wrong. They listened and we were ignored. No one came to help.

How can we trust anyone? I have witnessed things in this past 3 1/2 years that have destroyed my faith that anyone at any level of our government cares about it's people.

I watch the national news as people are defended and protected and comforted when they are set upon by adverse events that cause crisis in their families and homes and yet those families who are suffering illness, displacement and utter demoralization at the hands of wind developers and some prominent government leaders are referred to as being NIMBYs, are too sensitive, are outliers, they have turbine envy, they have psychosomatic ailments and on and on.

People are affected. Young toddlers are affected. Senior citizens are affected. Teenagers are affected. Young adults and older adults are affected. Pets are affected. Livestock are affected. What more do you need to hear?

We need to speak. We need to hear from everyone. Please don't further suppress the problem by choosing yourselves who to reach out to.

Too many lives have been destroyed already.

I beg you to stand up now and put a stop this. Please don't make these people wait two more years. They don't have time.

Please do not put any more families in harm's way!

Please impose a moratorium.

Please mitigate the current problems.

Please give us a formal venue/investigation where we can all participate.