Response to Journal Pioneer article on January 24
I read with interest the Journal Pioneer article of January 24, suggesting that several locations in the Summerside area might be a "good fit" for the J.D. Irving wind turbine industrial complex currently proposed for the community of Malpeque. Apparently City Councillor Williams and Mr. Brent Gallant, chair pf the Economic Development Committee both expressed some enthusiasm and willingness to explore this alternative option. Needless to say, I was heartened to learn of this and would encourage the investigation of any options that do no involve locating industrial wind turbine complexes within and surrounding residential communities. Government, both provincial and local municipal, should lead on this issue and I applaud Mr. Williams and Mr. Gallant or their efforts.
I was, however, puzzled and disappointed by the reported comments of Mr. William Borland, Director of Environmental Affairs for J.D. Irving, Ltd., who apparently stated that only Malpeque, of all sites in P.E.I., or in the Maritimes for that matter, would be suitable based on adequate wind considerations. This is interesting because the J.D. Irving project proposal, filed with the government, says something quite different. From Section 2.4, subsection 2.4.1 Wind Prospecting,
"The Malpeque area is suitable as the proponent owns and leases some of the properties within the area. Other areas on P.E.I. where wind prospecting shows potential for economic development involve many small parcels of land, which would make development more difficult."
The proposal mentions nothing about Malpeque being the only suitable site based on wind considerations. In fact, their wind map confirms that many areas on P.E.I. have similar wind development potential if one considers only wind resources. In fact, the proposal admits that the choice of Malpeque is principally based on convenience for the proponent.
I don't believe that matters of convenience should be viewed as being at all sufficient enough to expose an entire population of people including tourists to potential risks of human health and safety. Other options exist and are being placed on the table. Government and J.D. Irving, Ltd. should be willing and able to explore them.