Letter to the editor

Response to Journal Pioneer article on March 7

Editor :

       Firstly, it is sad that anyone having an opinion on the proposed Malpeque wind turbine project and the many issues it raises, should feel inhibited in expressing opinions openly. From our standpoint, all opinions on issues are welcomed in a democratic process and it is understood that unanimity of mind is not a realistic expectation.

      Fortunately, many people have felt free to express opposition to the Irving industrial wind turbine complex in letters to the editor, voicing near unanimous opposition at two community meetings, signing a petition at the January resident meeting and signing the on-line petition at www.preservemalpeque.org. Government can attest to hearing from many project opponents by letter, phone calls, and petition. The petition presented to government from the first Malpeque community meeting had more than 40 signatures of permanent residents and the on-line petition has many more, well into hundreds of names from local residents, off island residents and seasonal residents. We can say with certainty that there is overwhelming opposition to this Irving proposal in Malpeque and we will prove it to government.

      Concerning questions raised by Mr. Borland's comments, if Malpeque is the only area on P.E.I. suitable for this project from wind considerations, why does the Irving proposal in Section 2.4 , Subsection 2.4.1 state, "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". This is Irving's official position filed with government acknowledging that other suitable areas exist and that Malpeque is preferred because it is easier for the proponent to develop here. Malpeque wasn't chosen for superior winds or any other consideration that Mr. Borland now mentions after the fact.

      If wind turbines pose no issues in Europe, then why has Denmark stopped subsidizing all further wind turbine complexes and banned any further construction on land? Why have United Kingdom development authorities rejected 80% of all new proposals filed in 2000? Clearly there are issues, many similar to Malpeque's.

      If adverse impact on tourism is not an issue, per Mr. Borland, then why is the Kensington Area Tourist Association expressing concerns about their project?

      If Irving had been doing significant study into the problem of wind turbine icing and it's safety implications, why does the word "ice" not appear even once in the Irving proposal? And why, at the Open House, were issues of adverse noise and avian impacts dismissed out of hand?

      I leave the most provocative question for last. Why were none of these questions asked by Mr. Brown, Journal Pioneer reporter? Food for thought.