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Even though 11 Complaints registered against CAW turbine, Bondy says it wasn’t shut down because of them

Sarah Sloane — Shoreline Beacon — April 4, 2013

It was inevitable. As soon as the blades on the Canadian Auto Workers’ turbine were in motion, so too would be the complaints from those who live nearby.
The turbine has been a contentious issue with many who live in Saugeen Shores, especially members of STOP (Saugeen Turbine Operation Policy) who from day one, have made their opposition clear. On March 25, nearly one year since the turbine was erected on the field at the CAW Family Education Centre in Port Elgin, the turbine was operation.
The situation is now all too real for those who live within 550 meters of the turbine, said STOP spokesperson Greg Schmalz Wednesday.
Easter weekend, was the first weekend the turbine had been fully operating since being switched on which, according to Schmalz, resulted in 11 complaints.
“It’s been over a year now, probably close to 16 or 17 months and this is the first four or five days that people have got to experience what it is going to be like,” he said. “The concept that they are going to become more used to it, will only be if there is no harm done by the machine. But people will never be used to not being able to enjoy sitting outside of their home, nor will they able to enjoy the noise inside their home that disturbs their family.”
The complaints, he said, varied from noise to the outside of resident’s homes to sleep disruption. But it was one particular complaint, which was filed with Saugeen Shores Police Services, that has resonated with Schamlz and members of STOP. According to Schmalz, the family, who reside on Shipley Avenue filed the noise complaint because their two children who were affected to the point they could not sleep.
Saugeen Shores Police Chief Dan Rivett confirmed that the noise complaint was made the evening of April 6 and had been  logged on his system.
In the hours to follow, the turbine’s blades were no longer spinning, which Schmalz attributes to the CAW seeing for themselves, how disruptive it could be.
That said, Rivett wished to clarify that, in relation to the CAW turbine, there are “lines not to draw” and Saugeen Shores Police has no authority to shut it down.
“The windmill, if it operates normally, does not violate our noise bylaw within the town,” he explained.
Rivett said while his officers did respond to a noise complaint that night, Saugeen Shores Police Services had nothing to do with the turbine to stop spinning. He said that that decision, would have been made solely by the CAW.
“All we did was what we would normally do and try to keep things calm,” Rivett continued.  “We can’t stop people from complaining so what we can do is advise them that they need to make a complaint, to do so through the process that the CAW has set up.
“If it is operating properly it is not a violation. We have no authority to shut it down,” he repeated. “Nor will we.”
In a voicemail, Ken Bondy,  the CAW’s national health, safety and environment coordinator, said the complaint lodged with Saugeen Shores Police Services had nothing to do with the shut down procedure over the Easter weekend.
“Just to clarify (shutting the turbine off) was not in any way a result of any complaints that were made,” he said. “We deal with those completely separately and through the Ministry of the Environment.”
Rather, Hydro One experienced a grid fault which resulted in the power to the turbine being cut off.   Continue reading, here….

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One Comment on “Even though 11 Complaints registered against CAW turbine, Bondy says it wasn’t shut down because of them”

  1. thebiggreenlie April 4, 2013 at 11:56 pm #

    The CAW will never ever be able to say they are a “good corporate citizen”! SHAME on the their leadership!

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