Rift between farm groups may surface at CORE meeting Thursday

Heather Wright Photo

Heather Wright Photo

The rift in the farm community over wind turbines may be front and center Thursday as the anti-wind group in Enniskillen hosts another public forum.

Conserve Our Rural Enniskillen – CORE –  was formed after wind energy companies started making the rounds in the countryside around Petrolia hoping to find farmers willing to sign leases to hosts wind turbines. In all, four companies have projects slated for Enniskillen with up to 51 turbines on the books.

CORE spokesman Chad Burke says 1,000 invitations have been sent out for the meeting scheduled for Thursday at 7 pm at Lambton Centennial School.

One of the feature speakers will be Tammy VanTroost of the Lambton local of the National Farmers Union – a group which has voiced opposition to wind turbines.

That’s in stark contrast to the Ontario Federation of Agriculture which has laid out a series of recommendations to improve wind energy including allowing municipalities to have more control over the planning process and calling for the province to deal with the noise concerns of neighbours.

Larry O’Neill, one of the board members of CORE a former warden of Lambton County, has resigned from the OFA over its position and a letter for other farmers to do the same is on the CORE website.

“As the largest farm organization in the province, I would expect the OFA to work on behalf of all farmers,” the form letter reads. “The biggest issue in many parts of the province is the proliferation of the wind turbine farms. This industrialization of Rural Ontario must stop.”

Burke says many in the farm community have been questioning “why aren’t they (the OFA) taking a stand…why they haven’t taken a stand.”

Burke says an insurance broker will also be at the meeting to talk about how insurance companies are dealing with the issue of turbines on private property.

– Heather Wright

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