Dwarfed by Turbines

Dwarfed by Turbines

Thursday, December 31, 2009

4 AM - December 31, 2009

Tonight will ring in the new year, and here I sit at my computer - the last full night of 2009 at 4:45am.... Both my oldest son and I have been awake since about 3:30 when 'something' woke us up. We gave up trying to fall back to sleep as we listened to the woosh, woosh of the turbines and went downstairs to watch a little tv. The power went out for a few seconds - I have noticed that our power seems to be going out, or flickering a lot this year - and I came up to check the computer.
I can still here the turbines but feel them only slightly in my chest. I have a headache at the front of my forehead and I am sure that is from the turbines as well....our renovation is coming along, and hopefully when the insulation and siding/roofing are finished, we won't hear them anymore....
Looking forward to a peaceful 2010!

Nik

Monday, December 14, 2009

Ground Breaking News regarding cover-up

To see the article below on-line, you may also go to http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6954565.ece

December 13, 2009

Officials cover up wind farm noise reportJonathan Leake and Harry Byford 36 Comments
Recommend? (15) Civil servants have suppressed warnings that wind turbines can generate noise damaging people’s health for several square miles around.

The guidance from consultants indicated that the sound level permitted from spinning blades and gearboxes had been set so high — 43 decibels — that local people could be disturbed whenever the wind blew hard. The noise was also thought likely to disrupt sleep.

The report said the best way to protect locals was to cut the maximum permitted noise to 38 decibels, or 33 decibels if the machines created discernible “beating” noises as they spun.

It has now emerged that officials removed the warnings from the draft report in 2006 by Hayes McKenzie Partnership (HMP), the consultants. The final version made no mention of them.

It means that hundreds of turbines at wind farms in Britain have been allowed to generate much higher levels of noise, sparking protests from people living near them.

Among those affected is Jane Davis, 53, a retired National Health Service manager, who has had to abandon her home because of the noise.

It lies half a mile from the Deeping St Nicholas wind farm in south Lincolnshire whose eight turbines began operating in 2006.

“Our problems started three days after the turbines went up and they’ve carried on ever since. It’s like having helicopters going over the top of you at times — on a bad night it’s like three or four helicopters circling around,” she said.

“We abandoned our home. We rent a house about five miles away — this is our fourth Christmas out of our own home. We couldn’t sleep. It is torture — my GP describes it as torture. Three hours of sleep a night is torture.”

The HMP report was commissioned by the business department whose responsibilities for wind power have since been taken over by Ed Miliband’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

The decision to stick with existing noise limits became official guidance for local authorities ruling on planning applications from wind farm developers.

It has also been used by ministers and officials to support the view that there was no need to revise official wind farm noise guidelines and that erecting turbines near homes posed no threat to people’s health and wellbeing.

In 2007 Mike Hulme of the Den Brook Judicial Review Group, a band of residents opposing a wind turbine development close to their houses in Devon, submitted a Freedom of Information request asking to see all draft versions of the study.

Officials refused the request, claiming it was not in the public interest for them to be released. Hulme appealed to the information commissioner’s office, which has ordered Miliband’s department to release the documents. The drafts show the HMP originally recommended that the night-time wind turbine noise limit should be reduced from 43 decibels to 38, or 33 if they made any kind of swishing or beating noise — known as “aerodynamic modulation”.

The HMP researchers had based their recommendations on evidence. They took noise measurements at houses close to three wind farms: Askam in Cumbria, Bears Down in Cornwall and Blaen Bowi in Carmarthenshire.

They found that the swish-swish signature noise of turbines was significantly greater around most wind farms than had been foreseen by the authors of the existing government guidelines, which date from 1996. They also found that the beating sound is particularly disruptive at night, when other background noise levels are lower, as it can penetrate walls.

In their draft report the HMP researchers recommended that “Consideration be given to a revision of the night-time absolute noise criterion”, noting that this would fit with World Health Organisation recommendations on sleep disturbance.

However, an anonymous government official then inserted remarks attacking this idea because it would impede wind farm development. He, or she, wrote: “What will the impact of this be? Are we saying that this is the situation for all wind farms ... I think we need a sense of the scale of this and the impact.”

The final report removed any suggestion of cutting the noise limits or adding any further penalty if turbines generated a beating noise — and recommended local authorities to stick to the 1996 guidelines.

Hulme said: “This demonstrates the conflict of interests in DECC, because it has the responsibility for promoting wind farm development while also having responsibility for the wind farm noise guidance policy ... meant to protect local residents.”

Ron Williams, 74, a retired lecturer, lives half a mile from the Wharrels Hill wind farm in Cumbria. He has been forced to use sleeping pills since its eight turbines began operating in 2007.

“The noise we get is the gentle swish swish swish, non-stop, incessant, all night,” he said. “It’s like a Chinese torture. In winter, when the sun is low in the sky, it goes down behind the turbines and causes flickering shadows coming into the room.

“It’s like somebody shining car headlights at your window ... on and off, on and off. It affects us all. It’s terrible. Absolutely horrible.”

Lynn Hancock, 45, runs a garden maintenance business. She has suffered disruption since 2007 when the 12-turbine Red Tile wind farm began operating several hundred yards from her Cambridgeshire home.

“Imagine a seven-ton lorry left running on the drive all night and that’s what it’s like,” she said. “People describe it as like an aeroplane or a helicopter or a train that never arrives. It’s like it’s coming but it never gets here.”

Such problems are likely to increase. Britain has 253 land-based wind farms generating 3.5 gigawatts, but this is expected to double or even triple by 2020 to help to meet targets for cutting CO2 emissions

Saturday, December 12, 2009

December 12, 2009 - Not a lot to add......

Hello,
I am blogging because someone mentioned to me that I had not written in a while....the reason is really quite simple - there is nothing new to report...the last few days the wind has been high and the turbines have been extremely loud, especially at night. Two nights ago, I was awake in the night, listening to them howling and wondering if that is how it sounds to be in a hurricane. I thought about getting up to call in the noise to the spill action centre, but it seems like a mute point. I know we should all keep calling, keep speaking, keep sharing the problems, but as I watch the turbines being trucked down the highways in our area and I see the stacks and stacks of them over at the Buxton raceway down the road my heart sinks. It seems that regardless of the suffering, regardless of the facts, regardless of the endless amount of information that shows that these are not the solution to our power problems, our governments have made the decision that this is the way to go and I feel powerless to stop it....I guess that is why I have not been blogging, I have been feeling a bit like what is the point....we continue our renovation which has, as renovations often do, run into a few problems, and we hope with all hope that what we are doing will help us to live here next to the turbines.

As I sit here typing at my desk, I can see two of them spinning just outside my window. At the present moment, I can not hear them and I do not have a headache (which is amazing because I have had "the headache" for the past three days) and I must admit, I still find them beautiful to look at. They are really quite amazing to watch. It's too bad that the people who build them did not go one step further and consider the noise aspect and the vibration and build them just a bit farther from homes and people.

I have gone back to sleeping with the kids because they wake so many times in the night from the turbines, it's the only way to quickly get them back to sleep so that we all get some type of rest. My headaches are currently being combatted with Tylenol and advil and ibuprofen. My husband still doesn't sleep, and that is evident daily, but again, we wait for the final end result of our expensive renovation....

I heard that Victims of Wind is offering some support for those that have no where to go and need to get out of their homes. I have also heard that wind projects continue to be approved all over Ontario.

I will likely not blog again until after Christmas unless I have something different to report....if we see a change for the better, or the worse, I will be sure to let you know....otherwise, you can assume that the noise continues, along with the sleepless nights and the headaches for me.....

All in all, I still consider us to be extremely lucky. We are happy, we are basically healthy, we are loved and we are together - really, in this crazy world we live in, that is about all that matters. My thoughts are with those who are not as lucky as we are this Christmas season and I hope that the families suffering from the turbines to an extent much greater than we are find a place for relief over the holidays.

I wish you all the best, and a happy Christmas,

Happy Holidays everyone!

Nik

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

November 25th - LOUD, LOUD, LOUD

Today one of the contractors of our renovation commented to me about how loud and disturbing the turbines are. They are moving fairly quickly, and there are clouds in the air, we have had some rain today. It seems to me that they are louder when it is overcast, but I can not be sure. The boys and I moved to the room farther from the turbines at about 3am to try to get away from the noise. At about that time, three things happened. My oldest wet the bed (very uncharacteristic for him, he has not had accidents before), My youngest fell out of bed, and I woke up. This all happened pretty much at the same time and so we all moved into the bunk beds. When I asked my youngest what happened he said "the bed moved", of course, he was still basically asleep as I carried him into the other bed. When I asked the oldest what happened, he did not know and did not remember wetting the bed. I got him up and changed him and put him in the other bed and he asked me "why is the house spinning?" or said "I am dizzy", or something like that, I can't remember exactly the phrase. This morning, he did not know how or why he woke up in a different bed. All three of us were terribly fatigued this morning and it took us quite a while to crawl out of bed. So, when the contractor commented on the noise, it only re-enforced to me that likely the past two nights sleep have been affected by the turbines..... I had to make a delivery today and as we drove down the Drake, I noticed that there are several new 'holes" being dug for more turbines. And then, on the drive back, we saw the many large poles and blades near Buxton waiting to be erected all over this area. As winter gets ready to roll in, I am anxious about getting these renovations finished so we can be warm and toasty, but also, to protect us from the effects of the turbines. Last winter was when our symptoms were the worst. Take care, Nik I have attached a view from the bedroom window (Look closely you can see the turbine between the trees...the picture does not do it justice as from the bed, it appears to be just outside the window. I have also attached a short video of what we saw when we woke up this morning...again, it's hard to imagine the size of it from the video but it really is a huge monster outside of our home.
video

Monday, November 23, 2009

Nov. 23 - Everytime I see people on video, it amazes me

I am still consistently surprised by the seemingly endless videos and testimonials from residents all over the world who are living near wind turbines! We are all saying the same things, attending the same 'waste of time' meetings, sending the same letters, making the same phone calls and yet everything seems to fall on deaf ears. What will it take for someone to sit up and take notice?

This video is well worth watching:

This video produced out of California, shows what can happen when a turbine catches fire and what are the results of a lack of an Emergency Plan.

http://www.wind-watch.org:80/documents/theyre-not-green-episode-3/

November 23rd - A great letter worth sharing

Sent: Monday, November 02, 2009 8:27 AM
Subject: Bill Murdoch's resolution



Mr Tabuns




I met you briefly in London last spring at the standing committee proceedings for Bill 150. I have read the Hansard notes of Thurs. Oct. 29/09 regarding Mr. Bill Murdoch's resolution requesting an investigation in to the health issues relating to Industrial Wind Turbines.




Despite many people's attempts to inform you regarding the health issue, it is quite apparent that you, like many of the green conscious, have decided that the regular rural taxpayer do not form a part of the environment and therefore must be excluded in your thought process as having any kind of priority.




You talk about the people in Mississauga having to fight the gas-fired power plant in their area, but yet you fail to connect that this is the result of this gov't tactics to replace coal generation. If you had checked the OPA website you will see that wind from 2005 to 2013 represents only 15% of the total planned new MW while NG is 55%. I ask you Mr. Tabuns with these kind of numbers, has wind really replaced coal especially when one considers that 15% of wind will never translate into said amount of real capacity needed by a modern society.




You pay lip service to a recounting of your work on the standing committee which allowed you to listen to these wind turbine victims you admit as clearly caring about the issue of their health. In turn, you like so many with your elitist thinking, do NOTHING to investigate their situation; an action that is not reflective of a public servant taking on the responsibility of his job.




Instead you continue this past Thursday with the wind industry mantra from the Dutch study of no “peered review data showing adverse health effects” which in fact reads as the following “no adverse health effects could be directly connected to wind turbine noise other than annoyance”. If one understood this carefully, it simply indicates that there is a lack of evidence and the authors of the Dutch study in their conclusion recommended further investigation. Note annoyance is associated with a host of symptoms such as lack of sleep, restlessness and depression. I guess with your of disconnect, unless it bleeds it doesn't lead.


Your disconnect again indicates that people such as farmers who clearly want turbines have a greater need then people who are suffering from the turbine's inappropriate placement. You seem to lack the understanding that this desperate plea is the result of poor Ag. Policy in this country where farmers are never in control of the price they receive for their commodities and must continually battle a world wide market heavily subsidized by other countries. Your disconnect continues the proliferation of a cheap, corporate food policy in this province, which makes it more important than the preservation of Ag. Lands, an adequate on farm income, and the keeping of a skill set that only farmers maintain for the production of food for our own residents. You continue with a feel good message of wind as the second harvest for farmers while ignoring that things like first-rights-of refusal and postponement of mortgages enclosed in these Industrial developer contracts, puts into question the long term ownership of Ag. Lands in this province.




Another level of disconnect is added by you relating the number of deaths attributed to air pollution , yet you conveniently forget to relay that 80% of South west Ontario's air pollution is due to US sources drifting in on prevailing southwest winds. You also forget to relate that not one coal generating plant in Ontario has all of it's proper scrubbers; a simple solution it seems to address these deaths you continue to flaunt in front of these victims as more substantive than their own situation.




During standing committee you discounted Barbara Ashbee's pleas for relief by questioning if anyone knew that deaths could be attributed to wind developments. As if her suffering is less of an issue than the injuries that occurred with nuclear fall out in Chernobyl over 30 years ago. I related to you in an aside that indeed several workers (35 world wide since the introduction of wind that have been reported) did in fact die (excludes injuries to passerby's and workers) from working on IWT's. You simply smiled at me and walked away.




You further state that 9000 deaths due to AIR POLLUTION is substantial, which in your clever wordage, concludes that a few hundred people suffering from ILFN from IWT's is irrelevant in your estimation. The suffering of Barbara Ashbee, Sandy MacLeod, Glen Wylds, Nikki Horton etc. etc, etc, is only the start and is further undermined because of your huge assumption that things like intermittent, inefficient wind replaces coal generation. In addition you somehow don't relate how many of these 9000 deaths can be attributed to pollution created by emissions from vehicles, another significant contributor to air pollution.




You continue by overlooking the reams of information sent your way which related to you, that wind can in fact put more emphasis on fossil-fuel generation because only this form of electrical generation can adequately backup fluttering, unpredictable wind. In your own personal fight against NG, surely you would have investigated the reason for this electrical plant in order to muster up a substantive argument against it's construction.


You further relate that we must move now on climate change. I ask you, must this be at the expense of a set of residents living within the rural areas of the province? Are we in a time of war, were a general must make the heart wrenching decision to sacrifice the few to save the many? Is this your role as an MPP within the province of Ontario whose provincial policy statement clearly identifies that people have the right to live in clean and safe environments. Perhaps I didn't read clearly that a certain percentage of people must be sacrificed for the so called "greater good of Ontario". Can you advise me if such a policy exists and at what percentages of harm must exit before our gov't steps in to take action.




In closing Mr. Tabuns and all those who support your ideas, I am appalled at your flagrant support of Industrial wind energy and can assure you and Ms. Horwath, that if the NDP continue to harbour your kind of environmentalism, the NDP will never get my vote. Every person on my e-mail list will receive this letter to make them aware of your green snobbery and lack of real concern for the regular Ontario taxpayer.

This type of green elitism is essentially a representation of the disconnect you and many in the environmental movement engender today. Personally, as a farmer and a resident of this beautiful province, I am tired of taking a second, third and fourth seat to corporate and lobbying groups such as CanWEA thinly disguised as the environmentally conscious of Ontario.


C McLean

Ontario

(note: I have deleted pertinent information but this letter was signed with information including address, phone and email contact information) Nik

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Health fears blown off | Canada | News | Toronto Sun

http://www.torontosun.com/news/canada/2009/10/30/11575886-sun.html

Below are the details of what happened that day......

WIND TURBINES

Mr. Bill Murdoch: I move that, in the opinion of this House, the province of Ontario must impose a moratorium on all new wind turbine projects in Ontario until such time as Ontario's chief medical officer of health, the Ministry of Health ... and the Ministry of the Environment have stated that wind turbines do not have any adverse health effects on people who live near them.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Mr. Murdoch moves private members' notice of motion number 116. Pursuant to standing order number 98, Mr. Murdoch, you have up to 12 minutes for your presentation.

Mr. Bill Murdoch: First I'd just like to tell the assembly how this happened. I have a good friend and mate here, John O'Toole, who phoned me a couple of weeks ago. John wanted to change private members' bills with me. At that point I really hadn't thought of mine-mine was going to be in November-and I actually told John no. But as most people here will know, John O'Toole is pretty persistent, so he decided to phone me himself. When I got that, I thought, "Well, he must really want to change, and he must have some ideas." I was at home and I had to think. It didn't take me too long, though, to think about what I would do. I phoned John back and said, "Hey, I've got an idea."

You see, for some time now, my offices at Queen's Park and Owen Sound have been getting letters and calls from people living near industrial wind turbines, about the noise levels making them sick. The people who live close to these massive structures are complaining about experiencing a number of health problems, most commonly sleep-how do you say that word?

Interjection: Deprivation.

Mr. Bill Murdoch: -deprivation-I'd better say that word right, because we want to know what it is-cardiac problems, nausea, severe headaches. All of the negative health effects experienced by these people have been compiled and reported on in several published reports, which I'm sure most of you have either read or heard about. One of the published reports is on the way to your offices. It'll come in a green folder. I've taken the liberty of mailing it to everyone in this assembly so that you will get a copy of it. Hopefully you will read it.

I initially told the constituents there was nothing within my legislative power that I could do to help change the situation: I could not scrap the Green Energy Act. After explaining this fact to them, I'd always refer them to the man in charge of the energy file, Mr. George Smitherman, the Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, who has been handed sweeping powers and absolute control over industrial wind projects in Ontario. As you know, when we passed Bill 150 you gave George all the power he needs and overruled any municipalities which may have different ideas. They may want to look at some of these things, but this assembly, when it voted in favour of Bill 150, gave the power to the minister. I told the people, my constituents, that he was the only one who could mitigate their suffering by undoing the regulations, changing the setbacks and ordering these massive wind structures to be erected further away from peoples' homes. But his office dithered and nothing was done.

When I called back my friend the member for Durham, I told him I was going to introduce a resolution to call for a moratorium on wind farm development in Ontario until such time as our chief medical officer of health of Ontario stated publicly that wind turbines are not making people sick. Now, I feel that she should be in control of this, because if we're going to make people sick by doing something, then she's going to get this on her lap to sort out. As you know, when SARS comes along or any of the other problems we have, it always goes to our chief medical officer, so I believe that she should be in the loop on this. If she doesn't have problems maybe there are no problems, but we'll get to her just a little later on here.

Since announcing my intention to do this, many members of this House have approached me to say, "You know, this is a good idea." I wish they'd thought of it first, especially John. John O'Toole is always telling me things like that, because John just had one of his bills pass: the cellphone bill. That was John O'Toole's idea, but the government of the day took it; it took a good idea from a Conservative and made it law. I don't know whether it's such a good idea or not, but I didn't get a chance-I wasn't here the day they voted on it; I may not have. But John was the one who thought about that, so you've got to give John credit.

The first member to say that to me was the member from Durham. You will hear from some of them in a short while. Some you have already heard from, such as member Lisa MacLeod from Nepean-Carleton. She spoke about the effects of wind turbines in this House the other day and she supports my resolution, along with my friend in the chair today, Jim Wilson, who doesn't get a chance to debate it today because he is in the chair doing his job, but he has indicated to me that he would support this resolution if he had a chance.

Also, my resolution has been supported by Grey Bruce medical officer of health Dr. Hazel Lynn. She's been at many of the meetings that have happened in my constituency and said there seem to be people who have problems with this, but it's not her mandate to do anything at this time. But if the chief medical officer of Ontario takes it as her mandate, then she will get involved, and I understand from the chief medical officer that she, in the very near future, is going to have a meeting with the other medical officers across Ontario to discuss this very project.

As you know, a lot of your constituents have come to different members, all members-maybe not so much the members in the big cities, but all the rural members and northern members here must have been contacted by some of these people, because we have them in the House today from all over Ontario. It's not just Grey and Bruce; this is an Ontario problem, and it's all to do with the Green Energy Act and what the regulations say. They ignored the people who said they had problems with this and went ahead and gave all the powers to one minister to go ahead and put them wherever he feels like.

We talked about the chief medical officer of health. A member from the Ministry of Health's so-called-what do they call him? He was not an adviser; he had come out with whatever he felt that the minister should say. But this gentleman two days ago told the media-

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: It's called a spin doctor.

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Mr. Bill Murdoch: Spin doctor: Is that what they're called? Yes, I guess so. I was trying to be nice so far, but the spin doctors in the government.

Mrs. Joyce Savoline: You're trying to be nice?

Mr. Bill Murdoch: So far, anyway. I'm hoping the government will vote for this resolution today, because it's not a hard resolution to vote for. If you're going to make people sick, maybe we should look at that before we continue on. It's not a hard thing to do.

But anyway, the spin doctors from the Ministry of Health informed the media that our chief medical officer was onside. He said absolutely, she was. If you don't believe me, look at some reports. Lorrie Goldstein in the Toronto Sun wrote that. He said he asked this gentleman and he said, "Absolutely, she's onside." Isn't this funny? Yesterday, the chief medical officer was in estimates and she was asked if she was onside. She said, "No, we're still studying it." That's right from her. So somebody at the ministry is leading us astray.

You wouldn't want to say they lied; it would be bad to say something like that, and I never want to say that in the House, but something happened. They got a different opinion. Something must have happened. Mr. Speaker, I wouldn't want to get you upset by anything like that and I would never say that anybody in this House would do that, but somebody who maybe works for people in this House may have done that. At least they misled the media and said that she's onside. But yesterday, in a committee hearing-it was estimates, and Christine Elliott asked a question. Let's see; we'll just find it here.

This is what the member for Whitby-Oshawa, Ms. Elliott, asked the chief medical officer of health during estimates on Tuesday, October 27: "So at the moment you don't have a formal position?" Response: "No, we're still reviewing."

That fits right in with my resolution. All I'm saying is that we put a moratorium on any new wind turbines until the medical officer of health for Ontario gets a chance to come up with her opinion of whether there are problems with it or there aren't problems with it. I'm not a doctor, so I don't know. But you see a lot of people here who claim that they have problems, so they can't all be dreaming. There must be something to this.

I don't know whether we need a new report and somebody to run around Ontario to look at a report, because there must be tons of them out of Europe. There are all kinds of windmills in Europe. Do we need to do that? I'm not sure, but let the medical officer tell us what she wants. Until she does that, I'm claiming that we shouldn't build any new ones, because in the McGuinty era, as I understand it, he wants, what is it, 7,000 of them so he can get rid of the coal-fired generators? Which he promised to do, which he hasn't done-another broken promise. Maybe he doesn't want 7,000 turbines; I don't know. You can't believe him. He tells you one thing and does something different. But if they even want 1,000 more by next year, does that mean there are going to be 2,000 or 3,000 people sick? I don't know, but that's why we have a chief medical officer here: to tell us. I think we had better stop.

I've been told, "If we put a moratorium on, there are all these jobs that are going to be lost," and things like this. If we lose a job but we keep somebody from getting sick, I think that's a heck of a lot better. I don't think jobs should override people getting sick. The other one I heard was, "If we close down the coal-fired generating plants, we'll make people better." Maybe that's true, but do we make other people sick just because we're going to close them down and put in all these wind farms? I'm not one to say that they're going to make them sick, but I think that's why we have a chief medical officer: to do that.

I think that's what should be done, and I would hope that in this House, like-minded people-we're all here to look after people in Ontario. It's not just Grey, Bruce and Owen Sound; we're looking after everybody in rural and northern Ontario. I understand there's one to go down here in the city in the Scarborough Bluffs, if I'm not mistaken. There's someone in Ms. Best's riding, so I'm sure she'll be here to vote for this and tell us what she wants done. That's why I think we need a moratorium.

The other thing is, if you don't put a moratorium on, then we'll drag it out forever. Should we produce more wind farms just because we want to drag it out and because they need more? I don't think we should be doing that. I think we should put a moratorium on and find out the facts before we do any more. So I thank you, Mr. Speaker, for being able to talk.

Interruption.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): I know Bill's popular, but I'll just remind you that you can't clap or participate in the debate, please.

The honourable member for Oak Ridges-Markham.

Ms. Helena Jaczek: It's my pleasure to enter into what I think is a very important debate which is occurring this afternoon. I would like to thank the member for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound in bringing this concern forward. I want to acknowledge the concern, which is entirely valid. Many constituents obviously across Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound feel very strongly on this issue, and many Ontarians are also extremely concerned about the health effects of wind turbines, whether there are any. They want some debate on the matter.

I think I can understand this fully. I am the former medical officer of health for York region. In that capacity, I often had to look at situations where there might be some scientific ambiguity and respond in a responsible way to those concerns. I think we know that when people see 18-metre wind turbines dotting the landscape, they are naturally anxious about any potential health effects. I'm very familiar with the precautionary principle that, at all possible times, we do not want to inflict any harm on the population. I used that as the former medical officer of health as it related to electromagnetic fields from high-voltage transmission lines.

When I was appointed parliamentary assistant to the Minister of the Environment, this was actually one of the first areas that I wanted to look at and be briefed on. What I found was that there was a very excellent review of the evidence by Dr. Ray Copes and Karen Rideout from the National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health, which is an arm's-length agency funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada. They conducted this review on behalf of the Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion. They looked specifically at the areas of concern, in particular, sound, noise levels, intensity, low-frequency noise, infrasound, electromagnetic field exposure, shadow, flicker, icing of the turbine blades, structural failure and so on, and they came to a conclusion. They came to several, but the one that I want to address at this point, because I know many of my colleagues want to enter into this debate, was their conclusion that, based on best available evidence, any identified risk can be addressed through siting or setbacks and operating practices.

I was pleased to learn-and I'm sure this will be very reassuring for the member from Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound-that, in fact, the chief medical officer of health, Dr. Arlene King, on October 21 this year, wrote to medical officers of health and environmental health directors. I'll quote directly from her letter:

"The public health division, in collaboration of the Ministry of the Environment and Energy and Infrastructure and with the Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion, has reviewed the concerns expressed by some regarding health impacts of wind turbines, specifically wind turbine farms. A status update is being provided at this time so as to support common levels of information and public communication."

She goes on to say, "The literature review revealed that while there are anecdotal reports of symptoms such as sleep disturbance, headaches, dizziness, anxiety, concentration and learning problems, and tinnitus"-that's ringing in your ears-"there is no scientific evidence, to date, to demonstrate a causal association between wind turbine noise and adverse health effects. A few Swedish studies reported that noise from wind turbines is annoying to some people."

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I know that the member from Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound referred to some comments made by Dr. King at the estimates committee, and I do have, from that transcript from October 27, a clarification that she gave to some of her previous comments. In response to Mr. Jim Brownell's question related to a causal association between turbine noise and adverse health effects, Dr. King said the following:

"Yes, in terms of the existing literature right now, we have not found an association between adverse health effects and wind turbines. We're continuing, again, to review that information, as I said earlier, and determine where there may be gaps in the literature that exist in order to be able to develop a common view among myself and all of my medical officer of health colleagues across our province."

Our government has made very stringent setbacks to address the concern raised by Dr. Copes-550 metres-with noise at the periphery of the property of 40 decibels.

We are also absolutely committed to establishing a research chair in conjunction with the Ontario council of universities. This is not the time for us to succumb to analysis paralysis; it is the time for us to move forward based on what we know, and I can assure this House that in my capacity as parliamentary assistant to the Ministry of the Environment, I will be urging the establishment of that research chair at the earliest opportunity.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Further debate?

Mr. Toby Barrett: I welcome the opportunity to talk to this one, and I want to say at the outset that I support this resolution in its intention. As you know, it's a resolution to provide some answers to questions with respect to health and the impact of these wind turbines, given the deluge of disturbing reports of the effects from those and many people in my area in Haldimand-Norfolk. I know people are here today from my area who live in close proximity to these provincially approved wind turbines, and given the reported plans locally for another 200 or more turbines on or adjacent to Lake Erie-there are plans for 200 to be built offshore. We already have-and I haven't counted them all; I'm not sure-80 or 90 that stretch from Lowbanks, Dunnville, right through to the Port Burwell area in Elgin county.

Given that, I do feel it's incumbent on this government, as the resolution states, to impose a moratorium on all new wind turbine projects in Ontario until such time as the chief medical officer of health, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of the Environment have stated that wind turbines do not have any adverse health effects on the people who live near them.

If the minister is confident that there is no health impact, then we very simply ask: Say so, tell us. Let us know definitively. If not, it bears investigation, and there's nothing wrong with neutral, objective, research evidence. We're not scientists. Bodies of work are out there, and for us to make decisions, we need those kinds of facts. The member from Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound indicated that the government has a responsibility as well as a mandate to investigate such claims. We've heard the claims of sleep deprivation, heart palpitations, things like that.

Mr. McGuinty did promise a number of months ago to set up an academic research chair. I think that's a good idea. I spent 20 years with a research organization, and it's incumbent on us to have access to the best scientific information available. Regrettably, we know this government's track record as far as keeping promises; there is no research chair. I don't know whether the Premier has any real intention of keeping that one, and providing us with the resultant scientific information that has been promised to us.

Many of us in rural Ontario call these turbines neighbours-they're 300 feet tall. You don't really have to be a scientist to question the possible impact of not only the massive arms of these turbines, but the generator itself. You can hear the dull roar, the grinding of the gears, the mechanical mechanism within these structures. I don't have the answers to a lot of this. I think it's important that we be provided with this kind of information.

We've heard of Dr. Robert McMurtry, former dean of medicine, University of Western Ontario. He has called on the province to undertake an independent epidemiological study on whether noise and low-frequency vibrations do have a negative impact on health.

I'll just cut to the chase. I know other people are speaking. One person here today, Stephana Johnston from Clear Creek, is in the visitors' gallery. I think everybody knows where Clear Creek is, down on Lake Erie. She has a proposal. A turbine town needs to be purchased as an experimental facility: "Is it ideal? With 18 [turbines] within a three-kilometre radius of a few varied types of residences, some of the present residents might volunteer to stay on as guinea pigs for the experimental phase.

"The design of the experiment would have to be done with extreme care by an arm's-length neutral research body so that all sides of the debate will be convinced with the results.

"Let's stop the nickel-and-dime waste, the Mickey Mouse measurements and get down to the really hard work of a conclusive experiment here."

I agree.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Further debate?

Mr. Peter Tabuns: I appreciate the opportunity to speak today.

I have to say first off that I have tremendous respect for Mr. Murdoch, and I'm not being coy or playing games. You may be one of the shrewdest political people in this House. I've watched your career. You've survived purges, you've survived faith-based funding for schools, so obviously you're a man who tests the political currents on a regular basis.

Mr. Gilles Bisson: He had his own independent party.

Mr. Peter Tabuns: Yes. He may be one of the only fourth-party members in this House who has gone through election cycles and come back triumphant. I disagree with you but I respect you.

There are people who have come here today who travelled a good distance. They didn't come here because they like travelling; they came here because they have serious concerns, and I say to them, with great respect, that I disagree with you, but I also recognize that you're not here on a frivolous basis; you're here because you have a point of view that you want to have expressed, and I think Mr. Murdoch has done you well in doing that.

I'm in a situation where I have actually had an opportunity to listen to a number of these arguments and debates. I had the opportunity-the honour-to sit on the committee that travelled around Ontario and listened to the presentations on the Green Energy Act, listened to people who were dealing with a variety of problems, both with wind turbines and other forms of generation. I can see a member from south Mississauga who is here, who is dealing with a proposed gas-fired power plant in his riding. I have had to have that battle myself, and I know that when people are dealing with technologies, questions come up-substantial questions, sometimes; not substantial otherwise, but questions that people clearly care about.

There were people who came to the Green Energy Act hearings from rural areas-farmers-who wanted wind turbines built on their properties because they wanted the revenue to help ensure they could stay on the land. I have had farmers call me who are upset by the setbacks put in place by this provincial government because they wanted more wind turbines on their land so that they could stay on that land.

In the state of Iowa in the United States, the wind industry is a substantial part of that agricultural state's economy. Farmers refer to the wind turbines as their second harvest. I had an opportunity a few years ago to work in Ottawa as a climate adviser to Jack Layton. I had an opportunity then to meet with farmers from Pincher Creek, Alberta. They were there on the Hill lobbying for more wind investment because they said, as cattle farmers, those farmers-

Interruption.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Order. I'd just remind the members in the gallery: Please do not participate in the debate. Thank you.

Mr. Peter Tabuns: Those farmers from Pincher Creek said that if they had not had wind turbines on their property, they would have lost their farms; they would have lost cattle operations that had been in their families for generations. They wanted that investment so that they could maintain the rural life that they valued so profoundly.

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I have to say to you that there is no point in telling people that they don't feel something they feel, and if people here feel irritated by, sick from or annoyed with wind turbines, they simply feel that.

I'm going to set out my arguments and do it in the best way I can to ensure that people who listen to this understand where I'm coming from and where my party is coming from.

We face substantial public health problems in Ontario. The Ontario Medical Association has projected that something like 9,000 people a year die in Ontario from air pollution-9,000. That's a lot of deaths. And there are many who are sickened. If you have 9,000 die, you probably have tens of thousands who have asthma, who have heart problems, who have respiratory problems, who have to go to the hospital. The OMA calculates the cost of that smog in the billions of dollars in this province. So we face a very substantial public health issue right now. This is not something that we need to debate. Everyone in the House can read the medical literature; they can see the simple reality. We have to move very quickly to move away from fossil fuels in this province because people are being killed by the fossil fuel effluent that we dump into the atmosphere.

There is a desperate need to move on climate change. For those who were here for the earlier debate, I won't go through all of the issues that were put on the table. I can say in passing that in this province and in this country, inaction on climate change will mean a substantial drop in our standard of living. It will mean a further impoverishment of rural Ontario. It will mean substantial reductions in forest cover in this province and all the implications it has for the remaining forest industry. Those two necessities, those two issues, drive the need to rapidly transition to an economy that's based on renewable power, and wind power is one of the most advanced, most developed technologies that we have at hand to move rapidly.

On that basis alone-the need to deal with thousands of deaths and to head off the loss of stability in our society-I support rapid deployment of wind power. In fact, I have publicly said in my riding, in this city, that I support wind power in my riding. And quite frankly, as many in this House will know, I fought aggressively against the gas-fired power plant in my riding and know without any doubt whatsoever that my constituents would have supported wind turbines in the riding, and that they understand, from their experience with the one wind turbine we have in this city-and we need many more-the implications and the advantages to them of having more wind power in urban environments.

I've had an opportunity over the last decade and a half to speak with environmentalists in Europe, to talk with those who have, since the early 1980s, lived in a situation where more and more wind turbines have been deployed-in some areas of Denmark, at a level far denser than anything we see here in Ontario. I've talked to people whose primary focus in their environmental activity is population health, who research toxic chemicals, who work on new developments, new problems with toxic chemicals.

Wind turbines are not an issue as a health issue in European jurisdictions. There are disputes. I won't argue that. There are very different views on how the landscape should look. There are very different feelings about how the wind turbines should be owned, but in my personal conversations with people-and frankly, in asking the legislative library to do the research and bring me the reports from the Journal of the American Medical Association, the Lancet and others, I don't see in the literature any epidemiological evidence that, in fact, we have a health problem that one could classify at the same level as what we're getting from air pollution now.

If there is a problem and if people are here, they must be experiencing something. I have to say that the symptoms that have been described are similar to those I experience as a city resident living on a very busy street. There is noise, and it is unpredictable; sometimes loud, sometimes quiet. I found it very annoying to live on busy streets. It just is; that's the reality.

I've disagreed with Mr. Murdoch, and I've disagreed with the argument that has been made. I want to talk about potential common ground; we can spend all our time arguing, but I always find it a lot more productive to set out, "Okay, so where can we go?" To those who are concerned about far greater investment in wind turbines, who want to limit the amount of investment we have in generation in this society, I say there is common ground to push this Liberal government and any government that happens to be elected in the future to dramatically accelerate efforts at energy efficiency. A number of reports have come forward in the last few years credibly saying that you could cut electricity consumption in this province by 40%. That would have a substantial impact on future investment in any form of generation technology. That is of consequence for us.

Those of you, like Mr. Murdoch, who are concerned about the issue of power generation should be aware that this government doesn't have that as a goal. It should have that as a goal. I support the investment in wind, but even more, I support the investment in energy efficiency. You should know-Mr. Murdoch may know-that when we had the Green Energy Act hearings, we had credible testimony that the energy efficiency codes for buildings in this province are not enforced. When new buildings are built that are electrically heated or cooled, the building code for efficiency is not enforced, which drives up the amount of power needed, which drives up the amount of generation that's invested in. There needs to be credible enforcement of the energy efficiency code.

We need to be looking at cogeneration. Right now there are hospitals across this province that run boilers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Those hospitals could be making power at the same time they are making heat. They'd provide themselves with emergency power and feed power into the grid. It would not increase the burden on our environment, and it would reduce the demand for new electricity generation. The strategy of energy efficiency, of maximizing the use of any fuel we do burn, is a way one could find common ground to reduce the amount of new generation capacity that is invested in, in this province.

This is going to be an ongoing question, because people will disagree about land use zoning and disagree about this technology. But we in this province have to take action to make sure we clean up the air in this province. One of the best avenues we have right now, one of the fastest to deploy and least expensive, aside from energy efficiency, is wind, and we need to take that option.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Further debate?

Mr. Phil McNeely: I want to thank the member from Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound for his motives in bringing forward this resolution. Protecting public health and safety is, of course, one of the most important duties we have as legislators. I want to thank the people who made the long trek down to Queen's Park, who are here because they believe in the issues they are fighting for.

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care listened to individuals and groups with concerns about wind turbines. I don't want to get into that, because my learned colleague Dr. Helena Jaczek has gone into the health issues in the debate today. I want to speak more as an engineer and as someone who has been working with the Green Energy Act, and more on the setbacks-the setbacks have been established across this province. I want to talk more about the reasons that Ontario strongly supports wind power in the first place.

We just heard from the member for Toronto-Danforth about the reasons we have to get more clean energy available for Ontario and get rid of dirty coal. His records show that there are 9,000 deaths on an annual basis from coal-fired plants. We've talked about that since 2003 and we're getting very close. I believe that we're at about 40% or 50% reduction in coal-fired plants in this province already, and we'll have no more coal in 2014.

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These turbines are helping to replace electricity currently produced by burning coal. "The impact of Ontario's coal closure plan will reduce Ontario's carbon dioxide emissions by up to 30 megatonnes" and all those other emissions that affect health that also go with it.

We know that there are serious and direct impacts on human health from burning coal. That's why wind energy is being promoted so much by our province.

I have to leave sufficient time for the other member to speak to it, but I would just like to again thank the member for bringing this forward. It's an important motion and it's important that this has the opportunity to be before us today.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Further debate?

Mrs. Joyce Savoline: I am pleased to speak and support the resolution today. Although I don't have any wind farms proposed in my riding, I am supporting Ontarians who have had democracy pulled out from under them and also from under their local municipalities.

Much like myself, I'm certain that Premier McGuinty, his Minister of Energy and Infrastructure and his caucus colleagues are hearing from thousands of Ontarians with respect to their very serious concerns about the unstudied adverse health effects of wind turbines. They're hearing from you, but they're not listening and they're certainly not acting. They are in their thinking place.

Regardless of these concerns, this government is continuing to go down the road of approval for construction of future wind farm projects without taking into consideration the concerns you've raised.

I cannot argue the importance of renewable energy, but without proper, conclusive scientific studies, I cannot speak to the placement of these wind turbines.

I am sure that the Premier and his Minister of Energy and Infrastructure are aware of the many reports that have looked at the potential adverse effects of wind turbines. Experts like Dr. Robert McMurtry, the former dean of medicine at the University of Western Ontario, say that more than 100 people informally surveyed and others around the world living close to turbines have complained about similar symptoms: sleep deprivation, cardiac arrhythmia, nausea, heart palpitations and severe headaches, to name a few. Dr. Harrison, professor emeritus in physics at Queen's University, says, "Wind turbine noise causes annoyance and health problems. These problems include sleeplessness; anxiety; headaches and migraines; depression; and an accentuation of learning disabilities."

If the Premier and his minister are not going to listen to the recommendations and warnings in the various reports that have been completed, then my question is, what studies have they done that look into the potential health effects of industrial wind turbines? What is the government doing to address the concerns of Ontarians? What studies have they done and where are these studies?

I think we all know the answer is that the McGuinty Liberals have not done any studies, despite the fact that they said they would. Back in May of this year, this government said that they would establish an academic research chair to examine potential public health effects of renewable energy projects. But to this date, we've heard that Minister Gerretsen says that his government is still "looking for the right university" for this position. That was in September. Now it's almost November, and the wind projects continue to be approved and constructed.

Ontario has a long list of great universities that excel in academic excellence. The Premier and his minister should just choose one and move on with this immediately.

Perhaps the delay is caused by the fact that the Premier and his minister are more familiar with having their work done by Liberal friends, as we saw in the eHealth scandal, friends who will give them the conclusion they want. Nonetheless, they need to take action and they need to take it today. Ontarians are looking for answers now, and this government has an obligation to provide them these answers before continuing to approve more wind turbine projects without understanding the adverse health effects.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Further debate?

Mr. Ernie Hardeman: I'm pleased to rise today to support this important resolution brought forward by my colleague the member from Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound.

I want to make it clear that I support green energy. Being involved in agriculture, I know how important is the relationship that we have with our land and how we depend on it. But as we move forward, we need to make smart decisions about our environment and our hydro system. We cannot just blindly support everything that's labelled green.

This resolution is not against, or for, wind turbines; it's simply saying that we can't proceed without doing the proper scientific research to ensure that the health of Ontarians is protected.

Last week, I had the opportunity to meet with a number of citizens from Oxford who are concerned about wind turbines and their impact on the health of nearby residents. I want to thank this group for the work they have done to ensure that my colleagues and I are fully briefed on the issue-and a great number of them are in the gallery today.

I don't have the time to go into all the research that they've provided, but it is clear that there are a number of serious issues about turbines that need to be answered fully and scientifically before we move forward with any more projects.

There are three different proposals of wind turbine developments in Oxford. With three different developers, the one thing that is consistent is that residents are worried about the impact of turbines on their health, and they are not getting satisfactory answers from the provincial government. In fact, hundreds of my constituents signed petitions supporting the idea of a moratorium on building turbines until their concerns are addressed. And I hope in the coming weeks to present those petitions to the Legislature.

All those people and the people in the gallery today have valid concerns. I know that all the members of this Legislature have received e-mails from families who live near wind turbines, and they have told us about the health problems that are driving them from their homes.

Through regulation, the minister has established a setback of 550 metres. Ontarians don't know if this is correct, nor do I. We are not scientists, and we haven't done the in-depth research to know what distance is safe. Perhaps the people can live closer to turbines. Maybe people shouldn't be living within a kilometre or two of the turbines. We just don't know.

Unless the government has done a full study to this issue that they aren't sharing with us, I don't think they know either. Doesn't it make sense to answer those questions before you build more turbines and before we allow companies to invest money in planning and developing these projects?

If we don't determine the health impacts and establish proper scientific setbacks, what do we do when we find out that 550 metres is too close? Does the government pay to move families that are suffering? Do we compensate the companies for building turbines they can't operate? Do we force the company to take the loss and go back and send the message that Ontario is not a good place to invest? We owe it to Ontarians, especially the people who live near turbines, to ensure that they have done the proper research-

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Thank you.

We're almost done, people in the gallery, so you'll want to stick around for the vote.

Mrs. Maria Van Bommel: Before I make my own comments, I was asked by my colleague from Huron-Bruce to read a statement into the record for her:

"I will not be supporting this resolution by the member for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound.

"During the public hearings for the Green Energy Act, no science-based evidence was brought forward to suggest that wind turbine developments were causing adverse health effects. It has been further confirmed by the chief medical officer of health that, based on all scientific evidence gathered to date, there exists nothing that would demonstrate a casual association between wind turbine noise and adverse health effects.

"Several of my constituents have concerns regarding their specific properties. To that end, I have made a written request to the Minister of the Environment to make certain that their outstanding concerns are addressed as a top priority of the academic research chair."

I myself have, over time, as a member, but also just as a farmer, watched and read and listened to a variety of research documents and many discussion papers, and I've even had the opportunity to get papers from the Netherlands to see what they are doing there because, of course, they have had wind turbines far longer than we have here.

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The one thing I've noticed over and over again is that there's not only a large volume of research, documentation and anecdotal information, but a lot of it conflicts and a lot of it doesn't always agree. I'm reminded of the fact that when I first brought forward the stray voltage bill, having good scientific data and research was really important and really critical in terms of a statement of opinion. We needed to be able to prove that something existed before we could approach the remediation of that issue.

So I find that it was very important to have that kind of research done, and I was really pleased when the Minister of the Environment said that he was going to establish a research chair. As some have pointed out-they're saying, "Well, what happened to the research chair?" Actually, I have here a press release from the Council of Ontario Universities, in which they say, "The Council of Ontario Universities today announced that it will launch a competitive process on behalf of the Ontario government for one chair in renewable energy technologies and health and two chairs in green chemistry and engineering." We are moving forward with this, and when someone said, "Well, is it going to be picked by the minister or by the Premier?"-I think having this work done by the Council of Ontario Universities and having it tendered is much more appropriate. So we are moving forward in that direction.

I have had in my riding a number of proposals for wind turbines. I also have existing wind turbine farms. There have been public meetings in my communities. There was one very recently in Adelaide Metcalfe. I was unable to attend because it was a Tuesday night and we were here in Toronto, but my staff was there and they came back and they heard from people and heard their concerns.

I want to say thank you to the member from Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound because I do think we need to debate this. I think that we-

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Thank you.

Mr. Murdoch, you have up to two minutes for your response.

Mr. Bill Murdoch: I want to thank the three Liberal members from Lambton-Kent-Middlesex, Ottawa-Orléans and Oak Ridges-Markham, and just say that all I can do is go by what was quoted by the chief medical officer. I know they keep saying that she wrote a letter that she didn't think there were any concerns, but yesterday when she was asked-and I'm just quoting from this: "So at the moment you don't have a formal position?" And her response was, "No"-well, no means no. You guys got that now? That's what I understood: no means no-"we're still reviewing...." So it means that she doesn't have a position; at least that's what I would take from "no." I think that our medical officer doesn't have a position at this time. That's why I'm saying that we need to put a moratorium on this because, do we have the right here to make people sick because of something we do?

The Toronto-Danforth member, Peter-I appreciate the kind words and that; he's a great politician and he works hard, but in Toronto you've got one windmill-one of them. One. So what do you give a damn about it? You don't. You've got one bloody windmill. We've got them all in rural Ontario. That's what we're upset about. They're all in rural Ontario. They're not down here in Toronto, so it's easy for him to say-and I agree with all he said about how we need to have better sources of electricity and things like that. All of that was nice, nice and green and nice to say, but he's from Toronto-one bloody windmill down here. It's all he's got. I mean, what are we doing here, folks?

I want to thank the three members who spoke on my behalf from the party. I've got to mention John Yakabuski-you're just lucky he wasn't here; John wanted me to mention that he worked really hard on this thing too.

So folks, one-remember that; there's only one of those things down here.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): We'll vote on Mr. Murdoch's item after we vote on the two previous items that are before us this afternoon.

The time provided for private members' public business has expired.



WIND TURBINES

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): We'll now deal with ballot item 42, standing in the name of Mr. Murdoch.

Mr. Murdoch has moved private member's notice of motion 116. Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry?

All those in favour of the motion will please say "aye."

All those opposed will please say "nay."

In my opinion, the nays have it.





WIND TURBINES

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): We'll now deal with-

Interjection.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Order. Could you be a little bit quiet so the Clerk can count? It's pretty hard, I'm sure, and distracting for them.

We'll now deal with ballot item number 42, standing in the name of Mr. Murdoch.

Mr. Murdoch has moved private member's notice of motion 116. All those in favour of the motion will please rise and remain standing until recognized by the Clerk.

Ayes

Barrett, Toby

Dunlop, Garfield
Hardeman, Ernie

Murdoch, Bill
Savoline, Joyce


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): All those opposed to the motion will please rise and remain standing until recognized by the Clerk.

Nays

Aggelonitis, Sophia

Albanese, Laura

Arthurs, Wayne

Balkissoon, Bas

Berardinetti, Lorenzo

Bisson, Gilles

Brown, Michael A.

Colle, Mike

Dhillon, Vic
Dickson, Joe

Hoskins, Eric

Jaczek, Helena

Kwinter, Monte

Mangat, Amrit

McNeely, Phil

Moridi, Reza

Pendergast, Leeanna

Phillips, Gerry
Rinaldi, Lou

Ruprecht, Tony

Sandals, Liz

Sergio, Mario

Smith, Monique

Sousa, Charles

Van Bommel, Maria

Wilkinson, John

Zimmer, David


The Clerk of the Assembly (Ms. Deborah Deller): The ayes are 5; the nays are 27.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): I declare the motion lost.

Motion negatived.

Nov. 22/09-I am so sorry I have been away so long!

It's a great Sunday mid morning and I am happy to report that the kids and I had a great sleep last night - WE SLEPT AT MY MOTHER-IN-LAWS house!!!

I am so sorry it has taken me a while since our return from out west to blog an update. Between catching up with work and the renovations, it just seems the days fly by!!

We returned from our amazing vacation on November 8th. Here are a few interesting things about our vacation:
- we arrived in Edmonton Alberta on Sunday October 25th and within just a few days I felt energetic, enthusiastic, and not fatigued at all. It was great to not feel that "draggy" feeling. I felt my memory was sharper, my energy was at a high, and my aches, pains and headaches were non existent. THE very interesting thing was that I was actually battling a cold and cough with a bit of a loss of voice and I still felt better than I had in a long time. When the cold/cough passed, I felt like a whole new woman.
- the kids slept extremely well while in Edmonton. My oldest did not complain even once about a sore back or any other aches and pains! My youngest did not wake up even once and say that his hands, feet, or legs hurt! THIS TO ME WAS a huge verification that their complaints are REAL. If they had become a force of habit, or came from them overhearing their father and I speak of our aches and pains, they would have continued while we were on vacation!
- Within the first week, I noticed that the kids seemed less emotional. They were playing well together. There were less outbursts and arguments between them. I believe they got the best two weeks of sleep they have had in a long time.
- My youngest rash was virtually gone, and remains that way. His only issue while out west was that he had some dry itchy skin from the change in humidity. It is much drier in Edmonton. The rash, the tummy aches, the other aches - all gone!

WHEN WE RETURNED....

It was Sunday November 8th when we returned to our home. The renovations we are in the midst of had come a long way since we left. Unfortunately, they are still not complete. Since we have been back, I have noticed that we hear the turbines every night and I have spent many nights lying awake and listening to them. I hear them, and feel them in my ears, but I have not noticed the vibration to the extent that I was prior to the vacation. I am hopeful that the work we have done to the house has somehow minimized the affect we feel from the vibration.

My headaches have returned, but seem lessened. I have been away from the house much more than I was prior to the vacation, so perhaps that is helpful. Also, it seems that during the day the turbines (like now for instance) are barely turning. At night, however, they are spinning and loud!

The kids, especially my youngest, have not slept properly since our return. My youngest is the reason I am up listening to the turbines in the night. He wakes up and then he says "it's too loud" "let's get up", by the time I convince him it is night time and get him back to sleep, I am stuck listening to the woosh/woosh of the turbines.

My oldest started complaining of back pain again about 5 nights ago. I believe he feels the effects of the turbines in his lower back.

My youngest started waking and complains of pain in his arms, hands, legs and feet again.

Other than those two things, I have not noticed any particularly alarming change in their behaviours.

I wish I had blogged daily because there were some nights that I could not believe how loud the turbines were and some days/nights where my headaches were quite bad.

MY HUSBAND and I are still optimistic that once the new roof and new insulation and siding are completed that the changes will give some relief to the noise. We have also replaced and insulated windows and when the blinds are back on, that will also give some sound protection. As I said, it seems to us that the vibrations are already being felt a bit less. If this works, I will be so excited to share with other victims what we have done and hopefully others will be able to have relief as well.

Of course, I still believe very strongly that wind turbines should not be placed near peoples homes. Even if we manage to minimize the effects, who can say what long term affects there will be on our health, and the health of our children. It is a scary thought.

I appreciate all of the emails, visitors and calls checking on us. Again, I apologize for not blogging sooner and I am sorry to have worried you.

We are doing well and 'living' with the turbines. I still have not heard back from Kruger in regards to my long list of questions regarding their "noise report" other than the letter they send acknowledging my questions and stating that they were waiting to hear from the MOE. I find this a display of complete disregard since they knew that my questions were in part to ensure that the renovations we are doing take into account all things that could possibly combat the effects we are feeling from the turbines. The bottom line is that they do not care about us, or any other family. They are a money driven company - to compare them to the tobacco industry is not an unfair comparison. This is exactly how I see them. They are going to convince themselves that wind energy is "good" for the environment and choose to disregard the hundreds of complainants. They will convince themselves that since there is no "proven evidence" that problems must not exist. I only hope that it does not take our government so many years and so many health issues to do something about the wind turbines as it did for them to do something about tobacco!!!

Well, that's my LONG two cents for today. We'll Chat tomorrow!

Nik

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sat. Oct 24th

I did not hear the turbines as much last night as the two previous nights, but my youngest tossed and turned so much that he fell out of bed. Later, he cried in his sleep that his hands hurt, his legs hurt...he says that a lot about his legs, especially when he wakes up in the morning... So I did not sleep well, because he did not sleep well....The good news is that the kids and I are getting a break from the turbines! We are off for a vacation so I will blog when we return!
Take care, be well,

Nik

Friday, October 23, 2009

Oct. 22/09 - Another "wintery" windy night

It is currently 1:44 am according to the clock at my computer. Why am I at my computer at 1:44 am when I have a 9am meeting you ask????....Let me tell you, After arriving home from a late meeting, I tried to get to bed and get some sleep. Unfortunately, the turbines have other plans this evening. As I tried to sleep all I could hear was the woosh, woosh - a large object pushing through the air, causing a repeptitive, loud and annoying noise. Have you ever been so tired and the neighbors dog just keeps barking and you think "just be quiet and let me sleep" - well this dog will not be quiet until the wind stops blowing!!! The annoyance coupled with the pressure in my sinus and head and the sore throat does not make sleep come easily.

I just hung up with "Matt" at the MOE spills action centre (thank you to Wind Concerns of Ontario and Victims of Wind for suggesting that action). I reported to him that for the second night in a row the turbines are very loud - he actually said that "if he has an officer in the area he will have them investigate" - Wow! That would be great...usually they come when the wind is stopped and the turbines are not moving at all....I also emailed the Kruger representative I deal with - Joseph Boland, and Michael Cookson, Manager - Wind Power Sector, Kruger Energy
Tel.: (514) 343-3226, Fax: (514) 343-3124, michael.cookson@kruger.com and
Jean Majeau,Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Communications, Kruger
Tél. : (514) 343-3213 jean.majeau@kruger.com

I let them know that they are not being very good neighbors and I would appreciate if they would turn the turbines nearest us off between 11pm and 7am so we can get some sleep. I did leave a voice mail last night, but so far, no reply....I may take the advice of the person who wrote in from last nights post and try calling the police on "my neighbors" to report the noise complaint. I actually thought of that before but wasn't sure of the rules around complaining about noise, guess I'll have to research that one a bit.

Sleep well, I am off to try again....Nik

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

October 21st - Very loud today, winter is coming!

After feeling under the weather all day and being unable to rest, I was excited to get to bed early and catch up on my sleep and feel healthy. It is now 11:19, and I am back in my office - awake! The turbines are turning so loudly that I could hear them while I sat in my living room over the television show!! In the bedroom, I could hear the woosh, woosh, woosh and the wind moving after each woosh. I could 'feel' them turning. The pressure in my ears is unbelievable! I am in the office because I am about to call (again) and file a noise complaint with the MOE - not sure it does any good, but I'll keep calling (actually, I don't call near as often as I should because getting out of bed to call just gets me more awake and more frustrated but I know it's the right thing to do).

Hope your home is quieter than mine!

Nik

11:30 - Update... I did call the spills action centre and "Matt" actually seemed like he was expecting my call. This time (and this is a first), he asked me details of the problem, asked if I had called before, and also took a minute to see if there were a large number of complaints in this area because they now have specific questions they are supposed to ask. When he asked if there was anything else he coudl do for me, I said "yes, could you please contact the Kruger wind project and have them shut down the two turbines nearest to my home". He actually said, I will check to see if we have contact information for that company and if so, I will be sure they are notified.....

That made me think - hey! I should call them so I did. I left my "neighbor" a message on the answering machine that went something like this..."Hello, this is Nikki Horton, your nieghbor calling. I am calling you because it is 11:33pm on Wednesday evening and your wind turbines are keeping me awake. I would ask that you please turn them off after 11pm so as not to disturb us. Thank you".

I am not going to hold my breath, but that is what I would do if my neighbors dog was barking, or if they were having a loud bash or whatever so why not give it a try! It is excessively disturbing tonight, and affecting my eyes as well...I actually feel like my left eye is drooping a bit and when I looked in the mirror it seemed puffy or droopy on the upper lid...very strange.

I heard on the radio that they are releasing the H1N1 flu shot. Canada Health made a statement that they continued to review the vaccine even after many other countries allowed it to be distributed to be diligent and ensure all of their questions were answered...Wonder why they don't use that same common sense with the turbines instead of inflicting them on people and then waiting to see/hear the consequences!

I am going to try to get some sleep, Good night - I hope!

Nik

Monday, October 19, 2009

October 19 - Law suit, press release

http://toronto.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20091019/windmills_lawsuit_091019/20091019/?hub=TorontoNewHome

This link will take you to the CTV website article on a law suit filed by an Ontario man that asks the Ontario government to protect people by performing proper studies and initiating proper setbacks. Good for Him!!! He certainly has our support...

Up early this morning, I walked out to our mailbox around 7:30 am and the turbines were turning so loudly that it was almost startling. We are currently in the midst of renovations to attempt to soundproof our home (at least the inside) from the noise and vibration of the turbines. I find it interesting - the comments we get from the workers who are here during the day, sometimes day after day. Many, if not all of them have commented on how loud the turbines are and how they did not realize the sound that comes from them. One of the workers who is hear every day and has been for a few weeks now was commenting on the exhaustion she is feeling at night. She said that she has felt extremely and unusually tired ever since she started working here - I believe that to be the effect of the turbines on the human body.

Our next door neighbor, who has moved in only in the last months mentioned that he felt the vibration the other day and was shocked at it. We are coming to the time where the leaves are falling off the trees. This will be the neighbors first fall/winter here. It will be interesting to see if they notice the turbines more in the upcoming months...they are a bit farther from the turbines than we are.

Today, my throat feels like I swallowed nails. We were up late into the night last evening and did not get much sleep due to a fire nearby, however, I have noticed that with the ongoing sleep problems and fatigue we feel that it only takes one night like that for us to experience symptoms of being very ill. I believe that living within proximity to these turbines is wearing on us; making our "bounce back ability" unlike healthy individuals, and more like people with an illness.

My sons rash is back and he is also waking in the morning with an opposite eye problem to ours. My husband and I wake often with such dry eyes that it is almost painful. My youngest has been waking with "water" in his eyes. He wakes up screaming because he can not open his eyes and they have "water" in them. When I go to him, I can see that the lids above his eyes are in fact puffy and appear to be filled with fluid. I wipe his eyes with a warm cloth and usually within a few minutes he is able to open them is ok. A few times, it almost seemed like the fluid actually rushed out, almost like tears. He is seeing another specialist tomorrow.

Below is a message from Wind Concerns of Ontario Group: (It doesn't matter how much! Every ten or 20 dollars donated can add up to assist. Help keep others from suffering. We are spending tens of thousands of dollars to try to fix our problem and we have no guarantees it will work! A lawsuit like this could ensure that no one else has to leave their home or spend thousands to stay in it! Nik)


This lawsuit is the biggest thing that has been undertaken by the wind opposition to date. To be clear, this affects ALL of Ontario. EVERYONE in Ontario who cares about this issue should donate to help this legal action through.

If you care at all about how this government has forced these wind turbines into our neighbourhoods, I challenge YOU to make a donation. Unfortunately, this is our last yet most powerful recourse. Together, we can make this become a reality! It doesn't matter how much! Every ten or 20 dollars donated can add up to assist. Help keep others from suffering.

To donate by credit card or paypal go to http://windconcernsontario.org and click on the donate button. Instructions for cheque payment are also listed there.

Friday, October 16, 2009

I haven't reported for a while....

Today is October 16th and I realized I have not written anything for a while....we are deep in our renovation. We are hopeful that the work we are doing will help to minimize the affects of the turbines. Due to the noise of the construction during the day, I have found the turbine noise less noticeable so I can not really say how much or how little they have been turning although it seems they have been pretty slow turning other than a couple of days here and there. I have noticed that I have been feeling extremely fatigued, and at times a bit nauseous, but other than that, pretty good all things considered. I think the fatigue is the hardest to deal with, especially with small children who do not want to have a "nap" with mom in the afternoon! My youngest has the rash again. It went almost completely away when we went camping, and then it came back with a vengeance within a few days of our return home. Luckily, I scheduled a follow up appointment just in case so he sees the pediatrician again on Tuesday. I have noticed that my teeth are extremely sore and have caught myself clenching my jaw in my sleep. I believe this is something that started with the turbines also. My oldest has also started grinding and clenching his teeth at night. I know that this can be considered as normal, but here's something interesting...we went camping again this past weekend and stayed over one night - I watched a movie in bed with my oldest next to me and noticed that he was not clenching or grinding. I also felt as though I had not clenched when I woke that morning.....
I am frustrated and upset today, and maybe that is why I thought to blog. I sent a long letter to Kruger Energy in September asking them to clarify many things about the noise report they did here. When they came to share it with me, I had asked many questions verbally but they said they did not know and would ask and get back to me. When they did not, I put those questions, and more, in writing. Yesterday, I rec'd a response from them (almost 3 weeks later). As I opened the email, I fully expected to see answers, instead, I found a response that read :

Dear Ms. Horton,
Thank you for your letter dated September 16, 2009, which we received by email on
September 24, 2009. We are currently reviewing the letter.
Also, we are currently waiting for any comments that the MOE might have on our July
30, 2009 letter and noise measurements report, as prepared by Aerocoustics, the
independent engineering firm retained for this purpose.
Please contact the undersigned if you have any questions.


I love that last line! Please contact if you have questions! I do have questions, many of them - that was the purpose of the letter! I am not sure why the MOE comments would matter, except that I suspect that if the MOE states that they are OK with the report then Kruger can simply say to me "not our problem".....the questions I asked were about the report, about information not shown, how it reads, how vague it is, what it means, what kind of assistance can we get...and a bit about the renovations we are doing and asking for any feedback they can provide on it and what types of things might help.....when we speak in person, they say that they would like to help, that they are available to work with us, but when it comes down to it, we get Nothing! I did send that letter to our city council, mayor, MPP's, MOE and others, and no one has contacted me about it....

I truly hope this extra insulation, windows, siding, roof, etc. works....I am tired of feeling tired...

I hope the rest of you are sleeping well...

Nik

Thursday, October 8, 2009

MPP Calls for halt to wind Farms until province clears health concerns

For Immediate Release

October 7, 2009

Murdoch calls for halt to wind farms

until province clears health concerns

QUEEN’S PARK – Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Murdoch will call for a province-wide moratorium on wind turbine projects when he introduces a resolution at Queen’s Park later this month.

Through his resolution, which he expects to be debated on Oct. 29, Murdoch will call on the province and its chief medical doctor to state whether or not wind turbines cause health problems for people who live near them.

Murdoch said the government has a responsibility as well as a mandate to investigate such claims – which range from sleep deprivation to heart palpitations – before moving on with wind energy projects.

The green light for future wind development should come from the province’s medical and environmental experts, including Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, as well as the ministries of health and environment, Murdoch added.

“As with any project of this magnitude, it’s expected to get some opposition,” Murdoch said in reference to the Liberal government’s green energy agenda that calls for 1,000 turbines to be erected in Ontario by 2012. “My objective here is to bring these people’s health concerns to an end. If there is no link between wind turbines and adverse health effects among people who live near them, then let the experts state that publicly for all of us to hear.”

The Liberal government moved very quickly with the Green Energy agenda. Bill 150 was passed into law within a short time, and as a result very many things got overlooked, explained Murdoch.

“In light of all these concerns, I think it would be very beneficial if the current administration at Queen’s Park cleared the air before moving on with its clean air agenda,” Murdoch said.

- 30 -

RESOLUTION

That in the Opinion of this House, the Province of Ontario must impose a moratorium on all new wind turbine projects in Ontario until such time as the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Ministry of Health and Ministry of the Environment have stated that wind turbines do not have any adverse health effects on people who live near them.

Contact:

Ana Sajfert, EA
Office of Hon. Bill Murdoch, MPP
Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound
Critic for Municipal Affairs - Rural and Northern Ontario
Rm. 451, Main Legislative Bldg, Queen's Park
Toronto, ON M7A 1A8
Tel: 416.325.6242
Fax: 416.325.6248

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sept. 29th-Thank you for the comment, and for sharing this article

Thank you for the comments on the last blog, and for sharing the article below....
(Update on our Son's Rash - It was cleared up and we got home Sunday mid day, Yesterday we noticed some "dots" on his belly and today we had to keep him home and I am trying to get him back into the Pediatricaion because he now has rash on his belly and wrists and is still on Penicillan!!!! My husband slept on and off due to noise of turbines last night, and I went to bed at 9:30, slept until 8:00 am and woke up feeling extremely tired and groggy with very dry eyes!!! I am more and more convinced every day of the negative affects the installation of wind turbines is having on the health of our communities!!!)

Article from Northumberlandtoday:

Letters to the EditorHome News Letters to the Editor Environmental considerations for wind energy Environmental considerations for wind energy
Posted By
Posted 3 hours ago


In response to the editorial "One step at a time", Sept. 24, 2009, the comments are concluded with the sentence, "Time we started dovetailing our own attitudes."

While there are many concerns about the feasibility of wind energy, and the production of it, such as health concerns, impact of bird and animal life, along with the ugliness of the towers themselves, there are three points the proponents of such a system neglect to mention

1. The European/U. S. A. experience where such systems have been in place for some time demonstrate this system of generating electricity has an efficiency factor of 10 to 20% That means that to generate 1.5 mw of power (the capacity of one turbine), there has to be at least five towers in place.

2. The wind energy companies, in those areas, have only been profitable if they are heavily subsidized. Because of these costs, Denmark, which is often cited as being a good example of using wind, has now ceased to erect new onshore facilities and withdrawn subsidies for existing sites. The companies, needless to say, have stopped developing onshore wind plants, with the resulting impact on manufacturers in the industry.

3. The impact of a tower base, with digging and blasting, can incur a hole up to 30 feet deep and 40 feet in diameter. This then has to be filled it with up to 1,250 tons of reinforced concrete. This has an impact on ground water tables and aquifers. When an aquifer is damaged, experiences here, in England and the U. S. A. have demonstrated, it does not recover. Wells in the water basin area of such a system run, and remain, dry.

In Ontario, the effect of damage to a water table was shown, in my experience, when a water pipe line was extended recently across York Region to service King City area. The line was only dug down about six feet for construction purposes, but farm wells up to 100 feet deep in the area of Vandorf, which had been in use for several generations, went dry and they have never come back into service.

Recognizing the importance of the farming industry to Northumberland, if the farm does not have access to water, what is the impact on the farm and its livestock?

For a farm, or a rural property owner, to bear the cost of digging a new well, due to the imposition of a proven faulty technology, by a government or a company, for political-or taxpayer-subsidized gain, is unacceptable.

So, yes, we must, as noted, "dovetail our own attitudes". But let us dovetail those attitudes on a fully informed basis, not only on theoretical economic benefits, and on half truths currently in the public domain by the wind energy companies, and the provincial government, but also on the full economic costs and a complete understanding of the system impact.

It is that impact that will affect us all.

Anthony White Grafton

Monday, September 28, 2009

September 28th - back from a great weekend.....but

Hello All!
I am so happy to report that my son's rash was almost completely healed by Saturday! We left for camping on Thursday afternoon after his pediatrician appointment. The appointment went extremely well as we filled the doctor in on the various symptoms he (and the rest of us) have been experiencing since the winter. We discussed how our symptoms started after the erection of the wind turbines, we discussed options and in the end we agreed on several actions for our son. I sent the doctor our blog information, and we discussed being able to get rechecked when symptoms become more severe again in the winter months. Of course, without proper information and studies, it is difficult for a doctor to diagnose the cause, however, he did state that some of what I was describing could be generated by things like low frequency noise, noise, and vibration. He further said that the slapping of the head and some of the other symptoms could be indication of headaches and now that our son is more verbal try asking him "what hurts" and see if he indicates his head, he could be getting severe headaches.....I felt very good about the appointment and the doctor's willingness to listen and consider various possibilities.....

We left for camping after that and the inflamed "rash" on my son's arms was a bit better but still quite sore and open, by Saturday morning it was almost completely gone. He had a great weekend and even had some success with potty training, something we had almost accomplished last fall and then he stopped (around the same time his general attitude changed, after the turbines). He was a happy kid this weekend, slept very well except for one night when he woke up a few times wanting to "get up and play" in the night, I could tell his energy level was way up....

My eldest son also was great on the camping trip. It was great to see them acting like themselves, smiling and having fun. My eldest slept great and did not complain of any aches or pains.

My husband and I stayed up later than we do at home, and got up about the same time and felt rested and relaxed! It was wonderful. By Friday, I felt like my old self again, and by Sunday, I felt energetic, excited, thinking about the future, motivated to do things, happy, driven to do projects at home and at work! It's a great feeling to be so optimistic and peaceful!!!

BUT,

WE arrived home on Sunday and the turbines were quite loud when I was playing outside in the yard with the kids just after dinner. They seemed to become a little quieter later in the evening, but about 1:30 in the morning, my youngest woke up complaining of the "whoosh whoosh" sound. After getting him settled, I could not fall back to sleep and it was well after 3am when I was able to sleep again. I could "feel" the turbines and could not relax to fall asleep. In the morning, I could not get up with the alarm and overslept due to the grogginess and hitting the "snooze" button. When I did get up, I was surprised by the "dry eyes" again as I did not experience that the whole time we were gone away.

My husband did not sleep at all. He said he laid awake and between the noise, the "ringing" in his ears and the "itchy rash" that had all returned in the night, he looked exhausted again. At 3am when he told me of the rash and that he was awake also, I thought about calling the Spill Action Centre to report our complaint, but I just couldn't bring myself to get out of bed and do it....I will call today, just in case it actually does any good to report it.

My youngest son complained when he woke up that his "legs" hurt, and I noticed him scratching at his inner arm where the rash had been - something I had not seen him do since we left home. My other son woke up and complained of feeling "very tired", and showed me the inner sides of his arms and said "mom, see those lines (the "wrinkles" in your inner elbow", they are hurting", he also complained of back pain again......

After this experience, I am more sure than ever that our problems are somehow related to the wind turbines. I sent a letter last week with a number of questions, and I guessed at what we thought might be the cause, but someone gave me some good advice over the weekend. He said, it is not up to you to find the solution, it is up to you to report the problems and the company should be responsible and investigate to find the cause. It is very obvious that your problems started with the erection of the wind project...whatever the cause, it needs to be found and fixed. I agree with this statement and I am confident that we are making every effort to assist with finding a cause, but I wish I felt more confident that our complaints and our health issues were being taken seriously.

As for our renovation, we are moving forward with it and are extremely hopeful that we will find some relief, at least possibly lessen the effects of the winter months. I heard from a women who can barely function in her home, she is suffering far worse than us, and has been dealing with these issues far longer than we have, to her and all of the other sufferers, We send our thoughts and truly hope that you are all able to find relief soon....

Nik