Magnificent Manitoulin or Manitoulin, land of monstrosities?

To the Expositor:

The beautiful island of Manitoulin is about to become despoiled, covered with behemoth industrial wind turbines reaching 50 stories into the air. Think about it! Fifty stories is higher than any building in Montreal or Ottawa! If Islanders think only a few of these turbines will blight their Island and they will not be affected, they should think again. Let the turbines begin and soon over 500 of these monstrosities will be stretching into the sky, twirling blades killing birds and bats, moving wild life from their habitat, affecting the health of humans and turning this island into one massive industrial development. Will the spirit of the Great Manitou choose to continue living here, or will he decamp, as many might, if this despoliation is allowed to occur? Will the magnificent island of Manitoulin become Manitoulin, Land of Monstrosities?

I have followed the debate raging on the Island for a few years now and am aware of the many pros and cons presented by each side. It seems to me that the cons, or the environmental and health concerns, far outweigh the alleged benefits of the project.

My wife and I chose to have our summer residence on Manitoulin Island because of the beauty of this Island, the healthy way in which we could live, the abundance of birds and other wildlife, and the friendly and welcoming Islanders. We were impressed by the way the people of this Island had not succumbed to the temptation of industrial and commercial developments. As such, Manitoulin remained a very inviting place for residents, both permanent and summer, as well as tourists. When we first arrived on the Island, had we seen numerous wind turbines thrusting into the sky, we can assure you we would have chosen to go elsewhere. As many will in the future should these industrial wind turbines be allowed to develop on Manitoulin Island.

How can we, the residents of Manitoulin, protect our Island from this massive industrial development? We can support the work of the people of MCSEA (Manitoulin Coalition for Safe Energy Alternatives) and Wind Concerns Ontario. We can vote out the provincial Liberals in the upcoming election. We can support the party that stops favourable rewriting of legislation for big wind, restores municipal control and democracy, and eliminates the highly subsidized handouts to industrial wind projects.

We can applaud, and emulate the work of the elders and youth of Wikwemikong for protecting their environment and culture in their stand on exploitation and industrialization that resulted in the tribal council of Wikwemikong cancelling all plans for wind turbine development. We can honour, as they did, the importance of protecting the land, the animals, the birds, the wetlands and key habitats and the residents of this Island. We can keep Manitoulin, the land of the Great Manitou, magnificent.

George Ares
Honora Bay