Turbines spin as part of the Enbridge Ontario Wind Power Project in Bruce Township, part of the Municipality of Kincardine, near the shores of Lake Huron.
Credits: TROY PATTERSON/KINCARDINE NEWS/QMI AGENCY
Federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq announced Tuesday that the government will assess the occupants of 2,000 homes located in wind farm areas across the country.
The study results are expected to be announced in 2014.
MPP John Gerretsen was serving as the environment minister when wind farms first appeared in the province.
"If the federal government wants to do a study... it's entirely up to them," the senior cabinet minister said Friday.
"But I think the evidence is pretty conclusive, not only here in Ontario, but elsewhere in the world as well, that, provided you have a minimum distance or setback from non-participating residents, there are no adverse health effects."
Ontario regulations call for a setback of 550 metres, which is a greater distance, Gerretsen said, than is required in Europe.
"We did a number of studies and a number of literature reviews as well, experiences elsewhere in the world, and came to the conclusion, as did the medical officer of health of the province of Ontario, who did a very extensive study as well, that there are no health effects," he said.
"There may be nuisance factors, (and) there may be the fact that some people don't like the looks of them."
A recent Conference Board of Canada report forecast that
the growth of the green energy sector has stalled after the provincial government lowered the prices paid through its feed-in tariff program, or FIT, which was designed to encourage investment in the sector.
"I think lowering the FITs is the right thing to do," Gerretsen said.
Gerretsen said the lower prices reflect the falling costs of green energy equipment such as solar panels.
"All of these technologies, there is growth and withdrawals from it for a certain period of time," he offered, "but it's all heading in the right direction."