Ottawa investigates mysterious Windsor hum

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird's parliamentary secretary, Bob Dechert, will travel to Windsor, Ont., and Detroit on Friday to address the issue of the mysterious Windsor Hum.
Zug Island has been identified as the general area from which the hum originates. (CBC News)

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird's parliamentary secretary, Bob Dechert, was in Windsor, Ont., and Detroit on Friday to address the issue of the mysterious Windsor hum.

"The Windsor hum is having a negative effect on the day-to-day lives of Windsor residents," Baird said in a media release. "We are prepared to collaborate with stakeholders and other levels of government to identify the source of the problem so that potential mitigation measures can be designed and implemented."

Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis met with Dechert.

"We had a very good discussion. After today we’ll gather again and decide the next steps," Francis said.

The mayor said Dechert had to gather facts about potential sources and the impact and effects the hum has on Windsor residents.

Francis called the hum "an intrusion."  He praised Ottawa for getting involved.

"I’m grateful to the federal government," Francis said. "They’re taking this seriously."

Thousands of complaints have been received from Canadians disturbed by rumblings in the Windsor area. The so-called Windsor hum has affected people mainly in the city's west end, but also some in Essex County.

MP says public forced government to respond

Gary Grosse created a Facebook group about the hum. He didn't meet with Dechert but is still thrilled to see progress.

"It's huge for us. Of course, that doesn't resolve the issue, but it is a really big step in the right direction," Grosse said. "The ball's down and we got 10 yards to go, so this great momentum for us."

NDP MP Brian Masse said the community gets credit for bringing the federal government to town to talk about the hum.

A federal study suggests the Hum may originate from the U.S. side of the Detroit River, in the general area of Zug Island, an area of concentrated steel production and manufacturing in River Rouge, Mich.

The mayor of River Rouge said late last year his city doesn't have the funds to investigate further.

According to the media release, while in the area, Dechert will hold meetings with Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis and with Great Lakes stakeholders, including representatives of the Great Lakes Commission, the Council of Great Lakes Industries, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments and the Regional Office of the International Joint Commission. 

Dechert will also meet with U.S. and Michigan political officials.

The objective of the meetings is to seek advice and recommendations on possible approaches for a solution. Dechert will also tour Zug Island, which is often closed to the public.