Wind turbine protest to block major Ontario highway
OPP warns tickets are possible if protest is deemed a safety risk on Highway 402
Opponents of rural wind farms in Ontario plan to block traffic on major provincial highway Saturday.
Organizers are urging protesters to slow traffic to a crawl on Highway 402, east of Sarnia.
They want to get the attention of Premier Kathleen Wynne. They claim she is ignoring health and property value concerns allegedly caused by wind turbines.
Organizer Muriel Allingham hopes to see hundreds turn out for the procession of tractors and farm machinery.
The website for Ontario Wind Resistance is promoting the rally, called Ontario is Not a Willing Host Rally.
"Ensure that your vehicle is capable of travelling at 20 km/hr," the site reads.
Allingham said police are cooperating.
"We have been working with the OPP liaison team to make sure this is a safe and enjoyable rally for everybody," Allingham said.
Even though the police have contacted, OPP spokesperson Sgt. Dave Rektor said blocking traffic is dangerous and illegal and will be treated as such.
"We'll have to take the necessary steps to make sure that everybody's safety is considered," he said.
Rektor said that means laying charges at the scene or mailing tickets later.
"If anybody's injured or hurt as a result of their actions, they may be held legally responsible and civilly responsible," Rektor warned.
The rally begins at at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Forest on ramp and runs for 20 km, ending at a soccer field in Strathroy.
There will be speeches from three MPPs, all of them elected PCs representing rural ridings.
According to Windsor Resistance Ontario, the province now has 64 municipalities that have told the province they are "not a willing host" of wind turbines.
"They're rural community residents who see what's happening in rural Ontario, and are fighting to save the community from industrialization," Allingham said.