Jul 09, 2015

Bon Echo Area Residents Against Wind Turbines (BEARAT) released the results of an online survey they conducted late last month to gauge public support for wind turbine projects in Addington Highlands.

The survey, which was set up using Survey Monkey, a popular open source service, asked residents to indicate with a simple yes or no if they support “industrial wind turbines” in the township. The identifications system used for the survey was based on the 19-digit tax roll numbers that the township uses.

After receiving 624 responses out of approximately 3700 roll numbers in the township, a vetting process was undertaken, first by BEARAT and later by Addington Highlands staff, to ensure that only one vote per AH roll number was used. BEARAT cut the number of responses to 518, and township staff further whittled down the number to 479.

Of those 479, 388 (81%) voted no, and 91 voted yes.

As Bob Haynes from BEARAT explained it, using roll numbers was the only way BEARAT knew to vet the responses in the short time frame the group had to organise, conduct, and review the results.

It does mean that a property that is occupied by five people, for example, only had one vote, and an individual who happens to own five separate properties would have the opportunity to vote five times.

“Although I would like to have had 1,500 responses,” said Haynes, “the amount we did receive and the result we received does indicate that the people who live here do not want the turbines.”

BEARAT also did not have information about which ward the votes came in from. Most of the properties in Addington Highlands are located in ward 2, which is located in south of the township, while the wind turbines are being proposed for ward 1, in the north.

The survey comes on the heels of a petition against turbines that was presented to council, and an informal door to door survey of residents in Denbigh ward from late May.

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