Backbencher Rick Nicholls from Chatham-Kent-Essex is pushing a private-member bill that would give the province two years to study the issue and 10 years to eliminate it.
Nichols blames it on trying to push too much electricity through transmission lines, says some goes into the ground and can migrate to barn where it harms livestock and homes where it impacts people.
“You’ve heard the term ‘dancing cows,'” says Nicholls. “They’re start lifting their hoofs because they can feel the current, and when that happens is then the body goes into ‘oh, there’s something wrong here, we’ve got to fight it.’ Well, that then affects the quality of milk.”
Nicholls said a farming family near Drumbo told him the entire family suffers from chronic illness, as do many of his neighbours.
“I said, ‘Well take a look at a number of people on farms that are along the same line that feeds your operation,'” he says.
“He identified two, maybe three, that have come down with various forms of cancer, one in his 40s has early signs of dementia, another young teenager has come down with rheumatoid arthritis.”
Although there are no figures available to suggest an impact on the provincial economy, Nicholls has no doubt the effect has been profound, says reporter Adelle Loiselle for CKNX Radio in Wingham.
“Not only on family farming businesses, but if these farmers are going out of business, they’re not buying permits, they’re not buying building supplies, so there’s an economic impact in the communities in which they live,” he says.
The bill goes to committee next for further study.
In the 1990s, I talked with an Old Order Mennonite who farms on the border with Waterloo, and he told how his cattle suffered from tingle voltage.
The situation was diagnosed by his veterinarian who recommended a copper grounding rod. It worked, the cows resumed drinking water from their stanchion bowls and returned to health and full milk production.
But where does tingle voltage arise in a barn of an Old Order Mennonite who has not hookup to electricity? Apparently it migrated along an underground stream from a transformer hanging on a pole at the corner of his farm.