Wind farm threatens serenity of Buddhist retreat development in Ontario, Canada

A Chinese Buddhist association in Bethany, Ontario, is expressing shock at the provincial government’s approval of a large-turbine wind farm adjacent to their property, on which construction is already under way for a $40 million meditation retreat and pilgrimage project. The local journal This Week spoke with the Buddhist Association of Canada’s Diane Chen, who is also special projects manager for developing the Cham Shan temple: “She said the Buddhists’ concerns about wind turbines are the negative impact on people trying to meditate, along with possible health hazards.” She also claimed that while the government had assured the association of ongoing dialogue about possible relocation of the turbines, the actual decision was handed down at the end of the legislative session, when the relevant association members were out of the country. Concerned that the wind farm will dry up donations, they intend to file an appeal.

The association ultimately intends to recreate temple sites from China’s four sacred mountains. At a potential final cost of $100 million, the Four Mountains project is being promoted as “a bridge between Canada and China.” Although content is absent from many of the Cham Shan temple’s web pages, this report gives a sense of the lofty ambitions for the Four Mountains project.