04/03/2012 10:13 EDT | Updated 06/03/2012 05:12 EDT

Wind power opponents take to Toronto streets; premier points to changes

TORONTO - Protesters from rural communities across Ontario gathered in Toronto today to tell cities they need to join their fight against wind farms.

A few hundred protesters — with signs decrying the health, financial and community impact of industrial wind power — also called for the ouster of Premier Dalton McGuinty because of his green-energy policies.

Listowell dairy farmer Ralph Coneybeare says the turbines make no financial sense, especially when the province could be making better use of cheaper power sources, such as hydroelectric.

He says turbines create tension between neighbours who want them and those who don't.

Sherri Lange, of the group North American Platform Against Windpower, calls the feed-in-tariff program known as FIT "an obscenity" that will lead to higher electricity rates and drive businesses from the province.

McGuinty says recent changes to Ontario's clean-energy plans should appease the critics, pointing to plans to lower premiums the province pays for future wind and solar energy projects.

He also says the province will favour projects proposed in communities that support turbines, although the government has stopped short of giving municipalities a veto over new installations.