Mr. Tim Hudak: The question is to the Minister of Energy. In a speech to the Rural Ontario Municipal Asso-ciation yesterday, Premier McGuinty sadly missed his chance to show respect to Ontario families and Ontario municipal leaders by restoring the local decision-making abilities that he stripped away under the Green Energy Act.
I’m speaking at ROMA this afternoon. When it comes to your industrial wind farms forced on unwilling com-munities, I want to report back to the municipal leaders. Do you share the Premier’s view that mayors and wardens who stand up for local residents are nothing more than a bunch of NIMBYs?
Hon. Brad Duguid: First off, the renewable energy process that these projects go through makes it absolutely mandatory for municipalities and communities to be fully consulted. That obligation is a condition of approval.
But I do appreciate the fact that the ROMA/OGRA conference is going on today. The Leader of the Oppo-sition is trying to masquerade himself as a friend of mu-nicipalities, but they remember. They remember his role in a cabinet that downloaded on municipalities shame-lessly. They’ll never forget the damage that you did to their communities. I hope in your speech later today that you come clean with municipal leaders and apologize for the role you played in supporting the largest download in the history of this province. Apologize to those leaders today when you get them—
The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): I’d just say to the honourable members on the opposition side that I’m sure your leader would like to hear the answer so that could be part of his response, and don’t shout him down.
Mr. Tim Hudak: Sadly, Premier McGuinty has changed, and you’ve changed, too, Minister. After eight years in office, you’ve simply lost touch with what’s happening in communities across our province.
Before he was first elected in 2003, Premier McGuinty said he would consult municipalities about policies that affect them, but then he used his Green Energy Act to strip away their local powers. And to throw salt in the wound, when it comes to industrial wind farms, he now calls them a bunch of NIMBYs. You see them as a bunch of NIMBYs; I see them as leaders standing up for local families in the riding who are forced to pay your bills.
Minister, will you do the right thing? Will you restore the local decision-making authority when it comes to the industrial wind farms that you’re forcing into unwilling communities from corner to corner to corner across our great province?
The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Members will please come to order. Government members, please don’t encourage the opposition.
Hon. Brad Duguid: Once again, ROMA and OGRA are holding their conference today, and it’s quite obvious that the Leader of the Opposition thinks he can pull one over on them by masquerading as a friend of munici-palities. No matter how hard this Leader of the Oppo-sition tries, he can run from his past, but he can’t hide.
The Leader of the Opposition sat in the cabinet that downloaded costs to municipalities for public health, Ontario Works, ODSP, social housing, land ambulances, the Ontario drug plan, roads and highways, and court security. The result was the largest download in the history of this province, making our communities all but unsustainable. Then he paid them the ultimate disrespect by forcing unwanted amalgamations on those very same municipalities.
When you get the chance to speak to those municipal leaders today, apologize—
The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Thank you. Final supplementary?
Mr. Tim Hudak: Premier McGuinty has changed—
The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Stop the clock for a second. Minister of Agriculture.
Members, we have a number of guests here today who want to hear question period. The Speaker wants to hear the questions and the answers and is finding it extremely difficult with some of the noise from both sides of the House. Please continue.
Mr. Tim Hudak: Premier McGuinty has changed, and more and more people are catching on to that fact, Minister. Some 75 municipalities and counting have now passed resolutions objecting to your policy of enforcing industrial wind farms into these communities—75 municipalities and counting—but you believe that you know best. We side with the locally elected officials and the people that they represent who want to see a morator-ium in our province.
Here’s the kicker: Premier McGuinty has put in a Liberal seat-saver program. He exempted your riding in Scarborough from having these projects forced upon it. You have one rule for Liberal cabinet ministers and another rule for everywhere
Mrs. Joyce Savoline: My question is to the Minister of Energy. Minister, 75 communities and counting pro-posed resolutions objecting to the Premier’s industrial wind turbines being forced on them. Since Premier Mc-Guinty missed his opportunity to tell local decision-makers that he would restore the power stripped away by the Green Energy Act, will you?
Hon. Brad Duguid: We’ve responded to this question many times, but I think what is of interest is that, frankly, when we think of when that party is going to come out with their plan, their caucus is in a total, absolute state of confusion.
Let me go over this with you, Mr. Speaker: The member for Simcoe–Grey said back in October, “We’re close to putting out our platform.” The member for Thornhill said—
The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Stop the clock.
Minister of Economic Development. Minister of Community Safety. Attorney General, focus on the floor, not the media gallery, please. Member from Renfrew. Member from Durham, and Renfrew again.
Hon. Brad Duguid: As I was saying, it’s a total state of confusion over there. The member for Simcoe–Grey said in October, “We’re close to putting out a party platform.” Then the member for Thornhill said sometime in early 2011. Well, it’s early 2011 and nothing.
The member for Nepean–Carleton said, “Our platform will be coming out in March.” Guess what? It’s March. They’re still not sharing their plan. Then the member for Lanark said, “I guess I’ll let it out of the bag. We’ll be launching our platform in April.”
They don’t want to let families know what their plans are, but their leader doesn’t even want to let his own caucus know what their plans are.
The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Supplementary?
Mrs. Joyce Savoline: Well, it’s obvious that the min-ister doesn’t have an answer or will not answer the ques-tion.
Minister, here are some of the municipalities that propose resolutions objecting to the Premier forcing his industrial wind turbines: the townships of Adelaide Met-calfe, Warwick, Dawn-Euphemia and North Middlesex, Huron-Kinloss, Bruce county and Huron East, Asphodel-Norwood and Cavan-Monaghan, Kawartha Lakes, North Perth, Mapleton and Wellington North, Ajax and Picker-ing, Brantford and Prince Edward County. Their Liberal MPPs did not stand up to the Premier and neither have you, so I will. When will the Premier dump his industrial turbines on them against their objections? Or is it some-thing you only do in PC ridings?
Hon. Brad Duguid: Those members get up and dump on wind power and those kinds of things when they’re here, but when they are in their own ridings they’re join-ing me when we’re announcing renewable energy jobs right across this province, whether we’re in Windsor announcing 700 jobs; Tilsonburg, 900 jobs; Don Mills, at Celestica, 300 jobs; Satcom, in the member’s own riding where she joined me in announcing 300 jobs; Fort Erie, 225 jobs; 500 jobs in Guelph; 100 jobs in Mississauga; 50 to 60 jobs in Woodbridge; 500 jobs in London; 150 jobs in Cambridge; 200 jobs in Oakville; 300 jobs in Hamilton; 200 jobs in Mississauga; 100 jobs in—I could go on; 60 jobs in Sault Ste. Marie. We’re creating jobs right across this province.