Rural mayors like PC wind policy

by CATHY DOBSON, Sarnia Observer

Lambton’s rural leaders say they hope Tim Hudak is as good as his word.  The Progressive Conservative leader and Sarnia-Lambton MPP Bob Bailey issued a joint statement Thursday promising to restore decision-making authority on wind turbines to the local level if elected this fall.  The Liberal government’s 2009 Green Energy Act allows wind farms to bypass the municipal planning process and is a thorn in the side of many rural mayors.

At a recent meeting with Hudak and Bailey in Toronto, members of the Rural Ontario Municipal Association asked what a PC government would do about municipal authority on wind and solar power projects.

“I guess we forced their hand because now they’ve promised they’ll give the power back to the municipalities,” said Plympton-Wyoming Mayor Lonny Napper. “It’s exactly what everybody wanted.”

With at least two wind farm proposals pending in his municipality, Napper said his council wants to make the ultimate decision, not leave it up to provincial authority.

“Right now we have no control whatsoever,” Napper said. “I can’t think of anything else where they’ve come down and taken control like this. It’s fundamentally wrong. Any time a municipality loses power over its own affairs it’s a big deal.

“Pretty soon all we’ll be doing is selling dog tags.”

He credited Hudak for listening to the mayors, calling Thursday’s announcement welcome news.

Local constituents regularly complain to Bailey about wind turbines being built near their homes, according to a written statement released by his office.

“Recently, one mother told me that she felt she had no choice, no guarantee and no voice in regards to a wind turbine slated to be built to tower over her property.

“I think the premier is completely out of touch on this issue,” said Bailey. “I believe that the people of Sarnia-Lambton know best when it comes to making decisions regarding our communities, not bureaucrats in downtown Toronto offices.”

Dawn-Euphemia Mayor Bill Bilton, who also met with Hudak, said time will tell if the PC leader keeps his word.

“Sometimes it’s just election talk, but I think (Hudak’s comments) bear some weight. We’ll have to see.”

All Ontario’s mayors are watching the issue because they are concerned about the erosion of their power, Bilton said.

“It’s a slippery slope. When the province passed the Green Energy Act, it took the heat off of us but I don’t know if that’s a good thing.”

Meanwhile, on Thursday a panel of judges dismissed a challenge to a regulation in the Green Energy Act that requires turbines be set back at least 550 metres from homes.

The court found Ontario’s Environment Minister had followed proper process in determining the set back.

28 thoughts on “Rural mayors like PC wind policy

  1. Most municipal politicians should be limited to selling dog tags.

  2. Now Mr.Hudak needs to answer two questions:

    Are all IWT installations in Ontrio going to be stopped? Yes or no

    Is the entire Green Energy Act going to be repealed? Yes or no

  3. Didn’t Ontario believe Dalton when he made promises?………………look where that got us………………Hudak has to understand “once bitten, twice shy” or in our experience “bitten hundred of times we are scared to death of Politician’s and their promises!”

    It’s become so bad that even if Hudak promised on a Bible nobody would believe him 100%!

    That’s the damage that Dalton has caused in Ontario………now we have no faith in anyone no matter how truthful they are!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. OMG, what a waste of time? What is the point of a tribunal which was supposed to be based on Industrial Wind Turbines being distant enough for human habitation, not based on whether the “wisdom of the Minister” is present. This is not an Ouija board game. We know the facts.
    People, gear up for a demonstration. We need tractors on the 400 series highway, we need the cottage folk out to represent their rights, we need proud Ontario citizens who are willing to protect their neighbours and wildlife.
    Or kiss our Land and Province good-bye. McGuinty owns this.
    Ontario is yours to Discover or watch waste away.

  5. Class 1 agricultural land is less than one half of one percent of Canada’s total land mass. Almost 18 % of that has been absorbed by the cities since 1971 . ( Statistc Canada ) One would think the rest would be very valuable.
    Syngenta’s ( crop and pesticide company ) pegs the remaining Class one land at under 4/10 of 1 %. Heard that for myself at a crop meeting yesterday.
    Since this government could care less about protecting that resource , I have a suggestion .
    Legislate that the cities have to make any and all land available ( undeveloped land ) within their city limits to put turbines on.
    Service the remaining land in between and sell off the lots for house construction. Since windmills are a thing of beauty and cause no health problems , ( LOL ), these lots would command a huge premium.
    The city gets money from the turbine leases, sells the lots a huge profit. Since mansions would be built on these desirable scenic lots , tax revenue would see a huge increase.
    WIN, WIN, all the way around.
    After reading the ruling on the court case today, I would love to nail McGuinty’s bag to a tall tree stump and push him off backwards.
    Just my rant for the day.

  6. Most municipal politicians should be limited to selling dog tags.

    Can they even do that?
    Delegate.

  7. In fairness there are a number of municipal politicians who have taken a firm stand against the industrial wind turbines in their communities. I suspect that those citizens who favour turbines or are on the fence about them will eventually thank them for that, however the council is not the issue. We need to be worried about appeals to the OMB – Council can turn down developments until they are blue in the face but the developers will appeal to the OMB where developers almost always succeed, even if the small rural municipalities have the financial resources to fight them. Hudak needs to get rid of the tariffs/subsidies and amend the regulations with respect to the minimum set back or better yet just scrap the act altogether.

  8. Hudak also has to get rid of the OMB!…………or at the very least fire all those on it and re-hire a new crop after being properly vetted…………….This whole Provincial network of agencies and Boards are so intertwined with one common cause “protect McGuinty’s decisions”, that there is no venue for appeal processes, fair hearings or even legal presentations anymore as the above will prove!

    We can trust nobody with any type of authority anymore as it is being abused at all levels of Government!…..we only have each other now Folks!………….it’s called “People Power” and it scares the hell out politicians!!!!!

  9. The OMB has always resided in the pockets of developers whether wind in rural Ontario or highrise in the City, no matter what political party is in power

  10. “Didn`t Ontario beleive Dipstick Dalton when he made promises?, look where that got us…..once bitten, twice shy”. Well yes Quixote,
    but anyone who beleived McGuilty the second time, deserved what they (WE) got. But we are all paying the price, for their gullability.
    Please don`t blame all politicians for Exclusively Liberal LIES. Voters
    should have known better!!! It couldn`t have been more obvious.
    However, I know what saying,& your right, unfortunately, all pols.,get blamed, for the corruption of the others.For now, Hudac
    still looks like the best choice.For sure, McGuiltys` got to go. Wouldn`t you agree???

  11. Mark Bell (Wind Turbine Company Executive Extrordinaire…):

    Most municipal politicians should be limited to selling dog tags.

    So I take it that was your little gloat. You feel you won the war and now want to shove it down peoples throats?

    Your policy of snickering at opponents you perceive to have lost should work — for now…

    Just remember that the people whose backs you step on on the way up have a habit of repaying your courtesy on the way down.

  12. David, good detective work.

    I can only give Mr. Bell credit for using his real name instead of an alias.

    Maybe Mr Bell’s remarks need to be sent to all the municipal politicians so all these “hicks from the stix” know what the Wind Industry really thinks of them.
    Maybe some of the wind loving mayors and fence sitting councillors will see things in a different light …

  13. Whoa David, carefull now.Are you sure this fella is an IWT, company executive ? Otherwise, that`s a pretty low life, scum sucking,Lying,Theiving,Corporate Welfare Bumming,Piece of Poo,
    Greedy,Anti-Ontario,Pot Licker of a thing to call someone, if you
    know what I mean. And I certainly don`t mean to offend him myself!…..not

  14. Time to march at Queens Park as a united fund.
    All groups..in a lawful respectful manner.
    With signs and Small banners.
    No yelling , no speeches , no tying up traffic , all police friendly.
    Just a huge rally to draw media.
    The signs could say

    Stolen Democracy…Destroyed lives

  15. Oh Mark Bell, You will rue the day you couldn’t resist opening your big mouth and insulting municipal leaders! A memo of your words and who you are and what company you represent will be sent to every municipality in Ontario. You just lit the match that will burn your industry to the ground.

    Thank you David, I think you are about to slay Goliath!

    I can hear those keyboards now!

  16. We should give Mark Bell the benefit of the doubt. Afterall, perhaps Mr. Bell hasn’t completely finished reading CanWEA’s “Best Practice Guidelines” for dealing with communities, etc.

    Give Mark Bell the benefit of the doubt…NOT!

    Another of the wind energy proponents shows his true disdain and disregard for the communities and our elected municipal officials with his “Most municipal politicians should be limited to selling dog tags.”

    Well Mark, one should be careful around dogs, sometimes they turn around and bite you in the a$$.

    Chances are the feedback from your snippy comment will do just that!

  17. Dear Mr. Solomon,

    I was shocked and infuriated this morning while reading posts on the windconcernsontarion.org web site.

    An article titled “Rural mayors like PC wind policy”

    The first poster by the name of Mark Bell wrote: ” Most municipal politicians should be limited to selling dog tags.” 03/03/2011 at 20:57.

    ( this was in reference to the green Energy Act that stripped power power from our municipalities )

    Turns out this Mark Bell is the Director of a privately owned wind company of the name Invenergy Wind LLC

    They have an office in the GTA Mark Bell, Director (905) 857-6936

    Here is a link to their company:

    http/ca.linkedin.com/pub/dir/MARK/BELL

    I would think that most municipal politicians would be shocked and insulted that the companies they have been forced to open their doors to have such a low and insulting opinion of them and that a remark by an executive of such a large company would stoop so low. I can’t help but wonder what would happen in most rural communities if this remark were to be made public.

    Yours truly,

  18. To my local municipality….
    “…. made public.

    Yours truly,”

    David Libby

  19. If any of you had ever attended Essex Council meetings last term, you would have agreed with Mark Bell. The big city scammers really did a number on our “good old country boys” Took’em to the cleaners and got thanked.

  20. It’s time for the PCs to declare no more IWTs in Ontario and the Green Energy Act will be repealed.

    Anthing else is just “stringing” Ontarians along to get their votes! Play the delay game til it’s too late to make political changes.

  21. Thank you for the detective work Melodie. I have already sent your post to our useless Liberal MPP Rick Johnson and also to our local council here in Manvers. I will also write to our local paper editors.

  22. Good for you Andrew. But it was not me who did the detective work ..it was David Robinson that provided the link. He is brilliant. Then Moe told me that this Mark Bell left Invenergy a year ago. Wish we could find out what company his working for now.
    When we got through with him He would be selling dog tags instead of bullsh1t!

  23. AH he left… I must hunt…

    I am off to PDAC this week — but I will keep looking.

    Mark Bell: We want to debate you. How do we find you. 😉

    Come out, come out, wherever you are…

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