Town of Plympton-Wyoming delegates met with several Ontario ministers at the 2011 Rural Ontario Municipal Association/Ontario Good Roads Association (ROMA/OGRA) combined conference, held recently in Toronto.
At one meeting, Environment Minister John Wilkinson said decision-making powers regarding wind turbines is and will remain with his ministry because his ministry has enforcement powers to regulate wind turbines.
Wilkinson confirmed that while the Liberal government will not restore local decision making powers regarding wind turbines back to municipalities, the government requires wind turbine proponents to consult with municipalities and give them a chance to comment on the project.
Wilkinson assured Plympton-Wyoming Mayor Lonny Napper, Councillors Ben Dekker, Netty McEwen, Ron Schenk, Bob Woolvett, and Muriel Wright, and CAO Kyle Pratt that, if municipal comments have merit, his ministry will take these comments into account prior to approving a wind turbine project.
Progressive Conservative Party Leader Tim Hudak told town delegates his party, if elected, would restore local decision-making on wind turbines back to the local level.
Napper told the Petrolia Topic the town had 15 minutes with each minister and parliamentary assistant.
“Nobody said no (with the exception of the wind turbine issue). They do listen and the meetings were encouraging and pretty much what we expected,” said Napper. He added meetings like that have borne success for his municipality in the past.
Napper is disappointed the province won’t give back the power to municipalities on wind turbines. Such grassroots decision-making is a “good idea,” he said.