Tory MPP to Introduce Bill to Restore Local Control

Todd Smith, MPP

Queen’s Park – (November 25, 2011) Laurie Scott, the MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock is pleased to support a private member’s bill being introduced on December 1, 2011 by fellow PC Member, Todd Smith, from Prince Edward Hastings. Mr. Smith’s bill, The Local Municipality Democracy Act, 2011, is aimed at restoring the municipal power to draft and enforce by-laws to protect their interests with regard to green energy projects, such as wind turbines.  When the Green Energy Act was introduced in 2009, it ran roughshod over the traditional rights and responsibilities of municipalities to pass by-laws, by stating that municipal by-law restrictions did not apply to renewable energy projects, sources or test projects.

Ms. Scott stated that with this Private Member’s Bill, not only will local municipalities benefit, but local citizens will as well, by having more decisions made at a local level.  There are renewable energy projects planned for many ridings acrossOntario, including Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, which have generated significant discussion and concern.  If enacted, this bill would give local decision-makes much more control in how or whether these projects proceed.

In supporting Mr. Smith’s bill, Laurie Scott said “Since the introduction of the Green Energy Act, the McGuinty government has denied Municipalities the right to reflect the concerns and needs of their communities with regard to very significant projects”. 

Ms. Scott went on to say, “Across the province, 79 municipalities have passed resolutions demanding that the McGuinty government restore local control. These include the City of Kawartha Lakes and the Township of Cavan-Monaghan. However the premier has once again ignored them.  Provincial and municipal constituents and taxpayers are one and the same and we should treat them like a partner and not as an obstacle.” 

18 thoughts on “Tory MPP to Introduce Bill to Restore Local Control

  1. I believe Dalton has a say in which bills make it through……. he will do everything in his power not to let this one pass .
    We need more public reaction to these problems not quite like Greece but we need to make the governments know what we want not what they want.
    Thank you Todd Smith

    • I see nothing wrong with people having the right to protect their families health , quality of life and all they worked. They would be walking out of court if I was on the jury. Our issues mirror Portugal and Greece. Their energy policy has taken them down. No mention of that though is there?
      Fact is McGuinty is Ignoring what we want…..now what?
      The Greeks have every right to do what they are doing and reacting the way they are. It is their money , their government , their country …and they have been cheated. They are not stupid , they are bailing out the people that caused this mess , while those people get even richer , the Greeks who paid for the bailouts and enormous subsidies are seeing their social system collapse because of the IMF. and WB.

  2. Well, if he has a minority government, and I believe he does,, it will be up to the other parties to stand together and make sure he doesn’t get his way by outvoting him. . VERY important for everyone to stand together on this !!! IF this bill doesn’t pass, it’s equally important to keep pecking away at the fiberals until they get the drift, at least until the next election. where I’m confident they’ll be on the outside looking in, once and for all, IMHO..

  3. No thank you Todd Smith. Handing over decision making to municipalities will not be the least bit effective without the proper checks and balances, no matter what good intentions or bylaws are in place. The provincial planning policy directs OMB hearings to rule in favour of wind companies and that’s what they did before the GEA. The Green Energy Act simply skips over that step. Municipalities never, never had any say to begin with thanks to the province. If we give municipalities these proposed pseudo powers, we just go back to being taken to the OMB before wind turbines are rammed in. Ask people in Grand Valley, Kincardine and even Port Elgin; CAW, how that one works.

    Even if TRUE decision making power was returned to municipalities, I would sure as hell hate to be living in one of the townships that has council members signed up to host turbines or ignorant municipal members who see only the bribe money aka community benefit fund rather than the threat to people living there. We need to be safe in our own homes; ALL of us need to be safe in our own homes including the oblivious who continue to sign up for this travesty and including people who have done the research but who live in townships like the ones mentioned above.

    As Dr. McMurtry asked nearly 4 years ago, do the proper study to show us where turbines can be
    sited safely. When that day comes, you won’t find many, if any, turbines in Ontario. And BRAVO to that.

    • I was going to write something longer on this, but, Lorrie has said it well. You do need something like the GEA or a “Fixed” GEA.

      There has to be a set of minimum standards. You cannot count on local councils having the technical expertise to evaluate so-called “Green Energy” proposals. That expertise does not come cheap — or even well educated it seems, based on current standards.

      You need minimum standards first. (And no 500Meters setback for industrial wind turbines is not sufficient) Proper minimum standards would probably mean no IWT installations anywhere in Southern Ontario — the population density is too high.

      Having Local Control with no minimum standards would mean more ultra-useless wind installations like Wolfe Island. Wolfe Island could probably win an award for the most useless/pointless installation in the world.

  4. A MP who actually keeps his word, take note Liberals! Well done Todd, you will get my vote again.

  5. Does anyone have a link to the text of the proposed bill?

    Also I agree with Lorrie & David, there need to be standards and a process as well as municipal and resident support. One of the things that is infuriating about the process at moment is the smirk on the faces of the proponents when they ‘consult’ with you at an open house. They know it is all just an exercise in PR and that nothing you say or do, no matter how many facts you present, or even that the entire municipality is against the project matters. If the developers were required to acquire the approval of the municipality and a majority of the people that attended their open houses in order to stand a chance of getting their REA as well as being required to meet minimum standards and have their project pass an independent third party substantive and thorough environmental review, I could at least console myself that stupid as it was at least it was democracy, as opposed to crony capitalism, in action.

  6. Special Note!
    Treat as an Emergency!
    Push for –
    1st – 2nd and 3rd reading – all in the same day!

    With a strong bill – you can do it!

    [excerpt] Laurie Scott, the MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock is pleased to support a private member’s bill being introduced on December 1, 2011 by fellow PC Member, Todd Smith, from Prince Edward Hastings.

    p.s. yes, please post the bill in advance!

  7. You cannot hand this power over to county or municpal.
    I mean you need a council left standing ..if you will.
    It is too easy to buy off CAOs , council members etc…not saying all council and all CAOs are corrupt , but ..it is too easy to entice at these levels given the enormous profits
    It must be a community based referendum. Let the people who live in the communities that will have to deal with the consequences make that decision. Failing that it will only be a matter of time no one will run for council..

  8. Maybe Democracy can be restored in Ontario. We will see.
    Marc, Kingston/Amherst Island

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