Ontario PC Bill Will Restore Local Decision Making on Industrial Wind Farms

Picture 0 for Ontario PC Bill Will Restore Local Decision Making on Industrial Wind FarmsWritten by: Ontario PC Party
Tim Hudak and the Ontario PC Caucus took action this week to give planning authority back to local governments to give them and local residents a say in what happens in their own neighbourhoods.  In 2009, Dalton McGuinty stripped those powers away, which cleared the way for the installation of massive industrial wind turbines like those planned for West Lincoln, Wainfleet and Haldimand County.

Todd Smith, Ontario PC MPP for Prince Edward-Hastings, introduced a private member’s bill – The Local Municipality Democracy Act – that, if passed, would restore municipal planning authority taken away by Dalton McGuinty’s Green Energy Act. Despite strenuous objections from families and municipal councils, Dalton McGuinty continues to plough ahead with sprawling industrial wind farms without their approval. This Bill would ensure local families’ concerns are no longer ignored.

Tim Hudak and the Ontario PC Caucus have long advocated that local governments, businesses and families know what’s best for their community. Hudak will vote for The Local Municipality Democracy Act when it comes up for debate on Thursday, December 1.

QUOTES:

“To me, it makes no sense that local governments and families have the power to say where a hot dog stand or Walmart goes in their neighbourhood but not industrial wind turbines that are built over hundreds of acres. We want to restore the local decision making powers that were stripped away by Dalton McGuinty. This Bill will do it.”
–Tim Hudak, Ontario PC Leader

“No piece of legislation in Dalton McGuinty’s tenure has done more to divide Ontarians than the Green Energy Act. In the two years the Act has been law, it has pitted neighbour against neighbour, urban against rural, and municipal governments against their provincial counterpart.”
–Todd Smith, MPP Prince Edward-Hastings

“We applaud and support the actions of Todd Smith, MPP for Prince Edward-Hastings, and his Private Members Bill to restore local democratic rights to municipal governments to regulate renewable energy projects as previously stripped under the Green Energy Act. We believe that any person or party who fails to support this action fails also to honour and support the true Canadian democratic tradition of local governance.”
–Neil Switzer, Chairman, West Lincoln Glanbrook Wind Action Group

QUICK FACTS:

  • There are currently two wind turbine projects planned for West Lincoln and Wainfleet, including the Niagara Region Wind Corporation plan to install 77 turbines between the two municipalities. It is being referred to as the largest wind farm in all of Canada.
  • The Green Energy Act, 2009 removed all local control over renewable energy projects. This has allowed industrial wind farms – the height of 40-storey buildings – to be placed in communities across the province without the approval of local councils or residents.
  • To date, 79 municipalities across Ontario – including West Lincoln, Wainfleet and Hamilton – have passed resolutions calling for the restoration of local municipal powers, or passed moratoriums on wind farm projects in their communities.

12 thoughts on “Ontario PC Bill Will Restore Local Decision Making on Industrial Wind Farms

  1. It will be great for municipalities who have mayors that won’t sell them out. Ours made an ad for Samsung and took money “vibrancy fund,” from the rest of the developers. The taxpayers must have a say, not municipal councils. Pat in Haldimand

  2. I agree Pat. While it is a step in the right direction, just leaving it up to municipal councils scares me too. Many are not equipped to deal with situations such as this. How will they weigh their decisions – or will it end up being rural vs. landowners or those who are concerned for their health and welfare vs. $$$$$? Legislation of some sort will need to accompany this Bill. I certainly don’t have confidence in Haldimand to be able to deal with this. Most of the Councillors have voted in favor of various issues to do with IWT’s and have signed on to the “Bribrancy Fund” merely months after signing a moratorium resolution. And as Pat said, the Mayor even appeared in a Samsung ad.

    We NEED a moratorium on IWT’s for this province until all of the issues are worked out. This would include: Health, Noise, Vibrations, AM, Wildlife, who will control where the turbines go, how would the placement of turbines be determined, etc.

    • It has been pointed out many times before that leaving major decisions such as IWT installations to local councils could be very dangerous. I couldn’t agree more.

      However, this Private Members Bill should at least get the issue more airplay on MSM and serve to buy us more time until better legislation can be (hopefully) implimented.

    • The issue is to stop the installation of IWTs in rural Ontario and not to decide where they will do the least harm. Some people are giving the present governent and the wind developers the impression that IWTs are ok if just properly placed.
      No matter where IWTs are placed they will cost people big dollars and cause damage to the environment.

  3. Before the GEA municipalities didn’t appear to have the power to make signifigant changes to a wind developers proposal on things such as setback distances much beyond 400m or total turbine numbers that would’nt have led them a losing OMB hearing. They were stuck with the Provincial Planning statements ,the MOE noise guidelines and the developers lawyers. Even if the councilors weren’t already “conflicted” lease holders it was a difficult situation.
    I have to agree with Petra that without a moratorium, more research and tools for municipalities we’ll have acheived nothing useful. We need more expertise and good guidance as to what local gov’t can really be expected to do. If we just toss it back now in most cases we’ll be no better off.

  4. Who should make decisions like this? That is a really tough question.

    Some areas do have councils that put people first, others do not. I would certainly not want a decision like this in the hands of the Mayor ot Toronto.

  5. Sorry guys…I don”t see this as a tough decision at all. Local control over what happens in your town is an absolute no- brainer. the fact that municipalities have to fight for what should be an absolute democratic right is unbelieveable to me. No central government should have that much power. local decision makers..people who live in the town, grew up there, raised their families there are infinetely more equipped to decide what is best. They have the most at stake.
    Some bureaucrat living in Toronto cannot possibly do what is proper. Take a look at the CAW wind turbine being built in Saugeen Shores. An absolute travesty of justice and democracy .
    And we pay taxes for this???
    .

    • Please see my response in the thread ” Runciman calls for a moratorium”.

  6. it is a start. thanks Tim. i votd conservative for the first time and i am happy to say looks like he is at least trying

  7. ok Johana I read your bit.
    Mistakes have been made and more are coming to be sure. Engineering creates these things and health science plays catch up. ever thus.
    But I believe in democracy. and what we have in Ontario right now on this issue is not democratic.
    You’ve known this longer than i have. I’m sensitized by what is going on in Saugeen shores where I will be directly affected. where my friends will be more so.
    We have unaccountable bureaucrats making decisions that have far reaching effects and for which they are not accountable. We have people in downtown Toronto making decisions about areas of the province they know nothing about.
    I’ll take my chances in small town ontario with the people i see on the street.

  8. Thanks for that thoughtful response.

    Sorry I can’t take any more time on this site.

    I HAVE to get away for ~ 6 or 8 hours just to keep my neurons as healthy as I can.

    Hopefully we’ll meet again to pursue this issue of DEMOCRACY; I’d like that.

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