By Jenn Watt, Halburton County Echo
Local MPP Laurie Scott gained some traction with her support of a private members’ bill to give municipalities authority over green energy projects. Introduced by MPP Todd Smith of Prince Edward Hastings, the bill tackled the Green Energy Act, which is blamed for allowing controversial wind turbines to be erected without enough public consultation.
“The Green Energy Act took the power away from the municipalities in any of these decisions, which are planning decisions,” Scott said in an interview with the paper.
On Dec. 1, the Liberals and NDP voted against the bill, while PCs voted in favour.
If the bill had been implemented, the local government would be given jurisdiction over wind turbines and other alternative energy sources such as solar panels.
Controversy in the southern end of the riding over wind turbine projects is credited for losing votes for former Liberal MPP Rick Johnson in the October general election.
“[The municipality] would be in control of it. Right now they have no say and these wind turbines are popping up in people’s backyards,” she said.
Following the bill’s defeat, Scott issued a press release saying she was disappointed with the outcome.
“This bill would have amended the Green Energy Act, 2009, to permit the concerns of local residents to be taken into account by their municipal governments. When the residents of Liberal-held ridings in Scarborough objected to a proposed Wind Turbine project for Lake Ontario, the McGuinty government listened and killed the project. Obviously the voices from rural Ontario aren’t being heard in the Premier’s Office,” her release states.