Wilson Introduces Legislation to Restore Local Control over Wind and Solar Projects

(February 20, 2013) Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson took to the floor of the Ontario Legislature today to introduce a new bill entitled Restoring Planning Powers to Municipalities Act, 2013. The legislation is part of Wilson’s continued effort to give municipalities back the authority to decide what renewable energy projects are built within their communities, if any.

“One example of the urgency of this bill, is WPD Canada’s Fairview Wind Project that consists of eight turbines in Clearview Township on a flight path of the Collingwood Airport,” said Wilson.  “Given the Premier recently visited the area and has been briefed on the ridiculousness of putting industrial turbines as tall as the TD tower near an airport, I trust that the government will take the bill seriously and move to bring it into law.”
Wilson’s bill aims to amend the Planning Act reversing previous amendments made by the Green Energy Act in 2009 that exempt renewable energy undertakings from the municipal process.  If enacted, the bill will restore municipal planning powers and allow local leaders to make decisions that they have traditionally been allowed to make.

“Prior to the passage of the Liberal’s Green Energy Act, these decisions have always been left up to local councils because they know best and understand the communities they serve,” said Wilson. “It’s absolutely ridiculous that unelected bureaucrats in office towers are making decisions for municipal leaders in regards to the fate of projects in our rural backyards,”

Since 2010, Wilson and the Ontario PC Party have been calling for a moratorium on industrial wind energy projects until third party health and environmental studies have been done.  They have also committed to scrapping the feed-in tariff program that is increasing hydro bills by rewarding often foreign energy developers up to fifteen times the average price of hydro to produce power no matter if it is needed or not.

“Since 2009 the Liberal government has ignored vast local opposition to building massive industrial wind and solar farms throughout my riding,” said Wilson. “It is a smack in the face to rural Ontarians.”

29 thoughts on “Wilson Introduces Legislation to Restore Local Control over Wind and Solar Projects

  1. I hope this is worded in such a way that wind energy can’t over rule the councils one by one. I fear individual councils lack funds to defend their by- laws in court.
    It’s the Green Energy Act that needs to be scrapped.

    • This would all be over — and we could all go back to living regular lives–?
      if some examples of negligence were recognized.
      Who are the “nontrivial percentage” that government-expert Brian Howe said would be harmed by wind turbines? (“Wynne’s List”?)

      Does anybody else see any problems with the “PC” idea that municipalities should take on the burden responsibility for policing negligent fraudsters?

      Mike Crawley is laughing all the way to the bank!
      Withdraw! hahahahahah

    • “No accountability in Ashley Smith’s death, mom testifies”

      “One has to ask one’s self how many families could actually get the attention of the prime minister to get correctional service to back off and to finally start answering questions,” Falconer said. “It’s not just been difficult losing their daughter, it’s been the process since 2007 of starting to get answers.

      With files from The Canadian Press

      • Four guards at the Nova Institution for Women in Truro, N.S., had brought Ashley into the interview room, her mother recounted. She was in handcuffs, shackles and dressed in a security gown aimed at preventing suicides. Her hair looked dirty.

        Ashley had difficulty seeing out of it an injured eye – damage apparently from choking herself by tying ligatures around her neck. “When you come home, we’ll take you to an optometrist,” Ms. Smith told her daughter.

        Ms. Smith, 65, of Moncton, who travelled extensively to visit her daughter, said she never knew about Ashley’s self-harming behaviour or lengthy segregation stints…

        “Ashley was transferred 17 times in an 11-and-a-half month period,” Falconer said. “It was literally, as Coralee described it, chasing a moving target in terms of seeing her daughter.”

    • “Coralee looked through her fence and saw two people getting out of a van at the end of her driveway. They were volunteers with the correctional service’s chaplaincy.

      “They asked me, ‘Are you Ashley Smith’s mom?’ And I said yes. They said ‘I’m sorry to have to tell you she passed away,’” Coralee told coroner’s counsel Marg Creal.”

    • A distraught Ms. Smith called Eric Broadbent, a correctional manager at the prison where Ashley died.

      Mr. Boradbent, who once promised Ms. Smith he would take good care of Ashley, was among managers who later berated guards for going into her cell to remove ligatures from her neck.

      Outside coroner’s court, Ms. Smith read a brief statement.

      She said she had come volutarily to testify, and challenged Don Head, commissioner of Correctional Service of Canada, and others in charge to do likewise. “There are many more Ashleys out there,” Ms. Smith said.

  2. This is encouraging – an MPP actually taking a stand to defend a community against what I consider an illegal invasion of human welfare. Perhaps Tim Hudak will support this initiative.

  3. Why should rural Ontarians be walked all over by QP and wind developers and continue to pay their property taxes?

  4. All this really means is that we are back to where we were before the GEA was enacted.
    What happened then is that the wind companies take the municipality to the OMB and we have another version of an ERT that we cannot win as most municipalities cannot afford an OMB hearing.

    • “Clarington mayor wary about promise on wind farm input”
      durhamregion dot com
      by Jennifer O’Meara
      Feb 23, 2013

      “The issue is these things are being imposed on a community. If they give us the power to do the same thing, I’m not sure it’s anything different… Nothing changes,” said Mayor Foster.

      “We get a little bit nervous when the Province says ‘OK, you do it.’ Do we jump out of the frying pan and into the fire?” Mayor Foster said that more control would be nice for municipalities.

      However, he worries that it will land local governments in hot water — saying no to wind farm developers because the project is not right for a community but without the scientific expertise on staff to back up the decision if taken to court.

      “We end up in court spending thousands of taxpayers’ dollars for something we can’t win,” said Mayor Foster. “It puts us between a rock and a hard place.”

      • We should be asking:
        Is Mayor Foster in his right mind,
        or, am I asking the wrong question?


      • The mayor has brought up some important points as this could shift the burden onto local towns to prove negative effects. Right now individuals have to prove negative effects. The GEA has to be done away with and the FIT programs along with it.
        Remove the money and the developers will go away.

      • Hey Barbara,

        Just exactly – what is he saying?
        ‘[excerpt] “The issue is these things are being imposed on a community. If they give us the power to do the same thing, I’m not sure it’s anything different… Nothing changes,” said Mayor Foster.’

        See? Mind Cramp…………..

      • The way this is set up now individuals have to prove negative effects but the developers don’t have to prove anything. It’s like being presumed to be guilty before a trial takes place instead of the other way around.
        There are many countries in the world where you have to prove you are not guilty and the government dosen’t have to prove anything. This is not new and it took a very long time to get to the point where people were presumed innocent until proven otherwise.
        This is an underlying issue here that is making people very angry.

      • Not only has this been done but people are told just which issues they can object to and which issues they can’t object to.
        But these actions were deemed necessary to force IWTs onto Ontarians. Then covered these actions up by telling people that planet earth can to be saved by IWTs.

  5. Everyone seems to forget, that the municipalities gave up the right to have a say on sighting “green” energy when the GEA was being introduced. Having a say now will do nothing for those areas that have turbine already plaguing their landscape and harming rural residents. I wish the focus could be shifted onto revealing the scam that is wind energy where the output of taxpayer $$$ has never been substantiated as a good thing for Ontario, reduces GHG emissions, provide “green” jobs without atrophying jobs in other sectors or replace the need for fossil fuel generation. Yhis has never happened for wind (or solar). energy.

    • Agreed! The Ontario production data is available for the wind scam but not for the solar scam. Production data is available for the UK and now for the US to backup the Ontario wind data. The data sets all agree that wind dosen’t work.

      • And this data needs to be organized so that MPPs can use it and done in way so that the public can understand the data.
        Project for techies who know how to do this?
        When people are suffering the ill effects from IWTs this has come first as it should. But now is also the time to move on other IWT issues prior to the next election.

  6. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2013/02/21/ontario-legislature-more-gas-plants-documents.html

    Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak said he wanted to express his “extreme disappointment … that after only three days in this house this kind of trick, this kind of tactic, shows how much this government looks like the Dalton McGuinty government.”

    The NDP leader then suggested the latest identification of new documents was part of “an ongoing process of obfuscation of the facts by this government.”
    The speaker then asked Horwath to withdraw her remark, which she did.
    “Speaker, the bottom line is this:

    Wynne said it was “unfortunate” that not all of the documents had been released before this, but the remainder “are coming forward and that’s as it should be.”

  7. “Slip-up forces second swearing-in for Ontario’s Wynne”
    Feb 22, 2013

    The premier’s office confirmed to CBC News on Friday that Wynne had to be sworn in a second time three days later to officially add “food” to her portfolio.
    News of the swearing-in slip-up comes one day after Wynne’s Liberals took a pounding in the legislature over the release of dozens of new documents about the cancellation of gas plants in Liberal-held ridings ahead of the 2011 election.

    “Only now, over a week later, have we discovered Wynne was sworn in again secretly to cover up the fact that she forgot food,” said PC agriculture critic Ernie Hardeman in a news release. “Instead of confessing that she had made a mistake and explaining why she eliminated the food portion of the ministry, Wynne tried to hide the truth.”

    In January, U.S. President Barack Obama had to be sworn in twice because the constitution mandates the president be sworn in on Jan. 20. That fell on a Sunday this year and historically, presidential inaugurations are not held on Sundays because courts and other public institutions are not open.
    As a result, Obama was officially sworn in one day ahead of the ceremonial swearing in at the Capitol.

    The premier’s office issued a statement stating that Wynne “recognizes the importance of the food sector to Ontario’s economy.”

  8. Can the non-recyclable carbon-fibre blades that we are “producing” now in our agricultural areas really be considered “FOOD”?

  9. Wynne and Food – who needs ‘parliamentary approval’ – anyway
    when we can just have a
    ‘food conversation’ – three bags full!

    ‘[excerpt] Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne had to be sworn in a second time after the word “food” was mistakenly omitted from her cabinet portfolio as minister of agriculture.

    Wynne was sworn in as premier on Feb. 11 on the same day she also took over over the agriculture portfolio. During the official swearing-in ceremony, Wynne was sworn as “premier and president of the council and Minister of Agriculture of the province of Ontario.”’

  10. “De-watering” at Wolfe Island and Ostrander Point

    “Wind farms will create more carbon dioxide, say scientists”
    www telegraph dot co.uk/earth/energy/windpower/9889882/Wind-farms-will-create-more-carbon-dioxide-say-scientists.html
    by Andrew Gilligan
    February 23, 2013

    Wind farms, and the miles of new roads and tracks needed to service them, damage or destroy the peat and cause significant loss of carbon to the atmosphere, where it contributes to climate change.

    Dr Nayak told The Telegraph: “Our full paper is not yet published, but we should definitely be worried about this. If the peatland is already degraded, there is no problem. But if it is in good condition, we should avoid it.”

    The wind industry insists that it increasingly builds “floating roads,” where rock is piled on a textile surface without disturbing the peat underneath.
    But Mr Lindsay said: “Peat has less solids in it than milk. The roads inevitably sink, that then causes huge areas of peatland to dry out and the carbon is released.”

    “The Scottish government cannot realise their plans for wind farms without allowing the ruination of peat bogs, so they are trying to brush this problem under the carpet.
    “This is just another way in which wind power is a scam. It couldn’t exist without subsidy. It is driving industry out of Britain and driving people into fuel poverty.”

    Helen McDade, from the John Muir Trust, which campaigns to protect wild land, said: “Much of the cheap land being targeted by developers desperate to cash in on wind farm subsidies is peatland in remote wild land areas of the UK.

    The wind industry insisted that the impact of properly managed wind farms on peat and carbon emissions was minimal. Niall Stuart, director of Scottish Renewables, a trade association, said that damaged peatland could be restored in as little as a year.
    He said the association had signed a “statement of good practice principles” with environmental groups promising that “every reasonable effort” will be made to avoid “significant adverse environmental effects” on peatland, including “properly planned and managed habitat restoration”.
    Jennifer Webber, a spokesman for RenewableUK, the industry lobbying group, said: “Wind farms continue to be an important tool in decarbonisation and energy independence, with actual measurements showing wind displacing gas from the system. This is why they retain support from environmental organisations.”

    • The only reasons environmental groups support decarbonisation to make a good living off from this fraud and they get to control people’s lives.

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