Rural communities not blown away by changes to Ontario’s Green Energy Act

DSCN1776Scott Stinson, Financial Post
If the idea behind Thursday’s changes to the Feed-in-Tariff program, the lynchpin of Ontario’s Green Energy Act, was to mollify the rural communities that rebelled against the Liberals in the last election, well then let’s look at now the news was received in the hinterlands.

“I just don’t know if it’s going to be very good for us,” a Middlesex county warden told the London Free Press. “There’s not a lot of credibility here,” one activist told the Sarnia Observer. “Truly, did they change direction, or did they just put a new spin on it?” Then there’s the mayor of Wainfleet, telling the St. Catharines Standard: “We knew it wasn’t going to be ideal, but I thought we were going to be able to take away something from this,” she said. “From what I’m hearing, we’ll get nothing.”

The skepticism is easy to understand. The changes announced by Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli, which will put a significant emphasis on approving only projects that have local support, would have been warmly received in the hundreds of communities that have fought the installation of wind turbines had they been brought in in the early days of the Green Energy Act. After the act was implemented in 2009, residents discovered that local objections to new developments were largely ignored as the McGuinty government dove headlong into a green energy future. As it stands, Thursday’s changes do nothing to alter the situation in the many communities that have protested wind-farm plans, where the developer already has a contract in place. So, as places from Norfolk County to Grey-Bruce to Prince Edward County line up to pass municipal resolutions that they are “unwilling hosts” to wind turbine developments, the Liberals are essentially saying that, although they admit that the turbine-siting process was flawed and unfair from the start, they won’t be going so far as to undo the mistakes already made. Read article

11 thoughts on “Rural communities not blown away by changes to Ontario’s Green Energy Act

  1. “hinterland” definition: a remote and undeveloped area. Synonyms: back country, backcountry, backland, backwoods [plural], boondocks [plural], boonies…
    Maybe it’s BECAUSE we’re hayseeds that we are so quick to recognize BS.

  2. All the talk in the world, does not do one bit of good without veto power. That Liberal B.S.was a waste of time. Now let’s demand some decent setbacks for the remaining contracts…or was part of the contract an offering of rural residents for sacrifice to the Wind weasels. If they have to follow strict rules surrounding health, and the environment, it will not hurt their contracts, only improve them. If they refuse…contracts are null and void.

  3. Let’s say – you were ‘energy minister’ –
    and, admitted you didn’t understand your ‘energy portfolio’
    then your boss – saved your butt
    by giving you – the finance portfolio

    Suzy Kolbassa aka
    ‘[excerpt] Dwight Duncan, who was energy minister at the time the contracts were awarded for Oakville and Mississauga, told a Toronto business audience this week that, despite the drubbing the Liberals have taken over those files, and the apologies and the absolutions, “the big problem I think we still have is the western GTA doesn’t have enough power.”

    Yeah – let’s hold on to – Suzy Kolbassa’s – every word

  4. The province said, up yours. You are going to get them regardless of public opinion of rural objections. The rural vote caries no weight compared to the total GTA vote, Ottawa urban vote, London urban vote, Hamilton urban vote.
    Progressive inner city voters don’t care if you can’t sleep, you lose land value, or you become ill from large Wind Turbines.
    In fact, you can submit massive evidence supporting your claims and thus far some local Family Doctor with most likely personal investments in Green Energy Wind Turbines makes a public statement trumping hundreds of Studies clearly showing otherwise health issues with people living adjacent to Large Wind Turbines worldwide.
    It’s such a scam!

  5. “It boggles the mind. Just how much can Liberals suck? They seem to have infinite sucking power. Just when you think they are af full suck, and surely running at the maximum amount of suck allowable by the immutable laws of the universe, they surprise us all by sucking harder.
    Very impressive, guys. Quite a legacy!”

  6. Thank you Scott for explaining the latest spin on IWT development so succinctly.
    Hopefully many people will read it.

    Unfortunately there is a boat load of $$$$$$$ to be made, and it seems that the more money there is to be made, the more difficulty people seem to have in understanding why this new scheme doesn’t do diddly squat for rural Ontario.

  7. If, as Kathleen Wynne now admits, the airshed in the Oakville, Mississauga areas was already overtaxed, and introducing the pollution from the new gas plants would impose a health risk on nearby residents, then why did we have to pay the developers off for a project that, in Premiere Wynne’s words, lacked due diligence?

    Is this why McGuinty insisted it was a “political” decision to cancel the gas plants? in order that the developer would get compensated?

    • I thought Ms. Wynne – ‘admitted’ it was a political decision.
      And, Mr. McGuinty – testified – he did it for the children.

      Whereas, the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) – working with your tax dollars
      hired a $600.00 per hour law firm – to help them keep their ‘story straight’
      – before appearing before the committee.

      And, the Conservatives said – they would boot the OPA out – on their butts.

      • Didn’t I hear Kathy say somewhere (was it Steve Paikin’s Agenda?) something like, “there were some reports that were available that we should have considered…”

        Today, I think I’ll wear black…

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