Anytime a government rams through legislation containing sweeping new rules governing large industrial projects and limits debate on the matter and ignores legitimate concerns from the public – our democracy is threatened.
Yet, people across Ontario have witnessed the current provincial government implement draconian new laws that take away public rights and grant massive taxpayer funded subsidies to big industry interested in producing new forms of energy.
The government’s excuse for why all of this is necessary: the new energy being produced is considered “green.”
We’re referring to the Green Energy Act that was recently adopted by the provincial government, with very limited debate. The passing of the Act led to calls last week from MPP Bill Murdoch and Medical Officer of Health Dr. Hazel Lynn to put a moratorium on such projects until all health concerns are researched.
The first question we have is: what exactly is “green” energy?
At this point, we have never heard an adequate explanation for what that term means.
From our standpoint it appears as if the province defines “green” energy as any means of producing energy that is different from the tried and true methods of burning fossil fuels (oil, natural gas and coal) or using nuclear fission.
However, even if we were to hear an adequate definition of “green” energy we still believe the production of energy – regardless of whether it is considered “green” or not – is an industrial use and should be located in the appropriate places.
If our society, through its planning policies would not allow the a coal generating plant in a residential area – either rural or urban – then we question why a so-called “green” facility shouldn’t be required to follow the same rules.
We doubt that this Act is about the government stepping up to save our natural environment. Instead, this Act is about giving government handouts to big industry provided they use the money to generate “green” power. In turn, the Premier of this province can stand up before environmental conferences in exotic international locales and brag about what he has done to combat “climate change” with his “Green Energy Act.”
The flaws with this new Act are many, but we believe two of the most troubling aspects are the complete lack of government response to health concerns and riding roughshod over the local planning process.
Down the road, that could cost us all a lot more than we could ever imagine or guess.