Wind power policy
By John O’Toole/The Scugog Standard
The McGuinty government had a great opportunity last week to reverse its previous approach and allow meaningful public consultations on its wind power policy. Unfortunately, they keep insisting ‘Big government knows best.’ Using their majority, the McGuinty government voted down a two-part resolution that called for:
1. A moratorium on all wind farm projects pending an independent comprehensive study of health and environmental impacts of industrial wind farms.
2. Restoring the planning authority governing wind farms to local municipalities.
Democratically elected local councils and staff are the best judge of what developments should be permitted in their own communities. The McGuinty government must stop trampling on the rights of municipalities and give them the final say over whether or not they host industrial wind farms. Sadly, there are many government MPPs who were essentially ordered not to break ranks or vote according to the wishes of their citizens on the question of wind farms.
It is this failure to listen to the advice and input of citizens and MPPs that caused the McGuinty government to flip-flop on its controversial sex education policy last month. This government’s failure to consult also meant cancellation of a review of the new healthcare bureaucracy, the Local Health Integration Networks (LHINS). It has led to the Harmonized Sales Tax and the dispute with Ontario’s pharmacists.
This government had a great opportunity to develop a plan for wind power that is fair to everyone, but they blew it!
Clarington is the site of two proposed industrial wind farms, according to an April 8 announcement from the McGuinty government on new energy projects. It is my understanding that the two different proponents of these wind projects have not spoken with the mayor or municipal planning department. I would like to thank the local residents who have taken the time to speak with me on this subject.
In addition to the lack of consultation on wind turbines in general, the information provided by the government in announcing 184 new projects can best be described as minimal.
What communities need is more details such as: the exact location of wind farms; estimated value of the development; the number of units; setbacks from neighbouring properties; location of power lines and roadways; value of building permits; number of jobs created; and more.
I will continue to press for information because it is our right to know the size and location of these proposals. I welcome your comments. I can be reached at 905-697-1501 or 1-800-661-2433 and by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.