I can’t vote for our local Liberal candidate for two main reasons and I know for some people these won’t even be on their radar. I take issue with his stance on local wind turbine development and his stance on the Green Energy Act (GEA). When any other industry wants to build or operate a business in a municipality, the residents have the right to have their concerns about pollution, noise, health etc. heard and addressed. However, in the case of wind turbines, we have a government that has taken away the rights of municipalities and citizens to object to such developments.
Many of our local municipalities have passed resolutions asking the Liberal government for a moratorium on industrial turbine development. In fact our local Liberal candidate supported such resolutions at both the municipal and county level but has now flip-flopped and turned a deaf ear to these appeals in order to tow the Liberal party line.
His view on the Green Energy Act is that it may need some ‘tweaking’ but is vague on any details He has also stated he is against giving back any planning controls to municipalities. He doesn’t believe they have the resources to deal with these large multi-national corporations with deep pockets and perhaps he’s right. What he fails to do is to propose altering the GEA in any substantial way in order to arm municipalities and citizens with the resources and tools needed to deal with these corporations.
One case in point: citizens concerns over ‘green’ developments on local property values. Time and time again opponents to turbines have asked the Liberal government and corporations to guarantee property values only to be called NIMBYs and dismissed. Even the staff of our government MPAC agency rejected outright a claim to reduce taxes for a home situated within 450 meters from two industrial turbines in Bruce County as they considered the value comparable to other homes in the area.
In contrast to this stance, any home in Denmark within 6 times the overall tip height of a turbine (900 meters for most) is entitled to a free impartial assessment and any property value devaluation of over 1% has to be paid by the developer before the turbine is built. Homes at sites further than 6 times the tip height can apply and pay a fee of about $750 Canadian for a property value assessment which is refunded if the assessor determines that the property value has been adversely impacted by greater than 1%. The GEA has been hastily constructed has been tampered more than once for political reasons and truly does need a major overhaul to serve the best interest of Ontario.
I’m afraid if our local Liberal candidate hasn’t listened to our local municipalities, our local constituents and even our local health authority on this issue, he won’t represent our interests at Queen’s Park.
John Glover, Municipality of Meaford