Ms. Lisa M. Thompson: I’m pleased to have the opportunity to speak today about an issue that is important to my constituents and, actually, people across the province.
My office has been receiving many calls in recent months from people who are trying to obtain information about the milestone date for commercial operation for renewable energy projects in their communities. This information used to be easily available online, but it has since been removed. People are trying to find this information, and they are running into difficulty. This is true, as I said, not only in my riding but across the province of Ontario.
Raymond Beaudry of Manitoulin Island, for example, has been trying for months to get information regarding the commercial operating dates regarding wind projects in his community. Mr. Beaudry went as far as filing a freedom-of-information-act request for these details. The Ontario Power Authority responded, first, that “It has been determined that the disclosure of the responsive records may affect the interests of a third party.” What about the interests of the individuals and the communities impacted by industrial wind turbines? Don’t they count?
Secondly, they went on to say—“they” being the OPA—that they are consulting a third party and will provide a decision by March 25, 2014.
We look forward to that response on that date.
But really, they should not have to file a freedom-of-information-act request in order to get the information they deserve. People still have a right to know whether renewable energy projects in their communities are on schedule, and they have the right to know the status of the contracts that are in place. This information is being hidden from people across the province. This isn’t fair.