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PCs pledge to restore local democracy on wind development

Concerned citizens and local councillors made their way to the campaign office of the Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound PC candidate Bill Walker on Tuesday to hear about his party’s stance on the future of wind energy in Ontario.

The keynote speaker was the Progressive Conservative environment critic and Haldimand-Nofolk MPP Toby Barrett.

Barrett told the crowd the PCs would immediately move to place a moratorium on new wind turbine development and freeze new wind energy contracts, which are driving up the cost of electricity. He also said the PCs would honour all existing contracts, if they’re elected this October.

The Green Energy Act, passed by the Liberal government two years ago, has turned out to be the most divisive policy for rural Ontario, said local PC candidate Bill Walker, who has been knocking on doors for a few weeks.

His party has pledged to restore municipalities’ decision-making authority on green energy development.

“These decisions have to be made by local authorities, not Queen’s Park,” Walker said. “We’re united in our belief that the dissension that has hit rural Ontario has to stop.”

Walker also questioned why the governing Liberals are rushing through billion-dollar green energy contracts at a time when the province is producing a surplus of energy.

Retiring MPP Bill Murdoch was the first member at Queen’s Park to introduce a moratorium on new wind development, but his resolution was quickly quashed by the Liberal majority.

“I think people will stand up on October 6 and vote to put a stop to this idea that everything has to be run from Toronto, and I believe they’ll be united in their call for a return to local and sensible solutions,” said Murdoch.

MPP Barrett said he was pleased to visit the riding and discuss the PC’s fix for the contentious Green Energy Act.

“Bill Walker’s handling of the contentious wind energy meeting reinforced the fact that he’s eminently qualified to carry on the legacy of Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound at Queen’s Park,” said Barrett.