November 29, 2011

MPP lauds party’s proposed Green Energy Act changes

The Lindsay Post, 29 November 2011

TORONTO -Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock MPP Laurie Scott is supporting colleague Todd Smith’s private members bill to give municipalities a greater say on green energy, including industrial wind turbines.

Smith’s bill, The Local Municipality Democracy Act, 2011, is aimed at restoring municipal power to draft and enforce by-laws to protect their interests.

“When the Green Energy Act was introduced in 2009, it ran roughshod over the traditional rights and responsibilities of municipalities to pass bylaws, by stating that municipal by-law restrictions did not apply to renewable energy projects, sources or test projects,” Smith has said.

Scott said with this bill, local municipalities and citizens will benefit by having more decisions made at a local level.

There are renewable energy projects planned for many ridings across Ontario, including Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes- Brock, which have generated significant discussion and concern, including wind turbines in the former Manvers Township.

“If enacted, this bill would give local decision-makers much more control in how or whether these projects proceed,” Scott said in a press release.

Scott added: “Since the introduction of the Green Energy Act, the McGuinty government has denied municipalities the right to reflect the concerns and needs of their communities with regard to very significant projects.

“Across the province, 79 municipalities have passed resolutions demanding that the McGuinty government restore local control. These include the City of Kawartha Lakes and the Township of Cavan- Monaghan. However the premier has once again ignored them. Provincial and municipal constituents and taxpayers are one and the same and we should treat them like a partner and not as an obstacle.”

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