"The health and well-being of the people of Ontario should be first priority when developing renewable energy projects," said Thompson in a press release. "The McGuinty Liberals have failed to listen to rural Ontario, and have forged ahead placing industrial wind turbines in communities that are not willing hosts, without knowing the health and environmental implications."
While a private member’s bill called the Local Municipal Democracy Act was defeated last Thursday, Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson says she isn’t going to give up.
“We’re going back to the drawing board. We’re going to keep working away and we hope to reintroduce it,” she said last week during a phone interview.
The private member’s bill proposed giving back some control over the location of industrial wind turbines to the local municipalities involved.
While all Conservative MPPs present supported the bill, which sought to amend the Green Energy Act to give planning control back to local municipalities over industrial wind farms, it was defeated by a vote of 45 to 32.
“We’re very disappointed that the Liberals and NDP don’t think enough of their local municipalities to give their voice back to them. The NDP were not whipped on the vote and there were folks absent for the vote,” said Thompson the day after the bill was defeated.
Thompson spoke to the provincial legislature about an industrial wind turbine, approved before the Green Energy Act was passed, that is going up in Port Elgin less than 150 metres from local homes and the protest in that community against the project.
She also spoke about the village of Zurich, which she said will be landlocked by two proposed industrial wind projects in the area.
“Why shouldn’t a municipality be able to retain the authority they had before the Green Energy Act?” she said, adding that she and her colleagues tried to explain how important local planning authority is for municipalities.
“I receive emails daily from citizens from my riding of Huron–Bruce – some of them are here today – who are concerned that the McGuinty Liberals and the Green Energy Act have left them without a voice,” she said in the Legislature during the debate on Dec. 1.
“We’re going to try and increase the awareness of the severity of the issue,” she said. “And, we want to find out why it’s not being supported by the other parties. There’s some middle ground here and we can develop some common parameters.”
Thompson said she hoped to reintroduce the bill, which “may not be exactly the same bill” sometime in February.
In the meantime, she, last Friday, tabled a motion in the House asking for a moratorium on all further industrial wind development until a third-party health and environmental study has been completed.
“The health and well-being of the people of Ontario should be first priority when developing renewable energy projects,” said Thompson in a press release. “The McGuinty Liberals have failed to listen to rural Ontario, and have forged ahead placing industrial wind turbines in communities that are not willing hosts, without knowing the health and environmental implications.”
Thompson said there is inconsistency in the Liberal government’s willingness to discontinue a plan to erect hundreds of offshore wind turbines across Ontario, citing health and environmental concerns but fail to extend the same moratorium to wind turbine projects built on land.
“The suggestion that offshore turbines are a problem, and that turbines on land are not, is a slap in the face to rural Ontario,” said Thompson in the press release. “If the McGuinty Liberals truly believed there were health and environmental concerns with industrial wind turbines, they should extend the moratorium to on land wind projects until a proper health and environmental study can be completed.”
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