Prince Edward-Hastings MPP Todd Smith wrote the Minister of Environment this week to denounce the ministry’s practices throughout the appeals process – regarding the Dec. 20 ministry notice of granting Environmental Bill of Rights approval to the Gilead power nine wind turbine project planned for the south shore.
“The conduct of your ministry in doing so [ignoring PEC council] has been both deplorable and unprofessional.” Smith said in his letter. “You announced the approval prior to a 15-day consultation period which included two weekends and three statutory holidays during which government offices would not be opened. When my office contacted your ministry to inquire about having the closed office days factored into the appeals period, we received no response from ministry staff.”
Smith said the seven closed office days during the appeals period effectively cut the time that County officials and residents actually had to launch an appeal in half.
Earlier this week PEC councilllors decided against launchin an appeal due to the expense and small chance of success. Smith took issue with the appeals process as well as the timeline that had been given to the County.
“In addition, the council of the County of Prince Edward has made a complaint that they believe that the appeals process will force them to incur an onerous cost to the municipality and that your ministry has to stack the appeals rules in favour of the developers, the chance of success for the municipality…would be remote.” Smith said.
“All this forces me to ask whether your ministry has an interest in actually representing Ontarians or rather only in green lighting projects for certain energy firms in pursuit of an energy scheme which has wreaked havoc on the grid and on ratepayers?” Smith charged in the letter.