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Bill backs municipalities  

Credit:  Stayner Sun | by Trina Berlo | February 21, 2013 | www.simcoe.com ~~

Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson introduced a bill in the Legislature yesterday with the goal of restoring decision-making power to municipal governments facing renewable energy projects.

“One example of the urgency of this bill, is WPD Canada’s Fairview Wind Project that consists of eight turbines in Clearview Township on a flight path of the Collingwood Airport,” said Wilson. “Given the Premier recently visited the area and has been briefed on the ridiculousness of putting industrial turbines as tall as the TD tower near an airport, I trust that the government will take the bill seriously and move to bring it into law.”

The bill is entitled Restoring Planning Powers to Municipalities Act 2013.

Wilson’s bill aims to amend the Planning Act, reversing previous amendments made by the Green Energy Act in 2009, exempting renewable energy undertakings from the municipal process.

The bill would restore municipal planning powers and allow local leaders to make decisions that they have traditionally been allowed to make.

“Prior to the passage of the Liberal’s Green Energy Act, these decisions have always been left up to local councils because they know best and understand the communities they serve,” said Wilson. “It’s absolutely ridiculous that unelected bureaucrats in office towers are making decisions for municipal leaders in regards to the fate of projects in our rural backyards.”

The bill is unlikely to pass as Wilson sits in opposition.

Since 2010, Wilson and the Ontario PC Party have been calling for a moratorium on industrial wind energy projects until third party health and environmental studies have been done.

They have also committed to scrapping the feed-in tariff program that is increasing hydro bills by rewarding often foreign energy developers up to 15 times the average price of hydro to produce power no matter if it is needed or not.

“Since 2009 the Liberal government has ignored vast local opposition to building massive industrial wind and solar farms throughout my riding,” said Wilson. “It is a smack in the face to rural Ontarians.”

Source:  Stayner Sun | by Trina Berlo | February 21, 2013 | www.simcoe.com

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