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Wilson’s bill would return local control to green energy projects

Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson has introduced private members legislation that seeks to return planning authority to municipal governments as it relates to renewable energy projects proposed in their communities.

Mr. Wilson’s bill, entitled Restoring Planning Powers to Municipalities Act, 2013, would amend the Green Energy Act, 2009, that exempted projects like wind and solar farms from municipal controls, and return those approvals back to local councils.

“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,” he is quoted in a press release issued this morning. “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.”

Mr. Wilson, House Leader of the PC Party, said they have been calling for a moratorium on industrial wind farm expansion since 2010, until further environmental and health impact studies are done.

“These decisions have always been left up to local councils because they know best and understand the communities they serve. 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,” he said. “Since 2009 the Liberal government has ignored vast local opposition to building massive industrial wind and solar farms throughout my riding. It is a smack in the face to rural Ontarians.”