The Mitchell Advocate
The McGuinty government must start treating local residents and municipalities with respect when it comes to industrial wind farm development proposals. Last week, Perth-Wellington MPP Randy Pettapiece delivered that message in the Ontario legislature.
“As MPPs, we must never forget one of our most important responsibilities, and that is to speak up for those who believe that the government is not listening to their voices and is ignoring their concerns,” said Pettapiece in a press release Dec. 1.
Pettapiece spoke in favour of the Local Municipality Democracy Act, introduced by Progressive Conservative MPP Todd Smith (Prince Edward-Hastings).
“I’m told that no fewer than 80 municipal councils have passed resolutions, motions or bylaws regarding industrial wind turbine development and the Green Energy Act,” Pettapiece. Among those municipalities are the townships of Mapleton and Wellington North, the municipalities of North Perth and West Perth and the County of Wellington.
“If the [Liberal] government were to really listen to these municipalities, there would be no good reason for them to oppose this bill,” said Pettapiece.
But the Liberal MPPs did oppose the bill, joining with the NDP to vote down the PC legislation by a vote of 45 to 32. That bill would have restored the municipal planning authority that the McGuinty government stripped away with its Green Energy Act.
Currently, if the provincial government approves an industrial wind farm, the affected municipality has no way to stop it.
“I’m extremely disappointed that the Liberals have essentially told municipalities that their views don’t count,” said Pettapiece following the vote.