February 08, 2012
Robert Knox Letter to the Editor
Here's the original article.
In his recent opinion piece, our MPP, Jim Wilson, says the Green Energy Act is dividing Ontario. It isn't. People divide communities not legislation, particularly if the legislation provides opportunities for people to provide input, to object to submissions and to appeal decisions, as is the case with the Green Energy Act.
Mr. Wilson, who is an experienced, knowledgeable, and principled legislator knows this is so. Mr. Wilson also knows that municipalities never had the authority to decide where turbines and solar panels can go, anymore than they can establish their own building codes, ignore provincial public health and education regulation, or determine policies for electrical generation and distribution.
Municipalities can decide where hot dog stands go, but a hot dog stand is not part of a provincial wide electrical system. Even hot dog stands have to respect clear municipal bylaws approved by the appropriate provincially established authority and impartially applied, provincial health regulations, provincial building codes and provincial commercial rules.
Most of Ontario's operational wind projects were approved before the Green Energy Act was in place. Municipalities participated in their development by applying Provincial rules, overseen by Provincial regulators including the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, the Ministry of Energy, the Ontario Energy Board and Hydro One Networks Inc.
What's changed? Nothing, except now we have clear and consistent province-wide rules and oversight and approval processes for renewable energy projects.
Wind opponents who use misinformation and disrupt legitimate community consultations divide communities. Stigmatizing foreign owned developers divides communities.
And here's the reference to the original Jim Wilson opinion piece.