Green Energy Act will trash democratic rights

Regional News: Grant Church - Letter To The Editor - March 17, 2009

Dear Editor,

The Green Energy Act will trash many of our environmental and democratic rights with a change in the jurisdiction granting approval for green energy projects. The more I read it the worse it gets, yet I find that almost no one knows about the Act. Many aspects are unimaginable in a democratic society. Many would doubt that the government of this province would implement it.

A new paradigm will be implemented–climate change trumps everything including the environment. Green energy projects will not be subject to municipal planning rules or the conservation authority. It will be between the Minister of Energy and the proponent. He will hold absolute power. Your only grounds for appeal will be if it will cause serious and irreversible harm to you, animals, plants, or the environment. And you will only have 15 days to do it.

Under the current system you can request an environmental assessment. To date there have been 17 requests for them on wind farms. All17 have been denied by the Minister of the Environment. So there will be a fat chance of you winning an appeal under the new act. Just imagine if you had to prove that a new drug would cause you serious and irreversible harm to keep it from coming on the market and being prescribed to you. Who is responsible for this reverse onus concept?

The Act was initiated by government-funded environmentalists on steroids. The Ontario Sustainable Energy Alliance (OSEA) receives money from The Ontario Trillium Fund (lottery money) as well as The Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, and the Ministry of Agriculture. OSEA was one of the founders of the Green Energy Act Alliance who came up with a draft law and lobbied the government to implement it. The government in effect lobbied itself and paid for the cheering section when the law was introduced.

Premier McGuinty has called us NIMBYs, and said he’s willing to lose ridings over this Act. He has used our money to pay lobbyists. You can tell him what you think at his website.

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