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Writer thinks new Green Energy Act is undemocratic

Port Dover Maple Leaf: GRANT CHURCH (Cayuga) - March 18, 2009

The Green Energy Act is an assault on democracy. Never have I seen an act purported to do something so good while cloaking a sinister plot to strip us of our rights and concentrate them in the hands of a cabinet minister.

Planning Act provisions will be suspended concerning green energy projects. As it stands now, a proponent submits their proposal to the municipality; it is reviewed by the planning department; the community is notified and has an opportunity to give input; council votes on it.

The proponent has to do an environmental review on the project. The public has an opportunity to examine the findings. If you’re not satisfied you can appeal to the Ministry of the Environment and request a full environmental assessment. Despite at least 17 requests for environmental assessments on wind farms, all 17 have been rejected by the Minister of the Environment. Not exactly democratic now is it?

All those rights will disappear under the act. It will be between the Minister of Energy and the green energy proponent. Absolute power will be held by the minister. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Here are your new rights people–two quotes from the act. Read it and weep.

Section 142.1 (2) states: “A person mentioned in subsection (1) may, by written notice served upon the Director and the Tribunal within 15 days of a day prescribed by the regulations, require a hearing by the Tribunal with respect to a decision of the Director under section 139 in relation to a renewable energy approval.”

Section 142.1 (3) states: “A person mentioned in subsection (1) may require a hearing under subsection (2) only on the grounds that engaging in the renewable energy project in accordance with the renewable energy approval will cause serious and irreversible harm to plant life, animal life, human health or safety or the natural environment.”

From the date of the energy project announcement you’ve got 15 days to appeal. You’ve got 15 days to do your own assessment and prove that the project will cause you serious and irreversible harm. Your chances are somewhere between slim and none.

This website has a link to the environmental registry where you may register your opinion to the government, windconcernsontario.wordpress. com

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"A letter by Grant Church was also sent to Mike Parkes, Strategic Policy Coordinator, Ministry of Energy - please find below".

Grant Church
Box 842
Cayuga, Ontario
N0A 1E0
905-772-0677
churchg@sympatico.ca
March 19, 2009

Mike Parkes
Cabinet Liaison & Strategic Policy Coordinator
Ministry of Energy
Regulatory Affairs and Strategic Policy
Strategic Policy and Research Branch
880 Bay Street
6th floor
Toronto Ontario
M7A 2C1
Phone: (416) 327-7178

Green Energy and Green Economy Act, 2009
EBR Registry number 010-6017

Dear Mr. Mike Parkes,

The Green Energy Act is an assault on democracy. Never have I seen an act purported to do something so good while cloaking a sinister plot to strip us of our rights and concentrate them in the hands of a Minister of the Crown. The Act should be scrapped and rewritten.

Planning Act provisions will be suspended concerning green energy projects. As it stands now, a proponent submits their proposal to the municipality; it is reviewed by the planning department; the community is notified and has an opportunity to give input; council votes on it.

The proponent has to do an environmental review on the project. The public has an opportunity to examine the findings. If you’re not satisfied, you can appeal to the Ministry of the Environment and request a full environmental assessment. Despite at least 17 requests for environmental assessments on wind farms, all 17 have been rejected by the Minister of the Environment. Not exactly democratic now is it?

All those rights will disappear under the act. It will be between the Minister of Energy and the green energy proponent. Absolute power will be held by the minister. Lord Acton said it well, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."

These clauses from the act are deeply troubling.

Section 142.1 (2) states: “A person mentioned in subsection (1) may, by written notice served upon the Director and the Tribunal within 15 days of a day prescribed by the regulations, require a hearing by the Tribunal with respect to a decision of the Director under section 139 in relation to a renewable energy approval.”

Section 142.1 (3) states: “A person mentioned in subsection (1) may require a hearing under subsection (2) only on the grounds that engaging in the renewable energy project in accordance with the renewable energy approval will cause serious and irreversible harm to plant life, animal life, human health or safety or the natural environment.”

Section 145.2.1 (3) states: “The person who required the hearing has the onus of proving that engaging in the renewable energy project in accordance with the renewable energy approval will cause serious and irreversible harm to plant life, animal life, human health or safety or the natural environment.”

Fifteen days to respond! Fifteen days is a very short period of time. For instance, the time to respond to this EBR is 30 days. Fifteen days is too short.

What does irreversible mean? Why is the onus on us to prove that it is serious and irreversible? We can’t get an environmental assessment now even though the law provides for it. 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. There will be a fat chance of getting a fair hearing under the new system.

The current checks and balances are all gone under the Act. Our municipalities would be stripped of their authority along with the conservation authorities. No appeal rights to the OMB. No opportunity to use the Freedom of Information Act.

This is a move toward an authoritarian hierarchical government–fascism. I am opposed to this bill and ask that it be rejected.

Sincerely,

Grant Church

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