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Unmuzzle community concerns on wind power

For Immediate Release: Toby Barrett: April 14, 2010

HN MPP voices support to return Planning Act powers to municipalities

QUEEN’S PARK – MPP Toby Barrett says it was a mistake to take away municipal oversight powers when it comes to green energy projects like wind farms.

To that end, Barrett is supporting colleague Dufferin-Caledon MPP Sylvia Jones and her private members bill to fix the Liberals’ controversial Green Energy Act.

“In one fell swoop, the Green Energy Act removed all rights from constituents and their locally-elected representatives for input on renewable energy projects,” Barrett said. “Ms. Jones’ bill would lift the muzzle and restore the democratic powers this heavy-handed government has seen fit to take away.”

Bill 29 represents the latest attempt by Opposition members to derail government attempts aimed at silencing municipal green energy concerns.

Barrett spoke in support of a motion last October from MPP Bill Murdoch calling on government for a moratorium and health study to determine the potential impacts of wind turbines on people's health – that motion was defeated by governing Liberals. In recent weeks Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott introduced a similar motion, while Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson has asked government at Queens Park to respect the wishes of over 50 Ontario communities requesting the Liberals put a moratorium on new wind developments.

“The Green Energy Act represents another attack on rural Ontario as we all know that it will rural areas – and not their own urban backyard – that government will be eyeing to locate these projects,” Barrett intoned. “Local communities should have an avenue to comment on projects that will impact them – that’s the bottom line.

“I am surprised this government would go to this extent to silence opposition and join my colleagues in fighting this municipal gag order!”

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For more information, please contact MPP Toby Barrett at
(519) 428-0446 or (905)-765-8413, 1-800-903-8629