VIDEO: Wilson to Wynne: Restore Municipal Planning Powers over Wind Turbines
(November 18, 2014) Today in the Ontario Legislature, Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson once again questioned the Wynne Government over why they continue to entertain an application to build eight 500 foot tall wind turbines in close proximity to the Collingwood Regional Airport. Wilson recently received an email from a local news source indicating the Government's plans' to approve the specific project by the end of November.
"[Premier], I've raised this issue, as you know, many times with your government over the years. You yourself visited the area just before you became leader and you yourself said this specific project should not go ahead in the face of community opposition," said Wilson. "So Premier is it true. Are you going to approve these 500 foot wind turbines in close proximity to the Collingwood Airport?"
Premier Wynne laughed off the question before passing it to the Minister of the Environment. The Minister then proceeded to wrongly reply by saying that federal regulations are in place to ensure safety. It's the same response he gave in July when asked the same question. The problem with the response is that there are no federal regulations to protect the Collingwood Airport from wind turbines.
"I say to you, the federal government has no rules about wind turbines near airports because they didn't need to develop rules because municipalities used to have the planning tools to make sure this wouldn't happen," said Wilson. "[The Federal Government is] looking at you like a bunch of dummies that you would actually do this in the first place and they are saying give back [municipal] planning power. So why don't you do that."
Local municipalities including Clearview, Blue Mountains, Collingwood and Wasaga Beach have all passed resolutions against this project. The Collingwood Airport Board and many local advocates have also spoken out against the proposal. Wilson concluded by asking the Government to restore municipal planning authority that existed prior to the Green Energy Act.
"Why don't you give these municipalities and all municipalities across rural Ontario the authority they deserve?," said Wilson. "Shame on you!"