Wilson Challenges Premier on Wind Turbines Proposed near the Collingwood Regional Airport
(March 7, 2013) On Thursday Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson challenged Premier Kathleen Wynne in question period over her willingness to stop a proposal for 500 foot industrial wind turbines from being built on a flight path of the Collingwood Regional Airport.
“Premier, during your campaign for the Liberal leadership, you visited my riding and ... told my constituents that, if you were successful in your leadership bid, you would bring the Collingwood proposal to the direct attention of the Minister of Energy,” said Wilson. “Premier, can you confirm today that you kept your word and tell us what you’ve done to stop this dangerous proposal from going ahead?”
Wilson has been a strong opponent of this particular renewable energy project due its close proximity to the Collingwood Regional Airport and the aerodrome in Clearview Township. He specifically directed his questions to the Premier as she made the commitments during her campaign for Liberal leadership. Despite his efforts, however, the Premier refused to answer his questions and referred them to the Minister of Energy.
“This is a serious issue about safety and the rights of people in rural Ontario, which you don’t give a damn about,” said Wilson. “Premier, you’re the one who made the commitments when you visited Collingwood ... I’d appreciate an answer from you.”
Wilson is pushing the government to restore municipal planning powers over renewable energy projects. He recently introduced legislation entitled Restoring Planning Powers to Municipalities Act, 2013 that would give municipalities like Clearview back the authority to decide what renewable energy projects are built within their communities.
“Premier, when you visited my riding, you said you support more municipal autonomy and a better process for siting these projects,” said Wilson. “Will you show Ontarians that you can actually stay true to your word? Will you commit today to supporting my legislation and restore municipal control over renewable energy projects that are being built in vast areas of the province against the people’s wishes?”
The Ontario PC Party have been calling for a moratorium on industrial wind energy projects until third party health and environmental studies have been done. They have also committed to scrapping the feed-in tariff program that is increasing hydro bills by rewarding often foreign energy developers up to fifteen times the average price of hydro to produce power.