Mcguinty: What gives your government the right to ignore voters in rural and small-town Ontario?
The Ontario PC’s speak up at Queen’s Park today about wind turbines forced upon rural communities.
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Mr. Jim Wilson: My question is for the Acting Premier. On Monday night the council of the township of Clearview voted unanimously in favour of asking Premier McGuinty and his government to put a moratorium on new wind developments. Some 50 other communities in Ontario have done the same, including Grey county, the city of Kawartha Lakes and, in the Acting Premier’s riding, in Prince Edward county. So I ask the Acting Premier: Will the McGuinty government respect the decisions of these local councils?
Hon. Leona Dombrowsky: To the Minister of Energy and Infrastructure.
Hon. Brad Duguid: Thank you, very much, Mr. Speaker—
The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): The member from Lanark: Your own member asked a question. I trust you would all want to hear the response.
Hon. Brad Duguid: We recognize that whenever you’re doing anything that’s new, whenever you’re on the cutting edge on any initiatives, particularly in the energy sector, there is inevitably going to be some resistance. The fact of the matter is, we have to move forward in the green energy sector. We know that the opposition doesn’t support that, but it does take a certain amount of intestinal fortitude to move forward on these issues. It does take courage. That’s what the people—
Mr. Gilles Bisson: It wasn’t me this time, Speaker.
The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): It was just then.
The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): No, I’m not stopping the clock.
Hon. Brad Duguid: When we came to office six years ago, we inherited an energy supply that was very reliant on dirty coal, coal that was polluting our air; coal that was impacting our health, the health of our children and in the future, the health of our grandchildren. Changing that—getting rid of coal—is not for the faint of heart. We recognize that; it takes courage. It takes political courage. It takes courage from the people of Ontario. The opposition lacks that. We don’t. We’re moving forward because we have to—
The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Thank you. Supplementary?
Mr. Jim Wilson: I say to the Acting Premier: You may not want to respond and be accountable to my constituents and 50 other communities, but you should at least respond to the constituents in Prince Edward county, in your own riding. I say also to the Acting Premier: This is exactly why we voted against your failed Green Energy Act. Ratepayers are concerned with the health effects of these wind turbines and you’re telling them, “Tough luck.” These communities have had enough of the Premier and his buddies in the political elite forcing their pet projects into the back yards of people in rural Ontario without any say from the local communities. In Clearview, people are sick and tired of the Premier, who lives in the tony neighbourhood of Rosedale, telling them how to run their rural community. So I ask the Acting Premier: What gives your government the right to ignore voters in rural and small-town Ontario?
Hon. Brad Duguid: Let me tell you this: Farmers across this province are extremely supportive of the Green Energy Act, and I’ll tell you why: They’re an important part of it. They know that our generation has to stand up to ensure that the health of our kids and grandkids is looked after; to ensure that we’re applying a reliable—and safer—form of energy for the sake of our energy supply and our kids. Our farmers are standing up to that call. So are our retailers and residents. This green energy movement is something that each and every Ontarian is part of and can take some pride in …
(Hon. Brad Duguid)
Our farmers are standing up to that call. So are our retailers, so are our residents. This green energy movement is something that each and every Ontarian is part of, each and every Ontarian can take some pride in. We are moving from coal. By 2014, we will be out of coal. We have the lowest level of coal output that we’ve had in this province in 45 years. The benefit of that is the pollution that doesn’t go into our air and the lungs—
The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Thank you, New question?