MPP Bob Bailey tells Liberals – don’t ignore protestors
Official Records for 4 April 2011
Mr. Robert Bailey: My question is to the Minister of the Environment.
As recently as Saturday morning, Lambton–Kent–Middlesex residents and their neighbours rallied to send a message to you and your government that they will no longer be ignored. Countless communities across our province have told you they’re fed up with watching helplessly as your government pushes to install industrial wind farms all over, whenever and wherever it wants, with no regard for local expertise or the concern of residents.
Minister, last week you told my colleague from Wellington–Halton Hills that you “are all about ensuring that the public and municipalities have their say.” Well, Minister, are these people wrong and you’re right, or will you finally admit that you’ve stripped municipalities of decision-making powers?
In the province of Ontario, we are revolutionizing our sources of power because our children are counting on us. I say to the member opposite that the number one reason that children in your riding go to the emergency rooms is because of poor air quality.
Hon. John Wilkinson: The truth shall set them free over there. I say to them, talk to the Ontario Medical Association, talk to the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario, talk to the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment. What they tell us is that we need to clean up our sources of power because we are paying for it with needless pain and suffering in our health care system, and paying those bills as well. That’s why we are committed—
To the minister: 81-year-old Stephana Johnston, slowed by her walker but energized by her passion, joined this protest which marched in Strathroy Saturday last. Her message to you and your government is this: “We are suffering and it is a horror story, and you are responsible because you agreed to the Green Energy Act.”
Hon. John Wilkinson: It comes down to a very simple question: Do you believe in clean air or not? Do you believe in trying to clean up the environment for our children and our grandchildren or do you not? I can assure people that we will not make an approval unless the public and our municipalities are consulted. We will say no unless they have had an opportunity to tell us their concerns—
The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): I’d just ask the honourable members to please come to order. We have a number of guests here today who want to enjoy question period but they’re having difficulties because of the interjections.
Hon. John Wilkinson: As I was saying, it comes down to a very simple value question: You either believe in clean air for our children and our grandchildren and you’ll do what’s required to make sure that we break our addiction to coal-fired generation—