McGuinty: Have you heard the message? Do you get the music?
Highlights from Queen’s Park Dec 1st 2011
Mr. Tim Hudak: Speaker, the incredible arrogance of the McGuinty government: He says, “We will not waver,” “We will not listen,” “We will not care,” “We will not listen to local people from across the province of Ontario,” because Dalton McGuinty believes he knows best.
John Wilkinson is no longer here. Leona Dombrowsky is no longer here. Carol Mitchell, Maria Van Bommel, Rick Johnson, Lou Rinaldi and Pat Hoy did not stand up for their constituents; they didn’t do the right thing. I’m proud to say that now Conservative members represent each and every one of those constituents, standing up for local residents, saying no, saying, “Restore local decision-making.”
That same song and dance cost you all these members, Premier. Have you heard the message? Do you get the music?
The Deputy Speaker (Mr. Bas Balkissoon): Further debate? The member from Lambton–Kent–Middlesex.
Mr. Monte McNaughton: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I’m pleased to rise in support of Bill 10, the Local Municipality Democracy Act, 2011, put forward by my colleague Mr. Smith from the fantastic riding of Prince Edward–Hastings. This is an important bill and one that I proudly support on behalf of my constituents in Lambton–Kent–Middlesex, some of whom are here today.
The Local Municipality Democracy Act will amend the Green Energy Act and the Planning Act so that local municipalities can return to their traditional planning processes. You see, Mr. Speaker, as a former three-term municipal councillor, I understand and respect our municipal partners and I support the rights and responsibilities of municipalities to pass bylaws and make these important decisions locally.
I’ve said this before, and I’m certainly not alone in saying that the greatest injustice of the Dalton McGuinty government is that his bureaucrats are here in downtown Toronto, making decisions about where to locate industrial wind turbines in my riding of Lambton–Kent–Middlesex and throughout the province of Ontario.
The meat of our debate today is that since the implementation of the Ontario Green Energy Act, municipalities no longer have the ability to incorporate specific requirements within their official plans and zoning bylaws as to appropriate locations and setbacks for these types of facilities. It’s an absolute disgrace that the government continues to ignore the will of local residents in the 80 elected municipal councils who have demanded that their local decision-making powers be restored.
For Dalton McGuinty and the government of the day sitting here in Toronto to think that they know what is best for a municipality and its elected council is at best arrogant, but more likely is outright wrong.
In my riding, we’ve already had resolutions passed by many municipalities and we’ve heard from residents, families and small businesses. All of them are concerned with the lack of input from town councils in regard to these types of facilities.
This bill addresses these concerns and will make sure that our municipalities, our partners in democracy in government, have a voice and a say in how land within the municipality is developed and utilized.
I have been pleased to work with MPP Smith to help with this important piece of legislation. I look forward to supporting this bill here today and encourage all of my colleagues in this House to support the bill today as well. Thank you.