Rural politicians pan wind development fix
London Free Press
Local politicians and leaders of community groups took turns Thursday piling on the Wynne government, saying new rules for wind farms fall far short of what’s needed. The rules, revealed by Sun Media this week and outlined Thursday by Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli, promise to increase consultation with affected municipalities.
“Unless we can get full veto, I just don’t know if it’s going to be very good for us,” Middlesex County Warden Brad Richards said. “Don’t do it halfway.”
The Liberals still have their work cut out for them in rural Ontario — where they were nearly wiped off the map in the 2011 election — because residents there are going to be “very, very suspicious” about the changes, said political scientist Peter Woolstencroft of the University of Waterloo. “People will question the commitment.” The best way to win over rural Ontario would be to give both sides — the province and municipalities — a veto over large projects, Woolstencroft said.
Many communities in Middlesex County already have wind farms, and more are planned.Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said municipalities will be consulted before major projects proceed. “It’s true that there’s not a veto power involved in this process, but we always have to balance the greater good with the local good,” Wynne said. “I hope it meets the needs of the municipality but we’re going to work on it.” Read article