Liberal MPPs aim `slap at the premier’ by defying his edict on green energy

Jun 05, 2009 04:30 AM

Robert Benzie
Queen’s Park Bureau Chief
Dissent is roiling the Liberal government with MPPs ignoring Premier Dalton McGuinty’s edict that “NIMBYism” will not be tolerated to stop green energy projects.

In an unusually brazen protest, three Liberal MPPs tabled petitions in the House this week with thousands of signatures opposing wind turbines and gas-fired power plants in their ridings.

“It’s a real slap at the premier and I’ve never seen anything like it,” said one government MPP who was not involved in the demonstration.

In his push for cleaner power, McGuinty, who wants to create 50,000 green energy jobs in the next three years, has been crusading against parochial concerns trumping the greater provincial good.

“Don’t say, `I don’t want it around here,'” he said Feb. 10 in London.

“NIMBYism will no longer prevail,” the premier said, using the acronym for “not in my back yard.”

But in the space of a few minutes on Tuesday, three Liberal MPPs signalled that keeping constituents happy is more important than appeasing the boss.

MPP Bruce Crozier (Essex) said the proposed wind farms in Lake Erie’s Pigeon Bay, off Leamington, Kingsville and Union, will affect migrating wildlife as well as residents because of the noise.

“This will have a significant negative impact on property values within this very heavily populated area given the impact on health, tourism and jobs in the community,” MPP Pat Hoy (Chatham-Kent-Essex) said in his opposition to the Pigeon Bay proposal.

Compounding McGuinty’s headache, MPP Charles Sousa (Mississauga South) tabled a petition against a gas-fired power plant in south Mississauga.

Energy Minister George Smitherman yesterday defended the recently passed Green Energy Act, noting it was amended to make it “clearer” that proponents of such projects must do a more thorough job of consulting with residents.

With files from Rob Ferguson



3 responses to “Liberal MPPs aim `slap at the premier’ by defying his edict on green energy

  1. ruralgrubby

    I see some comments congratulating Bruce Crozier and Pat Hoy for standing up and representing their constituents. In Mr. Crozier’s presentation of the petition, it clearly states one of the reasons for not placing turbines out in Lake Erie, is due to the “possible adverse health effects these could impose on thousands of families and seniors in these highly populated communities (noise, sleep disorders, depression, headaches etc) due to the proximity of these wind turbines”. (estimated at 2 km out in Lake Erie)
    As a constituent in Mr. Crozier’s riding I have repeatedly asked him to explain the distinction he has between my request to endorse an investigation for those who are presently suffering due to the proximity of land base Industrial Wind Complexes and that of the Citizens Against Lake Erie Turbines. He tersely responded to my request for endorsement with a simple NO. This line of conduct on this issue clearly shows me that Mr. Crozier and his Liberal party can no longer be trusted nor expect my support and that of hundreds who will be negatively affected by wind turbines in the next election. By the way someone should ask where Mr. Crozier lives.

  2. I congratulate Bruce and Pat for standing up and having common sense. Look at the long-term effects of wind energy in Spain . Near to 20% unemployment and sky-rocketing energy prices.
    “Green” energy still has to be subsidized and supplemented. The whole Cap and Trade idea is not scientifically sound. It is a political crock

  3. ruralgrubby

    I agree springbreeze that it was good to see Bruce and Pat standing up for residents, however Bruce will never get another vote from me when he clearly denied me support for further setbacks for land based turbines. He, by the way promotes wind energy but only on land.

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