Wilson demands government pay legal costs to local groups that defeated wind turbine projectPublished on March 22, 2018
This week, Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson demanded the government make changes to the Green Energy Act to allow citizens and communities to have their legal costs reimbursed if they successfully stop an ill-advised green energy project.
Wilson questioned the government about the legal costs issue after the Environmental Review Tribunal ruled against 500 foot wind turbines being built near the Collingwood Airport and Clearview Aerodrome. Citizens, local organizations and municipalities appealed the project to the Tribunal and won the appeal in August 2017.
“Citizen groups worked hard to stop this project and have since made an attempt to have their legal costs awarded by the Tribunal. This government has cost hard-working citizens in my riding over $850,000 and local municipalities an additional $800,000,” said Wilson. “The Green Energy Act won’t allow these groups and individuals to get their money back. Will the Minister change the legislation to allow the Tribunal to award costs?”
When Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault did not provide a satisfactory answer to his question, Wilson raised the temperature in the House.
“Your government caused my constituents and my municipalities to spend over $1.6 million. Nobody ever thought any government would be stupid enough to approve eight, 12 I guess in the beginning, 500 foot wind mills between two airports,” said Wilson. “Thank God, finally, common sense came to light. These citizens did you a favour. You owe them $1.6 million. Would you do the right thing and pay them back?