Wilson wants planning powers returned to municipalitiesPublished on April 26, 2018
Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson has reintroduced his Private Member’s Bill, the Restoring Planning Powers to Municipalities Act, 2016.
Wilson brought the bill back to the Ontario Legislature on April 26.
First introduced in 2013, the bill is part of Wilson’s effort to return to municipalities the authority to decide what renewable energy projects are built in their community, if any.
“In my riding of Simcoe-Grey, local residents, organizations and municipalities had to go to the Environmental Review Tribunal to defeat a proposal to build 500-foot wind turbines near two local airports,” said Wilson. “This process cost them $1.6 million. It never would have happened if local municipalities had planning approval over these kinds of projects.”
The bill aims to amend the Planning Act, reversing previous amendments made by the Green Energy Act in 2009 that exempt renewable energy undertakings from the municipal planning process. If the bill is enacted, it would restore municipal planning authority and allow local leaders to make decisions that were taken away from them by the Liberals Green Energy Act.
“Before the disastrous Green Energy Act, local communities relied on their local councils to make these decisions. These kinds of proposals were required to go through a full public process allowing comments, input and amendments,” said Wilson. “It is absolutely disgraceful that the Liberals usurped the authority of locally elected leaders in favour of bureaucrats in Toronto making these decisions.”