Lisa Thompson, Tory MPP for Huron-Bruce, introduced the Ensuring Affordable Energy Act in the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday. Its a private member's bill, but everything Thompson has said about it, for example her comments here, suggest that it is now the PCPO's de facto position on the matter. From the assembly records:
The short title of this bill is the Ensuring Affordable Energy Act, and that’s exactly what this bill will do. This bill states that wind turbines will only be placed in willing host communities and municipalities will be given a full veto. Wind power must be affordable, meaning the cost per kilowatt hour must line up with other sources of generation. The costly Feed-in Tariff, or FIT, program will be eliminated. Municipalities will have the ability to decide whether or not they want to promote wind energy. The Niagara Escarpment and Oak Ridges moraine will be protected from wind turbines, and municipalities will receive their planning powers for renewable energy back.
What's important to note here is what is NOT in the bill: a moratorium on wind farms (either permanent, or until Health Canada reports back on the issue in 2014). This is a 100 percent climb down from the word Hudak's MPPs were giving out not even three months ago. Here, for example, is Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP Monte McNaughton on the topic:
…we realize that when we make the commitment, we’re not going to build them, if they’re not built. So scrap the 50,000 projects that are in the queue. We realize that there is going to be a cost, our lawyers have told us that there are opt-out clauses and we sure as hell are going to pay those out because it’s going to be cheaper to pay them out than to honour contracts for 20 years. So we’ve been clear that we will not going ahead with however many projects are left, if we’re fortunate enough to form the next government after the next election. But clearly there will be a cost associated with that, but it will be cheaper to buy them out than to honour them for 20 years.
What's behind the flip-flop? We can only speculate, of course, but there is the issue of cost. As noted through the link, unwinding thousands of wind farm contracts would likely cost into the millions. There is also the fact that the anti-wind forces do not seem to command quite the numbers they used to. This report, for example, and most reports re the protesters dogging Premier Wynne's tour of rural Ontario, put them at about 80, but its a pretty sad looking 80, and when one of them is wearing a placard that references the Nazi swastika...