Ontario Private Member's Bill seeks to amend Green Energy Act

November 29, 2011

A bill introduced by Todd Smith, MPP for Prince Edward – Hastings, proposes amendments to the Green Energy Act, 2009 (the Act) to allow municipalities to regulate green energy projects through by-laws. The bill, which has been titled the Local Municipality Democracy Act, 2011, would amend the sections of the Act which make by-laws inoperative with respect to designated green energy activities and would provide that by-laws respecting “…health, safety and well-being of persons or respecting public assets of the municipality…” would continue to apply to designated green energy activities. Currently, municipalities participate in the planning process for green energy activities through the Renewable Energy Approval process, which requires municipal and local authority consultation. The bill received its first reading on November 28, 2011 and is expected to receive its second reading on December 1st, 2011. While private members' bills rarely become law in a majority government, the fact that Ontario currently has a minority government may increase the chances of success for private members' bills. 

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