Bill 34 – Green Energy Repeal Act, 2018 or is it? By Elizabeth Marshall

Elizabeth Marshall
Elizabeth Marshall

When reading the Act, the first thing that hit me was that whomever put pen to paper and wrote this Act merely moved the onerous sections from the Green Energy Act and placed them under new sections in the Electricity Act.  That’s right – those awful sections 4 and 5 in the Green Energy Act are now sections 25.35 and 25.35.1 of the Electricity Act. These sections, it would appear, are merely copied and pasted from the Green Energy Act into the Electricity Act and state “The Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by regulation, designate renewable energy projects, renewable energy sources or renewable energy testing projects for the following purposes:… despite any restriction imposed at law that would otherwise prevent or restrict their use, including a restriction established by a municipal by-law, a condominium by-law, an encumbrance on real property or an agreement.”

And it gets worse, if you can imagine that.  People are of the presumption that all of the contracts are removed and that the existing projects will also be removed.  This is not the case nor is there actually any real amendment under the Planning Act. It states, in the Explanatory Notes for Bill 34, regarding the Planning Act amendments:

“Section 70.9 is added to give the Lieutenant Governor in Council the power to make transition regulations in connection with amendments to the Act made by the Bill, including a regulation that provides that, despite its repeal, section 62.0.2 applies to specified renewable energy undertakings or in specified circumstances.”

So really nothing has changed regarding Municipal Authority nor does this assist those who have, for nearly a decade, been living with these onerous projects or the costs.

There are other sections in this Act which are also concerning, but shouldn’t the Ministers involved take another look at this Act, prior to it being passed, as it also leaves many avenues for more and more regulations?  Ontario, as of 2016, already has 380,000 regulations and do we need more?

And perhaps the Ministers involved might sit down with those most affected by the Green Energy Act (rural Ontarians) and ask them what they want, after all they are the ones dealing with the ramifications and the added costs of the Green Energy Act, on a daily basis, wouldn’t one agree?