As it goes in South Australia, so goes Ontario.
STT has been fairly well occupied over the last few weeks in detailing the debacle Downunder, but it appears that, for all the same reasons, power consumers (read voters) in Ontario are just as furious as those unfortunates who hang their hats in South Australia: both have been run into the ground by band of political idiots who believe that economies can run on sunshine and breezes – that throwing $billions in subsidies at utterly meaningless power sources has absolutely no impact on retail power prices and that, accordingly, ramming renewable ideology down voters’ throats is a guaranteed vote winner.
Well, that’s the theory, anyway…
Liberal wind disaster shafted rural Ontario
29 September 2016
It’s too bad Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government didn’t have its epiphany on the pointlessness of subsidizing any more expensive, unreliable and unneeded wind turbines before it tore apart rural Ontario.
The Liberals’ treatment of rural Ontarians has been a disgrace.
They overrode local planning rights by passing the Green Energy Act of 2009 under Wynne’s predecessor, Dalton McGuinty, then rammed industrial wind factories down their throats.
Sometimes, it was hard for people in these communities to believe they were living in a democracy.
Rural communities were torn apart — neighbours cashing in by leasing land to wind developers for turbine construction, against neighbours forced to live in the shadow of the mega-structures.
The province received hundreds of complaints about health problems which people believed were being caused by the turbines and suppressed them.
During the 2011 election, the CBC reported government documents released under Freedom of Information legislation showed environment ministry staff had issued internal warnings the province needed stricter rural noise limits on turbines, that it had no reliable way to monitor or enforce them and that computer models for determining setbacks were flawed.
Ontario Provincial Police showed up at the homes of middle-aged women in one rural community who had never been involved in any form of law-breaking, warning them to keep their demonstrations against wind turbines peaceful.
As we reported, these visits were made at the request of a wind developer. (The government denied any involvement.)
While the Liberals dismissed wind protesters as NIMBYs, they simultaneously cancelled two unpopular natural gas plants in Oakville and Mississauga due to local opposition, at a public cost of $1.1 billion, in what the Tories and NDP dubbed the Liberal seat saver program.
When local residents wrote to Liberal MPPs asking for help in fighting the industrial wind factories imposed on them, they received form letters in reply.
For many rural Ontarians, the Liberal blunder into green energy, launched without any meaningful business plan according to the Auditor General of Ontario — and which wasn’t needed to eliminate coal-fired electricity — wasn’t just a case of their government wasting billions of dollars and sending their electricity bills skyrocketing.
It was a case of their government robbing them of fundamental democratic rights.
Grits’ failed wind energy to face tough test in 2018
London Free Press
3 October 2016
You have to wonder how bad the Ontario Liberal party’s internal polls are to force the government to fold on its signature green energy policies.
Published polls show both Premier Kathleen Wynne and party have found a basement under rock bottom and it’s likely private polls show the same or worse.
The fact wind factories were destroying communities and tearing families apart in rural Ontario meant nothing at Queen’s Park.
Likewise, the Grits ignored endless pleas and protests from municipal leaders and wind opponents. They dismissed as meaningless complaints about wind turbines driving families from their homes.
Even the mounting evidence giant turbines are contaminating nearby wells didn’t move Wynne and company.
Plus, the Liberals were experts at ignoring the media, who repeatedly pointed out green energy problems that were leading Ontario into power poverty, particularly in rural areas.
As the old joke about always being ignored until you pass gas in an elevator goes, it only took one Scarborough byelection loss to change the landscape.
The Grits’ first response was the throne speech fiasco to “reset” the agenda. That brought the eight per cent tax rebate on energy bills, a give that went over like a lead balloon.
Now future renewable energy projects valued at over $3 billion are gone because experts said Ontario has excess power.
It’s too bad bureaucrats couldn’t have figured that out for themselves months ago when they started delivering extra power across neighbours’ borders at huge losses to Ontario.
The big question is, now what? Cancellation of future projects will keep power bills from rising by a measly $2.45 per month in the future. But that does nothing about the current power crisis.
Obviously there’ll be more goodies to come on the power front as the government gets ready to face the people in 2018 but with a provincial debt of $300 billion and counting, how significant can they be?
Besides all the ways in which the people of Ontario have been victimized by green energy initiatives, the biggest crime is the bad rap the experiment has given to renewable energy.
Former premier Dalton McGuinty and his energy minister George Smitherman got in bed with international companies to bring green energy to Ontario at the highest possible cost.
Had these two done their homework and paid even scant attention to the people of the province, they would have found all kinds of ways to introduce renewable energy on a smaller scale with Ontario residents, not offshore companies, reaping most of the benefits.
Instead McGuinty set the stage for all that was to come by prejudging most criticism of green energy projects as nothing but NIMBYism, (Not in My Back Yard).
From that moment of insult to the intelligence of rural Ontario residents, the entire green energy plan became more farce than future.
Wynne, of course, doubled down on all that was wrong with the program and has brought Ontario to the financial disaster in which it finds itself today. The antipathy is massive towards Wynne in rural Ontario because of the energy mess and other fumbled files from health care to the environment to trail development. Her government is unlikely to recover in the boondocks.
The interesting question for 2018 is how many urban folks can be convinced that the Liberals have learned their lesson and suddenly will become good stewards of Ontario’s money and interests.
Even that seems to be an insurmountable hill to climb.
London Free Press