Ontario Ousts Renewables Obsessed Government: Wind Power Subsidies ‘Gone With The Wynne’

No, Ontario has a plan for you: it’s called ‘political history’.

 

One modern myth is that political annihilation awaits any government devoted to reliable and affordable power.

The meme has it that 100% of voters are 100% in favour of 100% renewable energy.

They just might be. But, when faced with load-shedding, statewide blackouts and rocketing power prices, their purported fervour for nature’s wonder fuels tends to wane.

South Australian voters relegated its wind and solar obsessed Labor government to the political dustbin, in March this year. Then Premier, Jay Weatherill went to the election promising to deliver on a ludicrous 75% RET.

Now, Ontario’s similarly embattled households and businesses have done the same.

The Progressive Conservatives have snatched power from an arrogant and out-of-touch Liberal government, headed up by the malevolent Kathleen Wynne.

The parallels with South Australia’s Labor government in its dying days are uncanny.

Like Weatherill, Wynne was big on rhetoric and wild with promises (using other people’s money, of course), but the mob eventually works you out.

Those Australian politicians who believe that they will be rewarded for the kind of misanthropic energy policy dished up by Wynne in Ontario, need to think again.

Driving power prices through the roof, on the flimsiest justification, is hardly sound policy.

Treating Ontario’s farmers with practiced contempt, probably helped seal Wynne’s fate.

In Chatham-Kent, wind turbine construction has destroyed the county’s once potable, underground water supplies, leaving hundreds of rural residents with nothing but a filthy, toxic sludge. Wynne’s Liberals not only ignored the issue, they worked with wind power outfits to cover up the (pretty obvious) cause and even claimed the brownish goop was fit to drink.

The short lesson is that anyone banking on governing on the back of renewable energy zealotry, will eventually be brought to account.

Jay Weatherill and Kathleen Wynne aren’t the first deluded ideologues to hit the political dustbin; they won’t be the last. Here’s how things have panned out in Ontario.

Ignore the green lobby, Doug Ford. Ontarians voted for affordable energy this time
Financial Post
Peter Shawn Taylor
12 June 2018

The incoming premier promises to scrap the misguided Green Energy Plan, shake up Hydro leadership and deliver a 12% rate reduction

Elections are often considered to be referendums on the economy. When the economy is performing well, incumbent governments are supposed to benefit from a contented electorate. That’s not what happened in Ontario.

By most measures, the Ontario economy is doing just fine. Unemployment, one of the most important indicators for voters, is the lowest it’s been in several decades. GDP growth is in the two-per-cent range — decent, if not spectacular. Housing starts and other measures of consumer spending seem reasonably strong as well.

Nevertheless, Ontario’s long-governing Liberals were just shown the door in spectacular fashion. Voters were willing to look past the Liberals’ ugly scandals in previous elections for the sake of predictability. But when voters looked at the economy this time, they plainly could not get past one aspect of it that was actually in horrible shape: Energy affordability.

Despite a fairly favourable economic situation in Kathleen Wynne’s favour, it was her party’s epic mismanagement of the electricity file in particular that dominated her opponents’ platforms and captured voters’ minds. Meanwhile her cap-and-trade system of carbon dioxide taxes was slowly making most other forms of energy needlessly more expensive as well. In a mid-campaign poll by Ipsos, over 60 per cent of Ontario voters said hydro prices would have an impact on their vote in the provincial election, with the PCs as the top choice for fixing the problem. Every other government in Canada should take note of Wynne’s fate.

Liberal clownery on electricity prices almost defies description. Between 2008 and 2016, Ontario’s residential electricity costs grew by more than 70 per cent, doubling the average rate increase in the rest of the country over this time. Large industrial users also suffered, with costs in some cities spiking more than 50 per cent between 2010 and 2016. According to the provincial auditor-general, the Liberals’ fixation with subsidizing uneconomic renewable energy sources such as solar and wind meant Ontarians paid about $37 billion more than they should have for their electricity. In other words, Ontario’s high energy prices were caused by lousy policies.

Then came the Liberal government’s decision to implement a costly cap-and-trade system of carbon taxes in conjunction with California and Quebec — forcing every Ontario resident to pay more for gas, heating fuel and other necessities of life. Next year, these carbon taxes will add nearly $300 to the average Ontario family’s expenses. Yet, this tax grab is expected to have no impact on provincial carbon emissions in the short term.

When voter outrage over these catastrophes began rising to a fever pitch, the Wynne government responded with a transparently phony attempt to immediately lower hydro prices by 25 per cent, at the cost of much higher prices down the road. The deceptive way in which the Liberals arranged the financing for this bogus price cut, by deferring payments at extra cost, added another $4 billion in unnecessary costs onto consumers’ backs, according to the auditor-general.

The solution to all this madness? Ford Nation.

Under leader Doug Ford, the Progressive Conservatives successfully campaigned to undo all of Wynne’s failed energy policies. The incoming premier promises to scrap the Liberals’ costly and misguided Green Energy Plan, tear up improvident contracts, shake up the leadership at the provincial hydro company and deliver a 12-per-cent rate reduction to Ontario families. He has also taken a bold stand in vowing to end Ontario’s participation in the cap-and-trade scheme and to fight any move by Ottawa to impose a carbon tax unilaterally on the province on constitutional grounds. Plus there is to be an immediate 10-cent-per-litre cut in the provincial gas tax.

In taking a stand against Canada-wide carbon taxation, Ford has performed two important services. He has put to bed the political falsehood — peddled by the media, green lobbyists and political consultants — that politicians can only win office by supporting carbon pricing. It would now seem the opposite is closer to the truth. Second, Ford is aligning himself with the governments of Saskatchewan, Manitoba and — if, as expected, Alberta’s opposition leader Jason Kenney wins power in his province come the next election, as is currently expected — Alberta in opposing federal climate change policy. This could mean more than half the country’s population will be set against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s plan for a national carbon tax.

Premier-designate Ford will no doubt face considerable pressure from various pro-tax organizations, lobby groups and even his own bureaucracy as he pulls Ontario from this federal scheme. He must resist them with all his strength because the pressure to break his promise on cap-and-trade will be immense. Ford must never forget that it was anger over energy prices that vaulted him into power in the first place.

For political leaders elsewhere in Canada, the takeaway from Wynne’s loss and Ford’s win lies in recognizing the significance of affordable energy, and carbon taxes in particular, as election-deciding, dynasty-ending, pocket-book issues for voters. Politicians who mess around with energy prices can expect to get a jolt at election time.
Financial Post

Rural Ontario: where countless $billions were squandered.

 

Can Doug Ford keep his promise to axe green energy projects? Many rural voters hope so
CBC
Philip Lee-Shanok
16 June 2018

The election of a Progressive Conservative government in Ontario has raised the hopes of rural voters who opposed projects pushed through using the provincial Green Energy Act despite local objections.

John Kordas has been rallying local residents and lobbying the government against a 500-kilowatt solar project next door to his farm on 6330 Ganaraska Rd. in Port Hope.

Now, he says, he’s been told by members of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party that the new government will pull the plug on Renesola GreenLife Solar Project #19.

“For all projects that are not complete or have missed their completion date, the intent is to cancel the projects entirely,” said Kordas. “That was welcome news to us. Let’s hope they follow through on that regard,”

Kordas, 60, has long contended that the property is fertile farmland and, therefore, not a suitable site for a solar farm.

“This project ought never to have set foot on prime agricultural land.”

He says Project #19 was slated to be producing power as of April 2018, but little has been done on the site so far.

ReneSola did not return calls from CBC News, but in an email Andrew Dow of the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) said: “The contractual status of the project is that it has been given a notice to proceed with construction and has not reached commercial operation.”

Kordas says opposition to initiatives such as Project #19 was one of the reasons why many rural voters wanted the Liberals out.

“The fact that there was no consultation, the fact that there was no public engagement, the fact that there was no public support, the fact that there was no local council support. Yes, that helped put the Liberals where they are today,” he said.

Green Energy Act helped approve projects and ‘ram them through’
The Green Energy Act came online in 2009 promising lucrative contracts for wind and solar generated energy through a Feed-In-Tariff program. It also overrode all municipal regulations, planning, and zoning bylaws, allowing the Ministry of the Environment to approve projects directly.

Ross McKitrick, a professor of economics at the University of Guelph who specializes in environmental economics and policy analysis, says the act caused a lot of friction in rural communities.

“It meant it was easier for the energy minister’s office to site new wind turbine facilities and just ram them through, but it did mean they went in over the objections of local property owners,” he said.

“The fact that the Ford campaign was running explicitly against the Green Energy Act, I think, played a very strong role in rural ridings and they are also now going to be expecting him to follow through on those commitments.”

Dave Nixon, 73, lives in Prince Edward County south of Belleville.

He and other members of the Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County (APPEC) opposed a local green energy project because of its effect on wildlife.

The amateur herpetologist says the Blanding’s turtle, an endangered species, is being put at further risk due to the construction of wind turbines for the White Pines Wind Project near Milford.

‘Shut this damn project down,’ activist tells PCs
“All I’m asking for is for (PC MPP) Todd Smith and Doug Ford to shut this damn project down,” says Nixon.

The company says over the next four weeks, it will be taking delivery of turbine components to be stored on private lands.

Ford announced Friday that the new government will cancel Ontario’s current cap-and-trade scheme, Nixon hopes the Green Energy Act is next, but isn’t sure how that will happen.

“The problem now is the Liberals can’t do it because they will get sued. Can the Conservatives? I don’t know,” Nixon said.

Under the Feed In Tariff program, large and small green energy producers signed contracts with the province at fixed rates per kilowatt hour that were higher to encourage the building of solar and wind farms.

Professor Warren Mabee from Queen’s University’s Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy says projects that are not yet online may be less costly to cancel.

Province could face court challenges
“There is a possibility that [Ford] could end those contracts — they would certainly be the easiest ones,” he said.

“Undoubtedly you would be taken to court by companies who have invested heavily. It’s going to cost a fair bit of money and cost us credibility with the international business community.”

Mabee says Ford’s election promise to reduce hydro bills by 12 per cent may be a challenge.

“It’s hard to see how we could reduce prices by cancelling everything we’ve done. The better thing to do, and I suspect what he will do, is not rip up all the contracts. It will be renegotiation.”

Toronto lawyer Eric Gillespie, who is acted on behalf of APPEC against White Pines, says even before the election, the Liberals were signalling that the province had enough electricity. He says only one wind project has been approved in last year.

“So even the Wynne government had essentially stopped approving projects,” Gillespie said. He also says the White Pines Wind Project faces court challenges that could also prevent the turbines from going up.

“Needless to say the people in Prince Edward County and elsewhere are hoping the government sticks to its commitment and not proceed with any of these types of projects.”
CBC

And a filthy, toxic water supply is their only ‘reward’.

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. Some are thoroughly enjoying using the word “decimated” to describe this defeat.

  2. July 1 is “Canada Day” here in this great nation. Happy Canada Day, we say!

    Some of us are inspired and very grateful for the abundance of this land. And why we are motivated to right the very wrongful invasion of industrial wind turbines that harm persons including children and damage the environments.

    We are fortunate to have among our assets, Mr. Rick Conroy & the Wellington Times. In this article he details one of Wynne’s latest atrocities:
    http://wellingtontimes.ca/rules/

    ‘[excerpt] In any event, Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals chose to subvert the guidelines that underpin our parliamentary democracy. We need to know why they did it. We must hold them accountable. For this is how bedrock institutions are eroded. This is not politics as usual. Not here. Not yet. Unchecked, however, it soon will be.’

  3. bruceholland2013 says:

    I endorse the above comments, that some voters have decided, enough lies and fantasy is enough.
    If wind and solar can’t stand on their own two feet without subsidies then out they go.
    The constant support these industries get is breathtaking and outrageous.
    The Feds do need to take a positive step toward reliability and affordability (emissions reduction at this stage should ruin a poor cousin third) since many of our electricity dependent industries are choosing between investment or laying people off (the high electricity prices makes them choose the latter option).
    Coal, has been and will continue to be a pillar of our economic engine room (like it or not) Coal has delivered so many benefits economically it more than compensates for any perceived or esoteric (Green claims mainly) so called subsidies.
    However, given the uncertainty any major investment in coal fired power station will not get any financial backers, unless there is an anchor client (AAA) rating which enters into a long term purchase agreement – such as the Federal Govt.
    When States owned and operated these assets, this is basically what they did – but then they also controlled the prices etc.

  4. Could there be any doubt that contributors and followers of STT are not afraid of nuclear energy as the simplest way to have a sturdy and cheap supply of electricity with zero emissions?
    We need a widely circulated petition as a means of progressing a sensible discussion around how we progress to a nuclear powered future.
    STT could provide a ready means of launching such a petition.

    • Rob, STT has promoted nuclear power generation and will continue to do so. But we are not really set up to run or manage petitions. Think of us an education resource, rather than an anti-GetUp!

  5. Very, very happy to say I had a small hand (one vote) in helping to bring about this change in government. Not mentioned in the reproduced articles is that Liberal candidates were not elected in enough ridings (elected in seven; needed eight seats) to achieve official party status in the legislature. Unless the Ford government decides to recognize the elected Liberals as an “official party”, this means the Liberal members will not have access to many of the resources that other MPPs will have. What goes around, comes around?

  6. Weasels 2 Go says:

    Standby for the pollution and interfering with the Stockyard Hill aquifers

  7. Good to see some voters in the world have woken up to the renewable energy hoax.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: