Sudden Wind Change: Wind Industry Wilts as Ontario Scraps ‘Green’ Energy Act

Ontario’s Kathleen Wynne simultaneously destroyed her political fortunes, as she set about destroying one of Canada’s most productive provinces.

A raft of policies drawn up by Wynne and her fellow eco-zealots, all safely ensconced in Toronto, resulted in thousands of these things being speared right across Ontario.

Furious communities and rocketing power prices are the only ‘dividends’ on show.

Wynne and her band of lunatic Liberals were duly rewarded with an electoral drubbing at the hand of Doug Ford and his Progressive Conservatives back in June.

Ford reduced the Liberals to a sullen rump, after running on a platform that made no secret of his hostility to heavily subsidised and completely chaotic wind power.

Ford promised to scrap the Green Energy Act, put in place by Wynne’s Liberals, that was primarily responsible for wrecking Ontario.

Here’s a trifecta from Toronto on Ford’s efforts to undo the damage done, starting with the repeal of the Act that caused so much of it.

Ontario’s Government for the People Introduces Legislation to Repeal the Green Energy Act: Municipalities to have final say on new energy projects
Press Release: Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines
20 September 2018

Ontario’s Government for the People is delivering on its promise to repeal the Green Energy Act, 2009, Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, and Monte McNaughton, Minister of Infrastructure, announced today.

The original Green Energy Act led to the disastrous feed-in-tariff program and skyrocketing electricity rates for Ontario families, and took away powers from municipalities to stop expensive and unneeded energy projects in their communities. Under the last government energy rates tripled, hurting families and driving manufacturing jobs out of Ontario.

“The Green Energy Act represents the largest transfer of money from the poor and middle class to the rich in Ontario’s history,” said Minister Rickford.

“Well-connected energy insiders made fortunes putting up wind-farms and solar panels that gouge hydro consumers in order to generate electricity that Ontario doesn’t need,” Minister McNaughton added. “Today we are proud to say that the party with taxpayers’ money is over.”

The ministers announced that the government has introduced legislation that, if passed, will fully strike the Green Energy Act from the province’s books. This will include repealing provisions that stripped away the power of local municipalities to block unwanted wind and solar farms.

“The Green Energy Act allowed the previous government to trample over the rights of families, businesses and municipalities across rural Ontario,” said Minister McNaughton. “But we believe the people of Ontario should have the final say about what gets built in their communities.”

The proposed legislation would give the government the authority to stop approvals for wasteful energy projects where the need for electricity has not been demonstrated. This would put the brakes on additional projects that would add costs to electricity bills that the people of Ontario simply cannot afford.

“One of the first actions your government took was to cancel 758 expensive and wasteful energy projects as part of our plan to cut hydro rates by 12 per cent for the people of Ontario, saving $790 million for electricity customers,” said Minister Rickford. “The days of sweetheart deals for energy insiders and unpopular projects forced on local municipalities are over.”

Quick Facts

  • According to the Ontario Energy Board and the Independent Electricity System Operator, wind and solar added $3.75 billion in costs to electricity bills in 2017.
  • Wind and solar represent just 11 per cent of total generation in Ontario, but reflect 30 per cent of Global Adjustment costs that are borne by electricity customers.
  • In 2017, 26 per cent of electricity generated from wind and solar was curtailed, or wasted. This is electricity that Ontarians paid for, but didn’t need or use.

Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines

Scrapping the so-called “Green” Energy Act
The Province
Greg Rickford
20 September 2018

The only thing “green” about the Green Energy Act was the green that lined the pockets of well-connected insiders.

That’s why, yesterday, I was very pleased to be joined by my friend Minister McNaughton to announce that we are repealing this disastrous legislation that killed jobs, hurt families, business and manufacturing across our province.

For many people, the Green Energy Act is a symbol of a failed energy policy, driven by dangerous ideology and a culture of waste at Queen’s Park.

The Green Energy Act forced wasteful projects on unwilling communities while driving up the costs of hydro bills for families and businesses across Ontario. In 2017 alone, wind and solar projects added $3.75 billion in costs to hydro bills. Even worse, 26 per cent of this expensive electricity wasn’t even used, it was curtailed, and you paid for it. This is part of the reason why, under the previous Liberal government, energy rates tripled, hurting families, and driving manufacturing and jobs out of Ontario.

The Green Energy Act represents the largest transfer of money from the poor and middle class to the rich in Ontario’s history. Well-connected energy Liberal insiders made fortunes putting up wind-farms and solar panels that gouged hydro consumers in order to generate electricity that Ontario doesn’t need.

These projects were forced on municipalities, with little to no consultation. When communities raised concerns, they were ignored, in fact trampled by Queen’s Park.

One example of this is the Municipality of Dutton Dunwich. More than 80 per cent of residents in this community voted in a referendum to stop a wind farm in that community. The previous government ignored the people of Dutton Dunwich and forced this unpopular and wasteful project in this community.

These are the consequences of 15 years of bad decisions. That’s why one of my first acts as Energy Minister was to cancel 758 of these expensive and wasteful projects, including the wind farm in Dutton Dunwich. This will save electricity customers across Ontario $790 million. Future decisions on energy supply will not be driven by ideology but what matters most to the people of Ontario, their pocket books.

This legislation, if passed, will send a strong signal about our government’s energy priorities.

We are committed to putting more money in your pocket by lowering hydro bills by 12%.

We are giving power back to municipalities to ensure they are in control of where energy projects go.

We are committed to cleaning up the hydro mess left by the previous government.

We are committed to ending the sweetheart deals of the past that tripled your hydro bill.
The Province

Good riddance to toxic Green Energy Act
Toronto Sun
Lorrie Goldstein
20 September 2018

By scrapping the Green Energy Act, passed by former Liberal premier Dalton McGuinty in 2009, Premier Doug Ford is ending one of the worst legislative disasters ever inflicted on the people of Ontario.

Ford ran on repealing the GEA and the end of this appalling legislation cannot come soon enough.

The GEA is largely responsible for Ontario’s skyrocketing electricity prices.

It’s the reason we’re paying outrageously high prices for green energy the Liberals didn’t need in order to eliminate coal power, which was actually done using nuclear power and natural gas.

The jobs the Liberals promised under the GEA never materialized, according to former Ontario auditor general Jim McCarter in his 2011 annual report.

The GEA made Ontario’s energy grid less efficient because it required the province to buy expensive and unreliable wind and solar power from green energy developers under 20-year contracts, before purchasing other forms of energy.

Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk reported in 2016 that Ontario electricity consumers had overpaid $9.2 billion for green energy, because the Liberals ignored the advice of their own experts on how to price it.

The GEA led to the gas plants scandal, because the Liberals had to frantically build new natural gas plants to back up the unreliable power they were getting from wind and solar energy, then scrapped the gas plants planned for Oakville and Mississauga to save Liberal seats in the 2011 election.

As PC Infrastructure Minister Monte McNaughton said Thursday, the GEA took away the planning rights of municipalities, which will now be restored, leaving them without any say in the location of green energy infrastructure.

That deprived Ontarians of natural justice, turning neighbour against neighbour as developers quietly signed deals to lease privately-owned lands in rural communities for massive wind turbines and solar farms, with the projects then sprung on those communities as a fait accompli, in which they had no meaningful say.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, still ranting about Ford cutting the size of Toronto council in half, voted with the Liberals to pass the GEA, a far more sweeping attack on municipal governments.

Under the GEA, the Liberals abdicated from the proper role of government, which is to balance public and private interests.

Instead, they became cheerleaders for the wealthy green energy lobby.

Citizens opposed to green energy projects imposed on their communities faced the impossible task of fighting the industry and the Liberal government.

Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act, reported by the CBC, revealed the Liberals ignored warnings from their own environment ministry that the province needed stricter noise limits on turbines, had no reliable way to monitor or enforce them, and that computer models for determining residential setbacks were flawed.

In 2011, when McCarter investigated the Liberals’ renewable energy strategy built around the GEA, he reported his auditors had to start from scratch, because the Liberals, incredibly, “had not recently conducted any audit work on renewable energy initiatives.”

McCarter warned the GEA had, “created a new process to expedite the development of renewable energy by providing the Minister (of Energy) with the authority to supersede many of the government’s usual planning and regulatory processes … As a result no comprehensive business-case evaluation was done to objectively evaluate” its financial impacts.

Ford is right to scrap the GEA.

The tragedy is that the economic damage it caused under the McGuinty/Wynne Liberals will be felt for decades to come.
Toronto Sun

Off the road to ruin: a Ford that’s designed to keep Ontario motoring.

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. Listen to the presentation given by Dr. Mariana Alves-Pereira in slovenia in May of 2018.

    http://en.friends-against-wind.org/health/infrasound-and-lfn

  2. Reblogged this on "Mothers Against Wind Turbines™" Phoenix Rising… and commented:
    Doug Ford… Working on making Ontario a prosperous province once again, not one requiring hand-outs!

  3. From the inside this does not look so great…two of the biggest and most destructive wind developments went in prior to the “Green”EnergyAct and municipalities were mad enough to force these projects into rural zones ignoring the wishes of residents affected by the IWT. There is a return to some of the regulations from that period within the new legislation.

    As yet no acknowledgement of and compensation for loss of amenity and adverse health effects. When we see that we will have cause to celebrate.

  4. So often in this industry things are not as they appear, and are in desperate need of critical review.

    Notice that not a peep has been uttered by the new Ontario government about the harm caused to persons including children by wrongly-sited industrial wind turbines.

    Whereas journalist Lorrie Goldstein capably observes: “Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act, reported by the CBC, revealed the Liberals ignored warnings from their own environment ministry that the province needed stricter noise limits on turbines, had no reliable way to monitor or enforce them, and that computer models for determining residential setbacks were flawed.”

    How could the PC government who campaigned on a promise of being “for the people” not take a single second in the last four months since they were elected to acknowledge the people who are being directly harmed by the idiotic wind turbine policies they like to rail about?

    Does this seem like a red flag?

    Moreover, right now in Ontario one community is being forced to fight against the new Ontario government about the development of the Nation Rise wind turbine project south of Ottawa that was approved in the dying days of the last government. Ontario’s Attorney General is defending the project that was approved under the fatally-flawed regulatory regime, and community members are incurring costs and stress in front of the Tribunal pointing out the project is dangerous and wasteful, trying to protect themselves and their families and neighbours. So shameful.

    As for the proposed policy that municipalities will get to decide about the placement of industrial electricity generators: Ontario already had this scheme before the “Green Energy and Green Economy Act” of 2009, and is how many of the wind turbine projects in Ontario that are harming people today were developed. Municipalities do not have the resources to determine what is a safe setback for industrial wind turbine generators, so unless such a policy comes with a MINIMUM separation distance stipulated, re-introducing this sort of scheme and downloading siting responsibility to municipalities is really going to “pit neighbour against neighbour.” Again, not a peep uttered by the new government about this reality.

    PS – Regarding Minister Rickford’s comment about democracy in the community of Dutton Dunwich: the Ontario high school curriculum teaches students that in Canada a “referendum” is a binding vote by the people about an issue. At best the exercise in Dutton Dunwich might be described as a “plebiscite” or, since it was not an official act of the provincial or federal governments, a “poll”. I hate to see the Honourable Minister’s official misunderstanding of a “referendum” diminishing the significance of the concept.

    • Yes and it needs to be know that there is an urgency about the need to turn the turbines off that are too close to or in some cases sited in clusters surrounding peoples’ homes and especially also for residents whose homes are too close to substations.
      Forced relocation is absolutely unacceptable. Anyone who thinks it is acceptable needs their moral compass replaced.
      We now have residents who are coming forth with very serious cumulative health impacts because their human rights have been violated. They have medical records to prove their case. These are innocent people who did not consent to being harmed.
      We all saw the way the previous government turned a blind eye and came up with one delay tactic after another and left residents, who were reporting harm, with no effective solutions as they clearly demonstrated their genocidal ideology toward rural residents. Will this new government do the same thing?

    • For example, in the municipality of Norfolk County, Ontario where a public health disaster with international implications has been happening for the last decade, Norfolk County’s Planning Department still acts as if they do not understand there’s a problem. In a Report to the Committee of Adjustments two months ago about the severance of a residential lot from a farm on which one of the Vestas 1.65-megawatt wind turbines is located, the Staff advised the Committee:

      “The subject lands are not located near any potential land use conflicts. The existing wind turbine is located on the retained parcel approximately 400 metres from the dwelling […]”

      Planners are licensed professionals and these ones are [mis]representing there are NO “potential land use conflicts” of a dwelling being located 400 metres from an industrial wind turbine generator !!!

      This is one of those projects that was developed back when the municipality had to approve the land use zoning change to permit the construction of the wind turbines, before the Green Energy & Green Economy Act of 2009 uploaded siting responsibility to the Province of Ontario.

      Maybe the Corporation of Norfolk County has insurance coverage for this. Or maybe the nation of Canada will end up holding the bag for the Province’s atrocities.

      • Dr. Mariana Alves-Pereira has stated publicly that with what she knows about the impacts of infrasound from turbines, she would not live within 20 km from a turbine!
        She’s highly qualified and knows about the neurological damage as well as the damage to the cardiovascular system.

  5. Reblogged this on Patti Kellar.

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