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Category — Ontario (Canada)

Wind’s Political Trouble in Ontario (Secretive Samsung deal, power rates at issue)

[Editor note: This press release from Toronto Wind Action and Great Lakes Wind Truth (Canada) was released yesterday. Press reaction and key facts are presented at the end. Also see Ms. Lange's previous post, Ontario Update: Offshore Wind Moratorium Decision Hangs Tough, Onshore BAU Targeted (April 8).]

“After being challenged by the Ontario Liberals for the past six months to “show us your plan,” Tim Hudak, leader of the Ontario Conservative party, did just that on Tuesday. In a speech that outlined what could well become the defining issue of the coming Ontario election, Mr. Hudak promised to take down the key elements of Premier Dalton McGuinty’s green energy program.”

- Parker Gallant, “Ontario’s Power Trip: The End of FIT,” Financial Times, May 10, 2011.

Ontario received an early Christmas present yesterday with the  announcement by Progressive Conservative Opposition Leader Tim Hudak that if elected, his government will cancel the $7 billion  Samsung deal (Canadian) and revisit hydro deals. Such would negate the FIT (Feed In Tariff) programs that fill the coffers of developers at the expense of power users, large and small.

Hudak is electable, and his green-reform initiative follows on the heels of the strong victory by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, whose Tory Party now has full control of the House of Commons. Ontario’s rebellion against Big Wind should hearten the sister grassroots rebellion in the United States–and scare the super-lobby American Wind Energy Association.

The Samsung deal, in particular, was privately honed and constructed to give Korean business opportunities a fine edge in getting power to the grid, as well as more business incentives in construction for solar and wind turbines.

It is time to return to fair power rates for Ontario. “This (Samsung) deal is a rip-off…we’ve got to cut our losses,” Hudak said today. Quoting “odious deal,” Hudak implied that when new governments must govern with previously deadly or economically unfair deals, it obviously cannot be shackled and have government business paralyzed with that unfairness. It was clear that Hudak, if elected Premier, would not be tied and bound by the widely despised secret Samsung deal, spawned by former Minister of Energy George Smitherman.

Sherri Lange, Founding Director of Toronto Wind Action and Executive Director, Canada, Great Lakes Wind Truth, praised the announcement. For years, her grass roots groups and others have been educating government leaders, calling for and obtaining moratorium votes, such as the boat turning Toronto and Region Conservation Authority Moratorium for offshore wind turbines. “From a “talk to the hand” kind of arrogance at Queens Park to finally getting a substantial reversal of turbine woes in the province from Mr. Hudak, feels like a breath of air,” Lange said today. “There are seven families we know of who have had to abandon or leave their homes due to ill health. There are likely many more who have not self-reported and who are living in cottages or family homes.

There are over 100 more people who have reported serious health concerns. This expansion of business in the province (and if that business is economically viable is highly questionable), over human health and environmental concerns is not acceptable.”

More to Do

Lange also expressed the hope that Mr. Hudak will expand on his energy platform in the days to come. She hoped today that victims of wind will have compensation for suffering and be allowed to have full restitution. [Read more →]

May 11, 2011   18 Comments