Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Ford government cuts to renewable energy to cost $230 million and people are furious

When Premier Doug Ford announced his decision to scrap 750 renewable energy projects after winning the election last year, Ontario residents had no clue it would end up costing taxpayers more than $230 million.

According to the CBC, the opposition NDP revealed the amount in question period Tuesday and the spending can also be found under "other transactions" in the province's public accounts for 2018-19. 

The cancelled projects include the White Pines Wind Farm project in Prince Edward County, where the company had signed a 20-year contract to provide Ontario with renewable energy, according to CityNews. 

Construction on this particular project had been well underway until cranes arrived last month to begin tearing down newly-built wind turbines that were already completed and ready to be turned on. 

The province is on the hook for $141 million for this project alone. 

During question period earlier this week, the NDP opposition accused Ford's government of wasting money on scrapping energy projects the same way the former Liberal government had. 

"Wasting $231 million to cancel hydro contracts is the sort of thing the previous Liberal government did during the gas plant scandal," NDP energy critic Peter Tabuns said, according to CBC. 

Associate Minister of Energy Bill Walker blamed the Liberal government for investing in unnecessary projects, saying the province has plenty of energy and does not need the power from the White Pines project. 

Meanwhile, Energy Minister Greg Rickford told CityNews the cancelled projects would have costed far more money over time and that the cancellations will save taxpayers money in the long-term. 

But it seems many residents of Toronto simply aren't buying it. 

Many are outraged by the fact that the Ford Government is actually spending money to reverse clean energy projects, something we should be investing in if we have any hope of moving the mark on climate change. 

"These political decisions need to be made through the lens of science, public consultation and economic efficacy — doesn't seem Ford is doing any of that!" one angry Twitter user wrote. 

Even Toronto city councillor Gord Perks weighed in the matter, and it's clear he's less than impressed. 

Many are calling the cancellation of renewable energy projects a step back in the fight against climate change. 

And some are urging Ontario residents to stand up against it by reaching out to local MPPs.

"For this government to rip up contracts and literally rip wind turbines out of the ground is a huge waste of money and makes absolutely no sense,"Ontario Green party Leader Mike Schreiner said Tuesday. 

"The government needs to be honest with people about their politically-motivated campaign of literally ripping turbines out of the ground."


by Mira Miller via blogTO

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