Green energy is desirable. Probably few will dispute that. But the way that it’s being developed in the province could be used as a template for how to do so in a flawed, not-so-good-for-the-taxpayers’ way.
On Feb. 21 of this year, Maclean’s magazine displayed a graph that showed that for the first time Ontario has more debt when measured as a percentage of gross domestic product than the federal government.
When (Premier Dalton) McGuinty came to power in 2003, Ontario’s debt was $148 billion. By next year it will be getting close to doubling that. In his tenure he has racked up nearly as much debt as all of our other premiers did in total. This has to stop.
In Ontario’s green energy plan, we have 20 year “guaranteed” contracts. The producers are protected but consumers and taxpayers are not; we could be paying higher prices than we should be paying for decades.
On our electricity bills we have a debt retirement charge. But is that debt being paid in a proficient manner? In December 2004, the Liberal government passed the Energy Restructuring Act and in the last 10 years the Ontario Electrical Financial Corporation has received $36.3 billion from taxpayers, yet the debt has declined by only $2.9 billion.
Green energy projects create jobs? That appears to be so, but at a great cost to the taxpayer and, as studies in Europe are showing, each of these jobs may actually prevent even more jobs being created in the private sector.
In the Toronto Star on March 18 it is noted that “since the province’s electricity market opened in 2002, generators have been paid millions for no producing power … traders have been paid millions more for not importing power … one generator has reaped millions by repeatedly switching itself off then back on … consumers have paid the tab.”
It is also noted, “This design has a few fundamental defects.”
My concern is that if this Liberal government is re-elected such policies will continue to harm us, not only now but for many decades.