Premier Wynne’s mistake: no real fixes ahead

November 25, 2016

A recent press release from Environmental Defence announced the launch of yet another effort to “green” Ontario via an organization formed by the usual cadre of environmental non-government organizations (ENGO).

This one, the 100% RE or Renewable Energy, pushes the insanity of suggesting Ontario’s “next energy plan should empower citizens and communities to join the global movement toward 100 per cent renewable energy.” It suggests Ontario “should follow the lead of communities, such as Oxford County, that are transitioning to clean and healthy 100 per cent renewable energy”.

It is apparent that the people at Environmental Defence — the same ENGO that was a participant in the creation of the Green Energy Act — somehow believe they are superior energy planners than those with qualifications. Beyond Environmental Defence, the 100%RE group includes the usual suspects such as the David Suzuki Foundation, Pembina, Greenpeace, the Ontario Clean Air Alliance, Physicians for the Environment, the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario and several lesser known names, including the Toronto Environmental Alliance and TREC. The latter were responsible for the Toronto Exhibition Place wind turbine used by countless Ontario Liberals as a photo-op but which generates almost no usable power and whose control now rests in the hands of Toronto Hydro. TREC have placed a plaque at the base of the turbine with the names of the people who invested in the turbine and have no hope of ever seeing a return on their money.  One of the names on the plaque is Dianne Saxe, the current Environmental Commissioner.  (It appears supporting industrial-scale wind turbines that kill birds and bats did not deter the Ontario Liberal government from appointing Ms. Saxe as commissioner of the environment.)

Now, with Premier Wynne’s recent mea culpa at the Ontario Liberal Party convention when she referred to Ontario citizens having to choose between heating their house or buying food, one has to wonder:  exactly why did it take her so long to admit to her mistake?  Maybe it’s because the Ontario media has recently noted rising electricity bills are causing energy poverty; the hard-luck stories in print and on TV are often heart-wrenching.  Those stories, and the relentless arrival of the monthly hydro bill, has had a lot to do with recent polling results showing that 67% disapprove of the job Premier Wynne is doing.

One of the obvious “mistakes” Premier Wynne made was not paying attention. When she was confronted by communities back in August 2013 declaring themselves “unwilling hosts” to industrial wind turbine developments, her response, as reported in the Ottawa Citizen, was to shrug it off: “Wynne has asked the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association to raise awareness in communities slated for the turbine projects about the benefits of hosting, including the financial gains that can come from being power generators in a cash-strapped economy.”

Was she so naive that she didn’t realize those “financial gains” would come from the pockets of average households, and that OSEA claimed responsibility for developing the Green Energy Act that had a role in rising electricity bills?

Her announcement on the repeal of the 8% provincial portion of the HST is at best comparable to sticking her finger in a dike to stop the flood.  It has apparently slipped her mind she was part of the team that placed the tax on our energy bills, while simultaneously blessing a 10% rebate known as the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit.

The net gain to households from those actions was a 2% reduction, at the same time as the Ontario Energy Board was approving rate increases for both the electricity and distribution lines on our bills that were multiples of the 2% net gain from the Liberal government actions.

The upcoming plan to add a “cap and trade” tax to households will quickly negate the latest 8% reduction.  On top of the new tax, Ontario Power Generation, which generates about 60% of the power we consume in the province, has submitted a rate application to the OEB that could add $63 to the average bill.

Premier Wynne’s “mistake” will continue to drive up our bills for some time. If she pays any attention to the dreamy musings of Environmental Defence and their ilk in the drive for 100% renewables, those heart-wrenching stories will become a daily occurrence.

Creating the Green Energy Act based on faulty ideology, and with no comprehensive cost-benefit analysis in place was a big mistake — one that remains fundamentally not corrected.

Author: parkergallantenergyperspectivesblog

Retired international banker.

10 thoughts on “Premier Wynne’s mistake: no real fixes ahead”

  1. ‘Shrugging off’ the innocent rural residents who have been harmed psychologically, physically and financially because these turbines were sited too close to their homes is another facet of this horrible mess. Has Premier Wynne ever even tried to address this reality? These people need to be protected and compensated for their losses. In an ethical Ontario this needs to happen now.


  2. Parker, I believe that Wynne’s apology was that she made the political mistake of not paying attention to the complaints of those whose electricity bills have risen so high that they must chose between eating and paying their electricity bill. She did not say that she was sorry for having continued the McGuinty policies that raised electricity costs to the point that much higher rates would be necessary. As the present and past government has shown several times, they can be quite creative in terms of how they reallocate the costs of electricity generation so as to favour our group of ratepayers over another and taxpayers over ratepayers (and sometime the reverse). There is almost an unlimited range of options by which the Wine government can lower the electricity rates of lower income people in the province while dealing with the reality of high and rising generation costs. All it takes is the clever use of the fiscal system. For example, the government could introduce a new subsidy program for low income ratepayers and source the revenues for this from one of three different places. One would be taxes – either an increase in some existing tax or a new special tax. Another would be a design wrinkle in the proposed cap and trade system – just adding the cost of the new subsidy program onto the list of uses for the permit revenues, so that all permit purchasers bear the load in increased carbon ( prices. Another would be the classic Liberal fiscal response – raise no new revenues at all, and just add the costs onto the deficit. Wynne knows that the only people who worry about deficits and debt are the people who don’t vote Liberal anyway. Problem solved!


  3. By admitting “My Mistake”, and taking the blame for Ontario’s Green Energy fiasco, Kathleen Wynne is setting the stage for her resignation. Her party has obviously forced her to take the blame so that she can be replaced by someone who does not carry all this ugly and expensive Green Baggage.

    However, from the very beginning, Green Energy has been a Liberal Party fiasco, initially led by Dalton McGuinty and George Smitherman, and proliferated by Kathleen Wynne and all her Liberal caucus colleagues.

    A thorough housecleaning is urgently needed. Replace Green with Blue. Now.


  4. I look at the list of colluders behind this calamity and it strikes me as incredible that those fighting to preserve their ‘Green energy’ projects are the very same people who defend unfair and unsustainable government pensions, the use of pension dollars to invest in infrastructure, public/private partnerships, increased immigration, a growth in government subsidized non profits (often portraying themselves as serving the needs of new immigrants and the disenfranchised), mainstream media, like the CBC, and most government unions.

    So what do they all have in common? 1. They can’t survive without control of the public purse. 2. They are all advocates for electoral reform.

    I don’t find it incredible that they are all working together. What I find incredible is that those who are attempting to fight these colluders, haven’t done a better job of uniting against them. We learned this week, through a senate hearing with Marc Mayrand, the head of Elections Canada, that not only did these groups unite to defeat the only political party that was attempting to expose them, they did it using foreign funding. And according to Marc Mayrand, changes to the Elections Act, prior to the 2015 election, made their actions legal!

    What’s worse is that the newly elected Federal government (much like the decaying Liberal government of Ontario) is, by all accounts, being directed by these groups and is already making further changes to the Elections Act to better protect their ability to control future elections and the policy direction of this country.

    If they succeed, the price of hydro will be the least of our worries.


    1. Nancy is right and I share her astonishment as she says:

      “What I find incredible is that those who are attempting to fight these colluders, haven’t done a better job of uniting against them. We learned this week, through a senate hearing with Marc Mayrand, the head of Elections Canada, that not only did these groups unite to defeat the only political party that was attempting to expose them, they did it using foreign funding”

      Thanks to the years of investigative reporting by BC’s Vivian Krause ( ; ) and the longtime blogging in Ontario at The Big Green Lie ( ) there is little excuse for claims of ignorance. There is a demonstrable money trail.

      And, then there is the logical conundrum, windpower is no solution ( ) to the alleged problem of CO2 (without which plants starve) so why is that fact ignored if “Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming” is not a hoax? Were this truly a climate crisis why no immediate reassessment and redeployment of resources? Loss of prosperity makes us all more susceptible to the ravages of weather, that is the local climate and weakens our National Security.

      In fact those of us who questioned and fought the GEA really sat up and took notice when the AG for Ontario, in 2011 Report on Renewables, notified us that there was no proper business plan and no cost/benefit analysis for the GEA. That is not how rational people with honest intentions proceed. We then understood why facts could not win arguments and it became necessary to fight the whole “green” tyranny not just the one tentacle that is wind.

      There is no benefit-of-the-doubt to be given here.

      Wynne is only conceding she made a mistake in getting caught, she is not trying to undo real damage; she is actually trying to prolong the hemorrhage of wealth from us to her cronies by pretending with Bandaids to staunch the flow.


  5. i believe the whole agenda here is to separate us from our money and force us in the rural areas to move closer together. This is the whole premise behind Agenda 21 being pushed by the UN. We are already seeing the planning being taken away from municipalities, where the siting of wind and solar projects are concerned, which is also part and parcel of Agenda 21, taking away local planning authority and centralizing it ( Toronto or Ottawa ) Yep the whole scheme is not a happy one, I fear for my grandchildren and what they are going to face as they get to be my age.


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