On April 24, 2019 the City of Ottawa passed a motion declaring a “climate emergency” and only two councilors voted against it. Interestingly one of the “No” votes came from Rick Chiarelli, 2nd cousin of Bob Chiarelli, former Ontario Minister of Energy who during his term of service was a big fan of renewable energy which caused electricity prices to rise over 100% in the province.
Passage of the motion led to the appointment of councilor Scott Moffat as Chair of the City’s Standing Committee on Environmental Protection, Water and Waste Management. Moffat presumably accepted the position with his belief in the reputed and upcoming “climate emergency” motion he supported.
As an outgrowth of the “climate emergency” declaration, the Ottawa Community Foundation (OCF), a registered charity with assets of $178 million (CRA 2019 filing) launched the Ottawa Climate Action Fund (OCAF). The official launch occurred May 14, 2021 and was moderated by Diana Fox Carney, who happens to be Mark Carney’s wife.
As yet another coincidence, it was earlier announced on May 3, 2021, by Eurasia Group, “the world’s leading political risk research and consulting firm” (their claim), that “Diana Fox Carney, a widely respected expert on global climate and energy policy, will be joining as a senior advisor. At Eurasia Group, Fox Carney will work closely with Vice Chairman Gerald Butts, who helped negotiate the Paris Climate Agreement, to bolster the firm’s growing climate and energy practice. Most Canadians and particularly Ontarians will recognize the “Butts” name as it was he who; “behind the scenes”, influenced former Ontario Premier, McGuinty in the creation of the GEGEA (Green Energy and Green Economy Act) driving up electricity prices in the push for wind and solar generation.
On the launch day of May 14, 2021 the OCAF issued a press release announcing a: “$21.7M investment from the Government of Canada to bring Carbon Down and Community Up“. As one would expect the press release carried words of wonder from Ministers Seamus O’Regan and Catherine McKenna on how those tax dollars would help save the world from the climate emergency while creating jobs and making life better for our kids and grandkids.
The City of Ottawa’s plan to get to net-zero by 2050 consists of 101 pages and starts with a “Thank You to Our Partners”. The report states; “The city extends its sincere thanks and appreciation to almost 200 public and private stakeholders representing more than 90 organizations” in discussions and technical workshops! One of those listed is Pollution Probe (a charity) who have been pushing environmental issues for several decades. The interesting issue in respect to the City of Ottawa’s plan is it appears to have been created by Pollution Probe. When you link to the plan in PDF format it suggests it was PP’s creation not the City! Also interesting is in the list of OCAF’s appointed advisors one finds an individual by the name of Chris Henderson. If one looks at Pollution Probe 2020 GALA webpage the moderator for one of the sessions was Chris Henderson. Coincidental, or is Ottawa’s “net-zero” plan a creation of PP rather than City officials?
The official OCAF online launch with Diana Carney as moderator took place on the same day (May 14, 2021) as the $21.7 million in tax dollars were announced. The video recording of the launch is just over one hour and included presenters; Seamus O’Regan, Catherine McKenna and a few others including Councilor Moffat! O’Regan waxed on about temperatures last winter being 10 degrees higher than normal in Labrador as a sign of the climate emergency but if he bothered to investigate history, he would have noted average winter temperatures in Goose Bay, where he grew up, vary by as much as 30 degrees from a low of -30 C to 0 C in January. Ottawa MP McKenna screeched she want’s Ottawa to be “the greenest capital ever”!
Reverting to the PP plan it is interesting to see the following: “Financial analysis indicates that cumulative community-wide investments from 2020 to 2050 total $57.4 billion with a present value of $31.8 billion.” To put that in perspective the $21.7 million taxpayer dollars just awarded to the City is 0.4% of the investments reputedly needed and those investments are 14.5 times the City’s current annual budget of $3.94 billion. As one should suspect the plan recommends complete electrification of everything and utilizing renewable energy in the form of solar and wind (lowest power density of energy sources). From the plan:
“The model indicates that the minimum results required to meet the 100% scenario under the electricity sector are:
• Solar photovoltaic (PV) reaches 1,060 MW by 2050 (approximately 36 km2 of solar PV47 mostly on rooftops)
• Wind generation reaches 3,218 MW by 2050 (approximately 710 large scale turbines)”
The proposal to have 1060 MW of solar panels (40% of what Ontario currently has) and 3,218 MW of wind turbines (60% of what Ontario has currently) to supply Ottawa with the power needed to achieve net-zero by 2050 is a dream Ontarians have already suffered though. Residents in Ottawa should get ready for electricity prices to more than double every 10 years.
The 101-page plan says absolutely nothing about the toxic elements in those 1060 MW of solar panels that will require disposal in 15/20 years when they reach their end of life and need to be removed from the 36 square kilometers of rooftops they will cover. Interestingly enough, many will have to be removed and replaced before we even reach 2050.
The same concern should be considered in respect to those “710 large scale turbines” whose life cycle is about the same as solar panels and will be 160 metres in height as compared to the 98 metre height of the Peace Tower. I presume Catherine McKenna would welcome solar panels on her roof and one of those industrial wind turbines near or at her residence if she really wants Ottawa to be “the greenest capital ever”.
The OEB yearbook of Distributors for 2019 indicates the hourly peak demand for Hydro Ottawa in the summer was 1,348 MW and winter peak was 1,257 MW, By 2050 or sooner those peaks will double or triple. What that could mean is residents and businesses will be faced with rolling blackouts similar to those experienced by California, Southern Australia and were partially to blame for the Texas blackout. Those three regions have opted for unreliable and intermittent wind and solar generation although Texas hasn’t gone quite as far as California and SA have.
Those of us in the rest of Ontario should insist Hydro Ottawa be disconnected from the grid to ensure only the City of Ottawa is affected by blackouts or brownouts in the future. Let them spend the $57.4 billion but only use the tax dollars generated by those living in Ottawa and the rest of us can sit back and watch what happens when politicians are eventually accused of harming those who voted for them.