Premier Ford and his minions have ramped up the diatribe as we approach election day. Back in the McGuinty/Wynne days I signed up to receive press releases from the Ontario Provincial Government and they have arrived in my in-box since then. This February I received 82 press releases. A few of them were associated with Covid-19 but the bulk were aligned with bragging about handouts of money. As I commenced writing this article on March 4, 2022 by 3 PM I had received 9 (nine) press releases from the Ford led Government. A few of those in the February group were associated with the energy sector and the obtuse plans emanating from other ministries in addition to the Ministry of Energy. Here is a look at a couple of them:
Clean steel gets $900 million from taxpayers:
The headline was; “Province Invests in Clean Steelmaking Technology in Hamilton to Support Future of Ontario’s Auto Sector” and profligates the reputed ability of politicians to pick winners in the “climate change” battle. “The Government of Ontario is contributing up to $500 million in loan and grant support to the project, which will reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by about three million tonnes annually.” Todd Smith, Minister of Energy said: “As companies like ArcelorMittal Dofasco make significant investments to electrify and reduce emissions, they do so knowing they can rely on Ontario’s clean and affordable electricity system giving them a competitive advantage,” One of the “facts” in the press release also stated: “The Government of Canada announced a federal investment of $400 million to support ArcelorMittal Dofasco’s adoption of innovative low-carbon technology.” Wow, $900 million of tax dollars dedicated to reducing our emissions using our “clean and affordable electricity system” sounds fantastic, or does it? The conversion of the steelmaking from using coal to hydrogen will apparently reduce our emissions but no mention is made how it affects our electricity system and if we will have sufficient “clean” generation when the Pickering Nuclear plants have been shut down. Also, no mention of whether the hydrogen energy will be “carbon-footprint” free! An article from Forbes suggests hydrogen may not be as clean as our politicians believe: “On an apples-to-apples basis, it depends on several factors but it is likely that the conversion of hydrogen into power will have a carbon footprint greater than that of natural gas-fired power, but less than that of coal-fired power.”
Electric Vehicle Battery Innovation Lab
Another news release was headed up: “Province Invests in Windsor Electric Vehicle Battery Innovation Lab to Boost Regional Economy”. It stated; “Investments like this one ($1.5 million) will help further develop Ontario’s EV battery supply chain and play a pivotal role in Phase 2 of our Driving Prosperity auto plan.” While the amount of the recent investment is not overly large if one harkens back to October 2020, one will recall the province committed $295 million to match the Feds commitment to convert the Ford Oakville plant to manufacture EV (electric Vehicles). It should send a signal to all taxpayers the Doug Ford led government seems fully committed to the concept EV are the future of our automotive sector and is fully prepared to use our tax dollars to push the initiative.
It Appears Future Press Releases will cause more inflation
As noted above I subscribe to the province’s press releases and additionally also do so for weekly bulletins from the OEB (Ontario Energy Board) and the IESO (Independent Electricity System Operator). A couple of IESO bulletins recently caught my eye as they referenced Ministerial directives from Minister of Energy, Todd Smith to IESO. One was related to “Clean Energy Credits” and the other to “Pathways to Decarbonization”. He also has told the OEB to investigate options for a “New Ultra-Low Overnight Electricity Rate”.
All three of the foregoing directives/instructions are reflective of actions under the McGuinty/Wynne days when their Energy Ministers were busy instructing the OEB and IESO how to reorganize the generation of electricity in order to get the blessings of people like Al Gore, David Suzuki, Jack Gibbons as well as Bruce Lourie and Rick Smith! It’s looking like a repeat of the days when the Green Energy and Green Economy Act drove up our electricity rates to the point where Ontario’s taxpayers are now picking up almost $7 billion in costs related to the disastrous effects the GEA created. We will deal with those above directives in a future article.
It appears the Ford government wants the blessing of PM Trudeau and his henchman Steven Guilbeault, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change! For that reason, we should be confident the “cost benefit analysis” associated with the projects receiving taxpayer grants and/or cheap financing simply comes down to Premier Ford doing whatever PM Trudeau and Minister Guilbeault want him to do.
Based on what we are seeing we should expect electricity rates to climb or the $7 billion taxpayers are now absorbing grow larger.
It will probably be both so stayed tuned!