The resignation of Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty is unlikely to change the province’s commitment to its feed-in tariff program but it does add to the political uncertainty facing the industry in the province.
McGuinty announced he was stepping down as premier Monday night. The Canadian Wind Energy Association is holding its annual conference in Toronto this week, and president Robert Hornung said Tuesday that McGuity’s support for renewable energy has been critical in making Ontario the leading wind energy market in Canada.
But, he says, CanWEA does not expect to see policy changes as a result of his resignation. “The policy frameworks that have been established to facilitate the development of wind energy in Ontario are policies of the Liberal government and we clearly expect them to remain in place under a new leader.”
McGuinty will remain as premier until his successor is chosen, but the timing for this is unclear. The shift at the top, however, raises questions about when another Ontario election will be held and if that will affect the awarding of new Fit contracts.
Wind energy was a key issue during the last election, held in October 2011, with the Conservative opposition promising during the bitterly-fought contest to abolish the Fit program if elected.
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