The only thing “green” about the Green Energy Act was the green that lined the pockets of well-connected insiders.
That’s why, yesterday, I was very pleased to be joined by my friend Minister McNaughton to announce that we are repealing this disastrous legislation that killed jobs, hurt families, business and manufacturing across our province.
For many people, the Green Energy Act is a symbol of a failed energy policy, driven by dangerous ideology and a culture of waste at Queen’s Park.
The Green Energy Act forced wasteful projects on unwilling communities while driving up the costs of hydro bills for families and businesses across Ontario. In 2017 alone, wind and solar projects added $3.75 billion in costs to hydro bills. Even worse, 26 per cent of this expensive electricity wasn’t even used, it was curtailed, and you paid for it. This is part of the reason why, under the previous Liberal government, energy rates tripled, hurting families, and driving manufacturing and jobs out of Ontario.
The Green Energy Act represents the largest transfer of money from the poor and middle class to the rich in Ontario’s history. Well-connected energy Liberal insiders made fortunes putting up wind-farms and solar panels that gouged hydro consumers in order to generate electricity that Ontario doesn’t need.
These projects were forced on municipalities, with little to no consultation. When communities raised concerns, they were ignored, in fact trampled by Queen’s Park.
One example of this is the Municipality of Dutton Dunwich. More than 80 per cent of residents in this community voted in a referendum to stop a wind farm in that community. The previous government ignored the people of Dutton Dunwich and forced this unpopular and wasteful project in this community.
These are the consequences of 15 years of bad decisions. That’s why one of my first acts as Energy Minister was to cancel 758 of these expensive and wasteful projects, including the wind farm in Dutton Dunwich. This will save electricity customers across Ontario $790 million. Future decisions on energy supply will not be driven by ideology but what matters most to the people of Ontario, their pocket books.
This legislation, if passed, will send a strong signal about our government’s energy priorities.
We are committed to putting more money in your pocket by lowering hydro bills by 12%.
We are giving power back to municipalities to ensure they are in control of where energy projects go.
We are committed to cleaning up the hydro mess left by the previous government.
We are committed to ending the sweetheart deals of the past that tripled your hydro bill.
— Greg Rickford is Ontario’s Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines