Kathleen Wynne backing away from Ontario Green Energy Act
It’s always instructive to see how a government frames an announcement that is backtracking on one of its own initiatives.
Conveniently for the Ontario Liberals, they are amassing considerable experience in this regard.
So, when the government on Thursday dropped the news that it was restructuring its 2010 wind-power deal with Samsung, it presented it in terms of extended job commitments and savings to electricity ratepayers. Samsung was guaranteeing jobs until 2016, instead of 2015, and the government was now only committing to buy $6-billion of Samsung’s renewable power at well above market rates, down from $9.7-billion in the original contract. Hooray for savings!
Those extended job commitments, though, are a result of Samsung’s having missed targets in the original contract; it now has more time to meet them. And that reduction in spending? It comes as Samsung, which won the original contract absent a competition, agrees to drop its own investment in the province from $7-billion to $5-billion, with projects expected to generate 1,369 megawatts of energy, down steeply from 2,500 megawatts in the first deal.
Ontario will be paying less, and receiving less. This is probably not the result of a particularly hard-fought negotiation.
What’s more notable are the things that the announcement from Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli did not mention, for example the 16,000 jobs that the original contract was said to create when it was announced in 2010. (Source: The National Post)