On July 13, the Province of Ontario announced the immediate cancellation of 758 renewable energy projects, calling them “unnecessary and wasteful” . In “Inside Ontario’s clean energy contract cancellations” by GreenTech Media (July 26), the CEO of the Canadian Solar Industry Association estimates that Ontario will lose 6,000 jobs and half a billion dollars of investment as a result, although the general tone of the article displays confidence in the unstoppable momentum of clean energy. The decision, however, has thrown the industry into confusion, disappointed some consumers, and is seen as a blow to Ontario’s reputation amongst investors.
A sampling of reaction: “Green shift to green slump: How trade decisions and electoral politics are crippling the vision of a clean Canadian power play” in the Globe and Mail (Aug. 3)
“Renewable Energy stocks slide as Ontario vows to scrap clean- power projects” in the Globe and Mail (July 13)
“Clean power advocates disappointed by defiant in the face of Ford’s sweeping cuts” (July 17) in the National Observer
“Cancellation of Energy Contracts Punishes Famers, School Boards, Municipalities and First Nations” a press release from the Canadian Solar Industries Association. CanWEA also responded to the announcements with a disjointed compilation of links about the benefits of wind energy (July 13) .
One high profile example of the cancelled projects: the White Pines wind project in Prince Edward County, owned by German company WPD , which was first approved in 2010 and was weeks away from completion when it was cancelled by Bill 2, The Urgent Priorities Act. Local reaction appeared in The Picton Gazette , and the National Observer published an extensive four part report, “Inside one Ontario town’s decade long wind war” . CBC News published “Ford government’s plan to cancel wind project could cost taxpayers over $100M, company warns” , and even the conservative National Post published “John Ivison: Wind turbine decision says Doug Ford’s Ontario is closed for business” (July 23), calling it a “bone-headed”decision. Activist group Leadnow.ca has posted on online petition, “Save the White Pines project” .