Confidential document reveals true cost of McGuinty’s energy experiments

Download Document Here

QUEEN’S PARK – Today, Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak released a confidential document from Sussex Strategy Group, a Canadian lobbying and public affairs company.   Both Chris Benedetti and President, Paul Pellegrini were Aids to senior Liberal ministers.

It shows Dalton McGuinty’s failed energy experiments are expected to increase Ontario families’ home hydro rates by 36 percent in 2012. Worse still, the same document outlines a plan for a special interest group to publicly defend the McGuinty government’s costly energy agenda by confusing the public and the media on the real cost to families.
For several weeks, Tim Hudak and the Ontario PCs have been calling on Dalton McGuinty and Energy Minister Brad Duguid to release their energy bill impact statements to the public, so families won’t have to wait until they open their bills to know how much the cost of hydro is going up. While the McGuinty government has stonewalled the PCs’ requests, this document shows the special interest groups have been given the confidential information the PC Caucus has demanded be given to the public. 

Hudak called on Dalton McGuinty once again to come clean on how much his energy experiments will cost Ontario families by releasing the bill impact statements, the details of his Samsung subsidy and the government’s long-term energy plan. 

Excerpts from the document:

  • “In this it will be critical to ‘confuse’ the issue in the political/public/media away from just price.” (p.2) 
  • Lack of considerable economic investment (jobs) to yet come online (lots of announcements to-date but few have actually been realized yet).” (p.3) 
  • “Residential rates will increase another 36 percent in 2012.” (p.14) 
  • “ Research needs to support this, and should be coordinated with MEI and OPA.” (p.7)
  • “In order to talk past the noisy activists (Hey, that’s us!) and editorial positions, there needs to be a coordinated, paid, earned and social media campaign.” (p.9)
  • “Further research is also required post spike in bill fury, including focus groups to colour, wording and emotion to craft effective, targeted messages”.  (p.8)
  • “Perception that the pro-renewable sector (industry, ENGOs, etc.) have been too quiet and need to be mobilized.   This needs to be addressed immediately!”   (p.4)
  • “Goal is to have $300,000 in hand through contributions from developers and manufacturers to seed the campaign.   Each developer asked for a financial contribution of $15,000-$30,000 to support this effort.  Anonymous contributions to the campaign are possible.”  (p. 11)

47 thoughts on “Confidential document reveals true cost of McGuinty’s energy experiments

  1. “outlines a plan for a special interest group to publicly defend the McGuinty government’s costly energy agenda by confusing the public and the media on the real cost to families.”

    I’m shocked I tell you! Shocked! (Laughs insanely!)

    yeah right — like this is supposed to be a surprise? Has this not been happening already for many months?

    I appreciate the efforts made by Mr. Hudak — but is this not a conclusion previously reached?

  2. Why not a letter to OSEA asking the obvious questions?

    Surely they would be smart enough to deny — but then if caught later…

  3. “Further research is also required post spike in bill fury, including focus groups to colour, wording and emotion to craft effective, targeted messages”.

    Did I read this right? Are they suggesting to use propaganda on our hydro bills to lessen the sticker shock effect?

    Kind of like putting parfume on a pig isn’t it?

  4. GEA Alliance (which includes OSEA) lobbying government to hire Sussex PR firm? No, please tell me this can’t be true. Oh the tangled web indeed.

  5. Clearly this document underlines some very serious “fraudulent” claims being made by our Provincial Government and is a true intent to “mask” and “influence” public opinion with some very dishonorable rhetoric.

    Our tax dollars are being spent to write this report and WE should be able to question the authors and the contractors for this report under oath in a court room!

  6. “Lead with a strong link between clean energy and jobs…environmental and health benefits of clean energy as secondary messages”.

    Hey, could it be that “green” is losing its luster?
    I like this. They tilted their hand.

    WTO disputes and Europe case studies kind of moots the “jobs” claim don’t it?

    Go get ’em folks.

  7. I hope I’m wrong in my interpretation of this document.

    From the legible portions of the scan it seemed to say the Government of Ontario’s release of the Ontario Power Authority’s Long Term Electricity Plan (forgetting about the obfuscation of changing terminology) awaits the shaking down of ‘developers and manufacturers’ for $300,000, for a media campaign co-ordinated with “partners” who are neither the legislature nor the public.

    Is the release of a long-term strategy awaiting funding from private manufacturers and strategy coordination with NGOs?

  8. That’s right PECV. I like what Hudak is doing here, but how much of this is just vote garnering?

    Any bets that once elected he’ll just come up with some lame excuse on why he can’t put a stop to this madness? That’s my opinion. Rinse, wash, repeat.

    Okay, I’ll shut up now…

  9. Pretty bad copy but I was able to read most of it.

    Nowhere did I see any reference anything factual about the efficacy of the technology these “pillars of society” are ramming down our throats!

    they got one thing right though: We are absolutely “noisy activists”.

    Going to get a lot noisier to I think!

    Hopefully someone will find a higher quality document, a subpoena will likely work, although if true, it matters little.

    Sean Holt.

  10. Someone needs to take Dalton’s government checkbook and credit card away before it’s too late (if not so already). From subsidies for “green” energy developers… to $30M in scholarships to foreign students ( this idiot is completely out of control.

    As for attempting to “confuse” us on the real energy issues… I guess the Liberals and their buddy Arlene King must think that the internet hasn’t made it out to rural Ontario yet. True -internet access sucks out here in the sticks (no thanks to unsuccessful Liberal programs to increase broadband access to rural Ontarians)… but even with pathetic internet access we are much more informed than our arrogant Toronto “leaders” think.

  11. Save this document in your favourites and when the Liberal government tries to implement the recommendations, you have the material to expose their misinformation. Might come in handy at all-candidates meetings before the October 2011 election. It could provide some interesting questions for the Liberal candidate.

  12. Efforts are needed to support the shut down and decommissioning of the wasteful turbines. Shut down and paying out would sadly cost less than if they continue to operate. Decommissioning should be promoted as the new economy. It would provide jobs and restore healthy environments. Highest priority should be put on removing those turbines that have impacted previously healthy homes, reduced property values and then all the rest. A target of removing all IWTs by 2015 would be aggressive but could be done.

  13. How do you talk your way around another 36% increase in 2012 on top of all the previous rate increases?

  14. A Public Inquiry will take another 3 years.
    Action to get rid of this @#$% lot is needed NOW!!!


    Please everyone — re-read the document very carefully.

    I have looked over the document for the last two hours. I have garnered two second opinions on this document and both people suggest that you exercise great caution when interpreting this document…

    I believe that whoever wrote this document was functionally illiterate in written English — this is not meant as an insult — simply a statement of fact. Please note throughout the document the misuse of “to” and “too”. Also note the many errors in verb tenses.

    If this was written by a non-native English Speaker it should have been proofed at every stage. If it was written by a native English Speaker they appear to be functionally illiterate!

    The person who wrote the document probably learned English as a “Second Language”. (Don’t bother sending me hate mail anyone, or accusing me of “racial prejudice” — English is my second language as well, and I read an write several others.” — don’t ask)

    I am going to provide some quick examples. Then, you should carefully re-read the document and try to make sense of it. I believe that you may be reading words and phrases that simply aren’t there!

    Example One: (Page 11)

    Each developer asked for a financial contribution of $15,000‐$30,000 to support this effort.

    What does it mean? The obvious — that each Renewable Developer demanded money to go along with this? — or — Was it meant to read “was asked”?????

    Typo? Tense error? Correct as written? — Pick one~

    Example Two: (Page 8, Bottom Sentence)

    Further research is also required post spike in bill fury, including focus groups to colour, wording and emotion to craft effective, targeted messages.

    The above sentence is wonderfully Iconic (Chinese?) — but what exactly does it mean? How many words do you have to add to have a clear English statement — and hence meaning?

    Example Three:
    Volatility has arises vis‐a‐vis the amount of new renewables that will come online; intermittency issues; how demand may change; the pace of new Tx development; growing health/noise concerns (opposition is diversifying); and the overarching support for renewable energy generation in the lead‐up to the October 2011 provincial election.

    Arises? Maybe he/she/it means to use the word “arisen”!? The rest of the sentence is just disconnected thoughts!

    How about “overarching support” for the use of a “neat phrase”?

    This document reads like the work of a young person who wanted to impress someone. (That someone appears to be a non-native speaker of English as well.)

    Whoever wrote this one forgot the primary rule of telling good lies. First: you must know the truth. Then, second, formulate the lie with the simplest possible language so that you, yourself, understand the lie. The, and only then embellish the lie in the fine tradition of Goebbels and other practitioners of the fine art of misinformation. and propaganda. Reading this paper convinces me that the writer did not comprehend the issues, and knew nothing of the energy market. Perhaps their worst sin was that they appear to have confused themselves so that they can no longer distinguish fact from fiction.

    If I had written this document I would expect to be fired and disgraced.

    Pleas read the document very carefully. It is not a policy document. It is a stream of consciousness document written by someone with a poor grasp of the language — perhaps a grade eight student.

    Cheers and keep a stiff upper lip. Your time is coming.

  16. In many newspapers last weekend there were full page ads posted by the Power Workers’ Union pleading with the government to convert Nanticoke, Lambton and Thunder Bay generating plants to biomass or natural gas. This plea is being made in an attempt to save the jobs of 1000 skilled workers and several local community economies. Instead, we get this? The government must be made to account for these destructive energy policies and bad decisions.

  17. I noticed the poor grammar also David and must agree with you on the type of person who wrote may have been a recent “graduate” of a University attempting to sound professional.

    We all know these days that grammar isn’t a strong suit in graduates of our Schooling system.

    However one digs into this and dissects it, the fact still remains: It is a published report with the name of a supposedly highly successful and politically aligned Company being paid for by our tax dollars to advise our Leaders how and what to do to sell their broken Energy Agenda.

    This firm must be held responsible for every single word written, no matter how bad the grammar and must answer for the statements they have mad.

    It amazes me as it probably does others that our Minster of Energy states publicly that he has never seen this report before and this is the first he has heard of it!

    My next question would be, in face of that denial, to Sussex Strategy Group directly, asking them who was it that requested this report?????

    It is definitely a propaganda document designed for McGuinty’s attempt to get re-elected, so who would be requesting this? I’m quite sure it wasn’t someone “volunteering” to write a report “in case” McGuinty just “may” need it someday as there are specific dates for action and very specific costs associated with the actions.

    Also ENGO’s being mentioned as being “mobilized” smacks of advise from CANWEA and PEMBINA having their hands in this but of course one can’t speculate without hard questioning of Sussex.

    All I can say at this point is IF we expect this type of conduct to be just “typical” and just another “attempt to control the public” without some serious backlash then we, as “honourable citizens” can’t claim that description anymore.

  18. Well folks it has taken just over three weeks for this copy to reach the Privileged, the voters of Ontario. However I am not so sure about its authenticity as of yet.

    If this document is valid then it displays exactly what we have been saying from the onset that it is all about the money and always has been.

    If the legitimacy of this copy is found to be correct then the Sussex Strategy Group’s conveyance/statement, “In this, it will be critical to “confuse” the issue in the political/public/media away from price to include key value attributes such as jobs, clean air, farm income, etc. Renewables cannot be defined by price alone”, says it all in a nutshell.

    The mythology behind this group clearly illustrates, the type of control business wants to have over the government.

    It appears the Wind Warriors have these renewable energy groups running and they are really desperate because the Sussex Strategy Group can see the writing on the wall, they know that eventually the truth will be known and understood by all Ontarian’s.

    I have been around for 55 plus years, sometimes it takes longer than expected, but the truth will prevail.

  19. David,

    The document seems to be powerpoint notes / handouts for a presentation.

    These are usually thrown together sloppily.

  20. Tom:

    I have never seen one this sloppy. If this is the standard for politicos then it clearly demonstrates the inability to think clearly. It also indicates why we have our current set of problems.

    This looks like the work of a junior high school student — and not a very good student at that.

  21. The wind industry has sold the McGuinty government a house of cards that he’s developed into the Green Energy Act. It’s becoming generally more evident that McGuinty is actually the card-deck’s Joker.

    Now that the industry’s victims are gaining ground and the ineffectiveness of IWT’s is becoming more widely recognized, the wind industry is scurrying to prop up their political puppet with a new wave of propoganda, with money generated by that very Green Energy Act from the pockets of the general public.

    This whole arrangement is a prime example of two parasitic organisms looking after each others’ mutual interests!

  22. The only truly sensible portion of the document is this sentence in which I believe they made a Freudian slip…

    “A number of renewable energy developers have come together to form a **lose** coalition of interests, to promote renewable energy policy in Ontario and support the agenda set as part of the Green Energy and Economy Act and the Feed‐in‐Tariff program.”

    Note the word “LOSE” as opposed to the word “LOOSE”. (see **’s)

    A bunch of losers promoting a losing agenda — indeed!

  23. All:

    I noticed the same errors in grammar and word use that David has pointed out. I thought initially it was the bad copy I was reading. I became more curious the second time ‘round.

    Some of it reminded me of the random words spewed by our Former PM Paul Martin, when he employed obfuscation instead of answers for questions put to him in The House. Ironically, he is arguably an experienced and well educated individual.

    I have also noticed this story completely absent in any of the mass media I quickly surveyed this morning.

    So the question begs:

    Either this is a valid document likely prepared in haste by some entry level clerk in order to both garner and save money by The Sussex Group in keeping with true Liberal practice (Ad scam comes immediately to mind) or it is an invalid document designed by a genius strategist to create maximum hullabaloo on the opposition side of the legislature only to be proven a hoax later for maximum Liberal political gain.

    A wicked web indeed!

    I submit we should conduct ourselves accordingly.

    Sean Holt.

  24. Clear evidence that the business of communication has become the domain of the functionally illiterate…. In Ontario, power and success are defined by how many Liberals you know (or worked for).

    They have ravaged our hospitals and healthcare, decimated a pretty good education system and are systematically pillaging the electricity sector with little hope of recovery.

    A cursory look at the Lobbyist Registry and the amount of tax revenue these parasites suck out of the system leaves one breathless. There are families out there who routinely do without – children deprived of simple basics and parents put through terrible stress worrying about how to get through each day – as these lackeys continue to find new and different ways to suck tax dollars out of the system.

    This contemptible, wretched proposal sets an initial budget that would provide a hard-working family a handsome increase to their home budget for 20 years. It would help send otherwise disqualified children to university or college. It would relieve day to day stress from a family in need.

    It is unconscionable that so many hard working people must pay the indecent costs of so many leeches – even if they are friends of the Gouvernement du jour.

  25. Contact your MPP and ask the questions and request a written response.

    Let our MPPs know that we do know the significance of October 6, 2011.

  26. David, not withstanding the terrible english, the document has the Sussex seal of approval. Have they come public disclaiming ownership?

  27. You make some good points on your blog, jrwakefield. Isn’t it nice that we now have the playbook to refute their talking points? Whenever you see an example of this media campaign, counter it with a reference to the Sussex Group strategy. Expose the people behind the curtain.

  28. More than the disgusting intent of this document is the fact that these “players” have such a low opinion of the Citizens of Ontario that they actually “believe” that WE need to be spoon fed “lies and innuendos” to make us “feel” confident that our Government actually “cares” about this damaging and destructive Energy Agenda being followed!

    I am personally very INSULTED and OFFENDED by these people who “think” we are a bunch of “loogins that just fell off the turnip truck” and need to be coddled and lied to in order that e feel good about losing our homes health and jobs all in the name of some eco religious BS such as the Green Energy Act!


  29. I realize I sound a bit naive but I’ve witnessed this “dumbing down” of our society for over 30 years now and at one time I just quit giving a damn, but now in my later years I find it really necessary to try and wake up a few people in order that when I hit the “dirt nap”, I can say on my last breath “at least I tried”!

  30. Wind Turbines will save Ontario.Thats good,but,how come there isn’t any of them around Queens Park yet?The Gov.isn’t leading or showing by a good example,are they?

  31. I don’t think the government knows this, but as rural residents of Ontario, we now have indoor plumbing and ‘lectricity. We no longer have to climb the telephone pole to answer our phone either! I just wish we could stop “Mr. Hainey” McGuinty from forcing us to buy his junk we neither want or need. I find it hard to believe people are still buying it!

  32. We are not alone!


    “President Obama continues to advertise the $814 billion stimulus and its green energy subsidy programs in particular as unqualified successes. But a remarkable memo from Mr. Obama’s own advisers tells the real story, neatly illustrating what happens when his anticarbon agenda meets the political allocation of capital.”

    “So here we have the government already paying for 65% of a project that doesn’t even meet its normal cost-benefit test, and then the White House has to referee when one of the largest corporations in the world (GE) importunes the Administration to move faster by threatening to find a private financial substitute like any other business. Remind us again why taxpayers should pay for this kind of corporate welfare?”


    Now that is pork-barrel politics…

  33. As we have been saying all along, this is just a big scam in the name of green energy. The only benefactors are the developers who will get a great income from the Government “us” for something (industrial wind turbines) that none of us want.
    Millbrook Ont

  34. The world according to Hormungous!

    “Dear Editor:

    In a speech to the Ontario Energy Association, Ontario Progressive Conservative Party leader Tim Hudak stated that “(w)e cannot continue to pursue green energy policies that unnecessarily drive up the cost for consumers and have punitive results on our broader economy.” On the contrary, Ontario’s investment in green energy will help create jobs, economic benefits and a cleaner more sustainable energy supply for the future.

    While it’s true the price of electricity in Ontario is rising, the increase is the product of several factors, the application of the HST to electricity purchases and the need for investments in new electricity supply and infrastructure to ensure a reliable and environmentally sustainable electricity system in Ontario. The recent price hikes in Ontario have nothing to do with new wind energy generation under the Green Energy Act as none of these projects are scheduled for operation until next year. ”

    While we cannot prevent electricity prices from rising, we can make choices that ensure these necessary investments keep our electricity system safe and reliable, create jobs in our communities and remain economically sound. As demonstrated around the world, wind energy remains a good choice for Ontario.

    Robert Hornung,


    Canadian Wind Energy Association

  35. The Liberal Pitch…

    Hudak Slams Job-Creating Firms: You’re “Shady”

    QUEEN’S PARK, ON, Nov. 10 /CNW/ – Today Tim Hudak attacked the job-creating firms that are investing in Ontario as result of the McGuinty Government’s green-energy policies.

    Comparing the investment in new manufacturing facilities to the “gold rush,” Hudak slammed the companies creating jobs in Ontario as “shady operators.” (Media Availability, November 10, 2010)

    In actual fact, small and large companies are creating jobs in the new green-energy sector and investing in communities across Ontario:

    Windsor: Schletter Inc. – German manufacturing company, to open first facility in Canada – 100 jobs

    Guelph: Melitron – local metal manufacturing plant, won contract to produce new solar technology – 80 direct and 300 indirect jobs

    London: Canasia Power Corp. – establishing a solar module manufacturing facility – 300 jobs

    Welland: OneWorld Energy – announced plans to kick-start a local “Solar Manufacturing Hub”- 1,000 jobs

    Oakville: Solar Semiconductors – India-based company; announced plans to open their first North American operation in the GTA – 200 jobs

    Ontario’s manufacturing sector and Ontario skilled workers looking for a job are benefiting from new investment and job creation. Instead of bashing the industry and attacking job-creating companies, Hudak should be praising their decision to locate facilities in Ontario.

    When it comes to creating jobs for Ontario families, Tim Hudak just doesn’t get it.


    Should we believe it when we see it?

    The Liberal pitch reminds me of the joke about the newly divorced salesman…

    He spent the entire wedding night sitting on the edge of the bed telling his new bride about how great it was going to be!

  36. What kind of drugs is this individual on?

    I have but one question for him:

    Robert Hornung; If there was no Green Energy Act or Feed In Tariff Program such that all electrical
    generation was viewed more or less equally, would your members be erecting wind farms?

    Has he been asked? If so, what was his answer?

    Sean Holt.

  37. Sean:

    I suspect they have erections (of wind mills of course) every time they see wind farms. Does that answer your question?

  38. Possibly Hornung and McGuinty may want to get out of their Ivory Towers for about an hour and hit the streets to really get a true view on what is happening to Onatrio!

    If they need a good starting point they just may want to talk to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business who just published this report at:

    The following snippet from the report is chilling and says it all!:

    “Current policies of the Ontario government are clouding the province’s already gloomy economic outlook, according to a new survey conducted by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

    Of the nearly 3,400 respondents, 58 per cent say they lack confidence in the province’s economic future, with 69 per cent citing electricity – particularly the Time-of-Use Metering – as the government’s most negative policy.”

  39. Millbrook J,

    Am sure the government will furnish each of the 1000 laid off power workers up North with a framed engraved certificate thanking them for their job sacrafice in the name of a more sustainable planet earth.

  40. This all started with ENRON!……………they developed the blueprint for this THEFT of $$$$ ….of course they got caught but their strategy was too good to let go so basically GE salvaged the Energy portion of Enron’s scam and gave it new life……….so in effect Wall Streets “players” developed this energy CRIME and McGuinty and others are as “complicit” as Enron was in allowing this “Scam” to persist!

  41. Did I hear someone say Fascists?

    You do not have to dig very far within the Ontario, Liberal Government to see who’s really running the government.

    Wars were fought over this type of governance in the past. These politicians are a degrace to to the free world, they are the worst of the worst.

    Soon everone in Ontario will be aware.

  42. “I suspect they have erections (of wind mills of course) every time they see wind farms”


    Please STOP! My guts HURT now!



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