Hudak warns of campaign to ‘dupe’ on green energy

The Canadian Press   CTV News

TORONTO — A special interest group is planning to launch a campaign to “dupe” the public about the true cost of the government’s push for green energy, Opposition Leader Tim Hudak charged Tuesday.

A confidential document obtained by the Tories advises a group of unnamed green energy developers on how to promote the governing Liberals’ policy and expedite lucrative government contracts for renewable energy.

The Oct. 18 document, drafted by consulting firm Sussex Strategy Group., lays out a plan — complete with a $300,000 initial budget — to change the channel on the current green energy debate, which is largely focused on cost.

Sussex notes that green energy is likely to be a “wedge issue” in the upcoming election, with the Conservatives supporting a move away from renewable energy.

It also advises that it will be “critical to ‘confuse’ the issue” of renewable energy, for the public and media, in an attempt to shift the focus away from price to include things like jobs and clean air.

The document provides details for a media campaign to “talk past ‘noisy activists”‘ and target areas where there’s opposition to renewable energy projects, which includes spending $150,000 on ads.

“This deck contains evidence of an active push to form a special interest coalition intent on defending the McGuinty government’s costly energy experiments, including massive handouts to industry,” Hudak said.

“The Ontario government and its agencies should clearly not be associated with a group whose sole mandate is to try to dupe the public.”

Sussex confirmed it pitched the proposal to a “broad group” — not just its clients — that included people involved in health and the environment to expand the debate about green energy. But it wouldn’t name names.

Advising that group to “confuse” the green energy issue was a mistake, said Sussex spokesman Brett James.

“I think it was a poor choice of words, because the effort is actually to provide clarity to the debate that right now is only about price, and to make sure that the benefits of clean energy are reflected in the debate as well,” he said.

Key dates for government approvals of its yet-to-be released energy plan that were contained in the document were “pure speculation,” James added.

Energy Minister Brad Duguid flatly dismissed Opposition suggestions that Sussex may have had an inside track on the government’s energy plan.

The government had nothing to do with the proposal and wasn’t even aware that it existed until the Tories distributed it to reporters, he said.

“But I think it’s important for Ontarians to know what’s at stake here,” Duguid added.

“I’m not surprised that you would have those that are involved in building the green energy hub that we’re building here in Ontario concerned about where Tim Hudak wants to take it.”

Sussex, which has offices in Toronto and Ottawa, has seven active lobbyists on the Ontario registry. Its client list includes the Electricity Distributors Association of Ontario and several renewable energy companies, such as FarmTech Energy, Recurrent Energy and Interwind Corp.

12 thoughts on “Hudak warns of campaign to ‘dupe’ on green energy

  1. and this is different than the oil industry trying to dupe us that tar sands are clean how?

  2. Lemmywinks, do you own a car? Do you travel? Do you own anything that is plastic? Typical leftie, can’t make an intelligent comment on the subject at hand, so divert to ‘evil’ oil. I guess it is not a concern to you that government is joining with big business to form public policy. Energy is at the core of our economy and standard of living. Do you really want rent-seeking industry deciding how much you will pay for hydro? Do you find it acceptable that the government has to ‘confuse’ the public into accepting renewables?

  3. So true. Green doesn’t always mean good. Use critical thinking!

  4. And McGuinty doesn’t “know” anything about this report?……………….RIGHT!

    And Wind Energy is Free and Clean and Environmentally Friendly?…………………RIGHT!

  5. “I think it was a poor choice of words, because the effort is actually to provide clarity to the debate that right now is only about price, and to make sure that the benefits of clean energy are reflected in the debate as well,” he said.

    Read my comments in the other thread about the “clarity” of the pitch.

    That pitch was laughably bad. It definitely looks like Liberal quality work!

  6. David, that one kinda jumped off the page at me as well. If they want to change the focus from price to environmental and economic benefits I say : go for it! As we all know these don’t exist! They would be wiser to concentrate on price!

    They will, for all intents and purposes, be shooting themselves in BOTH feet! Of course, in order to do that they will first have to remove both feet from their mouth!

    Sean Holt.

  7. Here is another one…
    Right off the newswire — a press release from a few days ago…

    http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/November2010/02/c8244.html

    According to the Liberal spin machine…

    Among other things…

    “But Hudak called Samsung’s plan to create 16,000 Ontario jobs and 4 new manufacturing plants “a bad deal for Ontario.” (Canadian Press, January 21, 2010) ”

    I would say he got it right.

    Mostly, these days, Liberal Press releases have me laughing till my sides ache.

  8. Question:

    What do Liberals see when they look in the mirror?

    Answer:

    Just ears! The space in between is EMPTY!

    Sean Holt.

  9. We would be wise to remember that the stated purpose is to fight CO2 emission. Global warming, floods and all that stuff.

    Pravda shall set us free (Pravda = Truth)

    From Pravda)

    *****************************
    Global flood to destroy mankind
    12.11.2010

    “Hydrologists think that additional redistribution of water that occurs due to these phenomena speeds up the approaching of the ocean. This statement seems doubtful because it violates the law of mass preservation, because stronger currents cannot create additional volume of water out of nothing. Yet, according to the forecast of the Spanish specialists, this will happen in the middle of the 21 century. As a result, the larger part of Island, nearly entire Scotland and many northern islands will be covered with water. Denmark and Netherlands are also threatened with floods.

    Besides, the authors of this forecast are convinced that melting of the arctic ice will cause cooling of the Gulf Stream. It is not very clear how this is connected to the global warming that is to cause the rise of the water temperature in the tropics where the Gulf Stream starts. In addition, it seems that two mutually exclusive processes will occur on Earth simultaneously – rising of the temperature and glaciers melting, and cooling of the Gulf Stream.”

    “The situation with the South Pole and Antarctic is even more interesting. The masses of water that formed due to the melting of the glaciers cannot depart from the continent because they will not be stopped by cold currents “covering” the ice continent. Accumulation of cold water around Antarctic will cause a local drop of temperature and formation of new masses of ice. This means that Australians, New Zealanders and residents of Oceania do not have reasons to worry.

    As you can see, the prediction of Spanish hydrologists will hardly come true. Most likely, the scientists understand it themselves. Perhaps, the model was meant to scare the taxpayers and pump out more money for research.

    Unfortunately, this method to get new grants is becoming increasingly more popular because people are ready to pay to avoid catastrophic events. If the catastrophe does not happen (which is most likely), the researchers will not have to account for the money they have spent.

    These apocalyptic events are so tiring that there is a great temptation to adopt the method of an ancient Chinese Emperor who would generously pay for predictions, but if they would not come true, would have the “fortune tellers” and their families executed.”

    *******************************

    Do read the whole story if possible.

    http://english.pravda.ru/science/earth/12-11-2010/115753-global_flood-0/

    Maybe then you will see what we are working to prevent… Is it Global Warming? Is it a new Ice Age? Is it a new Grant Age where money flows like Glacier Melt?

  10. These apocalyptic events are so tiring that there is a great temptation to adopt the method of an ancient Chinese Emperor who would generously pay for predictions, but if they would not come true, would have the “fortune tellers” and their families executed.”

    That would certainly stop the flow of grant money!

    IF ONLY!!!!!

    B.W.

  11. Wind companies must maintain some hype in attempts to keep the government money flowing. What that hype is does not matter. Industrial wind turbines have little to do with solving any of the hype generated and no one should be “confused” on that.

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