Critics say outdated system puts green energy jobs at risk

CTV Toronto

Ontario companies are losing out on opportunities to create jobs despite the government’s push for green energy because there isn’t a proper system in place to deliver on their ambitious plans, opposition critics said Friday.  The Tories and the NDP were quick to point to layoffs at a Windsor solar panel plant Friday, announced as the government touted an increase in jobs from Statistics Canada.

Siliken Canada in Windsor said this week it was laying off 60 workers, just months after opening the 121-person plant amid much fanfare about green energy jobs in the province.

Progressive Conservative Peter Shurman noted the company placed part of the blame on slow approval times for projects from the Ontario Power Authority and Hydro One.

“We believe that what’s happened with this company is that the government cannot process the contracts it wants to let fast enough and there’s too much product on their part,” said Shurman.

“That’s why they’re laying people off.”

NDP critic Gilles Bisson said he had seven applications for the green energy program ready to go in his riding alone, all of which were stalled because of a lack of capacity. The feed-in tariff (FIT) program pays producers lucrative rates for their green energy.

“I put the blame of that on the feet of the Liberals because they’re the ones that set up this mess,” said Bisson, whose party is proposing to merge all of Ontario’s electricity bureaucracies.

“They were being very optimistic about the possibilities of what this means for the Ontario economy because you can’t get a lot of these projects online since there’s no capacity on the transmission grid.”

Economic Development Minister Sandra Pupatello said the electricity agencies were working to improve their approval times and were simply going through some growing pains as they adjusted to the new energy policy.

She was quick to point out that the company also attributed the loss in part to PC Leader Tim Hudak’s stance on the province’s Green Energy Act.

“They’ve been clear that the minute the leader of the Opposition opened his mouth about killing the feed-in tariff, about essentially gutting the Green Energy Act, we felt the chill in the green energy investment business,” she said.

“I have called on that leader to be more professional for sure and to at least understand the business cycle.”

Shurman, whose party promised to end the FIT program in its election platform, called the accusations “nonsense.”

The Tories, he said, aren’t against renewable energy.

“We just don’t believe in supplying it with a FIT program that delivers electricity at 80 cents per kilowatt hour when it should cost five,” Shurman said.

The layoffs come on the same day as job numbers from Statistics Canada show Ontario, Alberta and Nova Scotia all posted employment gains in June, with Ontario adding 40,000 new jobs after a slight drop in May.

The increase in jobs across Canada was mainly in the part-time sector, which added 21,000 jobs, compared with 7,000 new full-time jobs.

Even the majority of those that aren’t part-time, Shurman noted, were in the public sector.

21 thoughts on “Critics say outdated system puts green energy jobs at risk

  1. “I have called on that leader to be more professional for sure and to at least understand the business cycle.”

    Hey, blow Ontario citizens another “bubble – bubble”……..”understand the business cycle” – ? –

  2. 21,000 jobs in the summer…18,000 part time….doesn’t sound so great any more now does it.
    There will be lots of jobs for them if the Ontario government subsidized solar or geothermal for the average homeowner…10 Billion could go a long way.
    Drop the FIT and do away with for profit direction
    Despite all the smokes screens , we being a captured market have been led to slaughter by being handed to business to profit providing electricity……and no competition , no lower prices , with a system that is so faulty it defies understanding.
    Why would we deregulate a system and allow an energy broker to trade electricity and make a million with a key stroke……..
    We should own the production methods the transmission lines and everything else required in this province. I set aside the Bruce..

  3. Liberals under the microscope! Outrageous!

    With complete disregard for the natural environment, the economy,
    and most importantly – human well being –
    Ontario and B.C. Liberals continue to pretend – they are doing a “good thing” for citizens.
    You can judge for yourself.

    • A message to Ontario Citizens:
      Are you ready?
      On your mark, get set. Mr. McGuinty can go now!

    • WOW!!! Unfriggin beleivable!
      I had to stop watching that, before it ended,because I simply couldn`t take it any more.
      Lying, Theiving,Liberals are totally destroying Canada from coast to coast!
      It bogles the mind!

      • I had the same reaction – I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing.
        …….citizens helplessly outraged. It’s all very sad.


    McGuinty is just following orders.

    Shame on us rubes for not understanding the “business cycle”. The business cycle that deigns to “allow” us to freeze in the dark, for our own good.

    As for Mr. Hudak’s “lack of professionalism”, that is the signature comment from one of our elected servants. Warts and all, Hudak has the temerity to listen to his constituents and formulate policy based on what he hears from them. Wait, you thought that was called democracy.?

    The Rob Ford victory was “unprofessional”. The Harper majority is “unprofessional”. Professional progressive Liberals continue to miss the point.

    • It is only this “War on Global Warming” that justifies IWT installation and wealth redistribution. A free Market economy would never choose wind and solar except where there was no other choice and power were desperately needed.

      The numbers for Green Energy simply don’t work.

  5. Free Thinker –

    What is amazing about that video is if you change the words from Run of the River and BC Liberals to Industrial Wind Turbine and Ontario Liberals – practically every other word of it could remain unchanged – and be accurate!!

    Amazing comparison!

  6. Hey – PECV
    Sadly, the ‘energy angels’ in B.C. hop skipped it over to Ontario – some changed their names,
    and are having a – ferocious feeding frenzy here too.
    Do you know anything about the – stock market?

    • Evil has no heart!
      This is child abuse – absolutely pathetic!
      This is as lethal as poison.

  7. Here is an honest attempt to “bring things up to date”…–sand-sun-and-smokestacks?bn=1

    Sand, Sun — and Smokestacks?

    Sunbathers at Sugar Beach could soon have a power plant in their sights.

    A Toronto-based power company is proposing to build a gas-fired cogeneration plant at Redpath Sugar on its 4.25-hectare industrial site in the heart of the city’s newly revitalized waterfront.

    The 45-megawatt facility would generate enough power to supply 36,000 homes with electricity when operating at full capacity, which amounts to about 5 per cent of Toronto Hydro’s 700,000 customers.

    “This is truly a neighbourhood-sized facility,” said Scott Stevens of Northland Power Inc. He says the emissions will be a fraction of those produced by large electricity generators such as the 550-megawatt Portlands Energy Centre.

    I think it is aesthetically beautiful and will add real character to the neighborhood.

  8. Scare tactics. Can anyone say Sussex Strategy Group ?!

  9. I am supposed to care about their issue with a generating plant in the city ?….fine willing to do that.
    Now lets get some support for us in rural areas.
    We need a plan that involves community input across Ontario ..rnot councils..but the people that live there , repeal the GEA and stop all..all FIt programs and developments…kick the large companies out , and get some decent subsidies going for us to adopt alternate energy.
    If we are to stay with IWT we build a coridor for them and that’s where they go .buy out affected homeowners at market value …but we own it for profit business…revisit our present energy broker system and do away with that as well.
    Pass laws outlawing any and all lobby groups .

  10. I do not believe for a minute – our electricity system is broken.
    Maybe, just a little mismanaged – at the moment.
    Liberal hype!
    The Sky is Falling Mantra – to push their agenda – to save the earth.
    Ha! Ha! Ha! I’m snorting my coffee.
    And, all those, including farmers – that are now financially invested in this crap.
    ……not to mention all those ‘secrets’ –
    Oh, my – and an election coming up –

    Communication! Communication!
    Liberal press releases will be flying out the door……….Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!

  11. Mr. McGuinty Liberals – Smart Meters –
    eliminated how many jobs?
    Where did our meter readers go?

  12. Some intelligent comment today from Peter Foster….

    Messrs. Harper and Oliver are in fact far more market inclined than the industry which is now begging for a strategy. We can be sure that the Conservatives have more ideological backbone than the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, the CCCE, which this week released its pre-Kananaskis submission.

    Here is the CCCE’s version of Energy Superpower: “Canada is very well placed to be a leader in the global transition to cleaner energy and advanced technologies that can deliver superior energy services with much less environmental impact.”

    Sounds more like a ringing endorsement for Dalton McGuinty’s disastrous Green Energy Act than a recognition that a significant, indeed increasing, part of Canada’s economic future lies with oil and gas. Indeed, by falling into the trendy moralistic trap of talking about “cleaner” energy, the CEOs are supporting the notion that oil, and particularly oil sands oil, is “dirty.” They are also demonstrating how far their thinking has been infiltrated by subversive notions of green “social licence.”

    Please no more “green Power” madness.

  13. If a green energy job is at risk does that mean the 2.2 other jobs that would have been lost are not? Job loss has been proven to happen with the creation of green jobs so Ontario should be better off if green jobs are lost or never happen….

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