The Canadian Press
The governing Liberals’ green energy policies are in the opposition’s crosshairs today following a critical report from Ontario’s auditor general. Watchdog Jim McCarter found that the government fast-tracked billions of dollars of wind and solar energy projects with little oversight, which will drive up electricity bills. Opposition Leader Tim Hudak says the government has created a gold rush in the green energy sector that’s ripping off families.
But the Liberals say they’re creating jobs and pursuing clean-air projects that will reduce health-care costs.
The New Democrats piled on, asking why the Liberals created an energy planning agency when they simply ignore its advice on green projects.
The debate in the legislature reached a boiling point when Hudak told the Liberals they were “giving the finger” to the auditor general.
Premier Dalton McGuinty was at a wind turbine component factory in Windsor, where he delivered an impassioned defence of his green energy policies.
McCarter’s annual report found that the government’s push for green energy would add $220 million a year to the cost of electricity.
He also complained that the government had signed a $7-billion deal with Korean giant Samsung without consulting its key energy agencies or doing any formal economic analysis.
McCarter pointed out that consumers are less protected from rising electricity costs because the Ontario Energy Board has no say over charges that comprise half of a hydro bill.