WTO confirms ruling against Ontario green energy program

WTORichard Blackwell, Globe and Mail
The World Trade Organization has released its formal ruling on Ontario’s green energy program, and as expected it says the local-content rules in the initiative break international trade rules. Japan and the European Union had complained to the WTO about Ontario’s rules that force companies that sell premium-priced electricity into the province’s grid to buy a proportion of their equipment and services in Ontario. The Green Energy Act was designed to help bolster the renewable energy industry in the province by supporting local suppliers.

The WTO’s 160-page ruling, released Wednesday, says Ontario breached its obligations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, because the local-content requirements treat imported equipment and components differently than domestic products. However, the WTO did not uphold part of the Japanese and European complaint that suggested the local content rules amount to an illegal subsidy. The complaint was actually against Canada, because the WTO deals with nations rather than regional governments – even though it focused on provisions that are only in place in Ontario. Read article

17 thoughts on “WTO confirms ruling against Ontario green energy program

    • If you can get Tim Hudak to say precisely that, I’d have a different perspective of the man.

      • “It’s time to end this government’s ridiculous wind experiment,” PC Energy Critic and Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli said today.
        “Given the impacts wind turbines have on our hydro bill, the concerns about health impacts and now impacts on wildlife, it’s clear wind power just has too many costs,” said PC Deputy Energy Critic Lisa Thompson (Huron-Bruce), who has repeatedly called for a moratorium on all industrial wind turbine developments in Ontario.
        “It’s time to end this government’s ridiculous wind experiment.”


      • “Moratorium”??? What the hell does that have to do with wind turbines already operating and all the projects already in the pipeline? A good way to use up all the air time talking about something that doesn’t even exist.

        And you expect us to buy this rhetoric in defense of the PC platform because it’s all about “respecting contracts” and “protecting the taxpayers from lawsuit liabilities”??? Really??? Sorry, but your logic doesn’t fly. If these arguments were being put forward in good faith, then I’d expect a response to the following concerns:

        1. What about having “respect” for the social contracts of residents and citizens who expect the right to live safely in their homes, unmolested by adjacent wind turbines? Why are the PCs not standing up and supporting current victims of wind who have been abandonned by our governments? Why does the supposed “respect” only apply to contracts that benefit Big Wind? Is there not enough “political capital” to be gained by standing up in support of us lowly citizens?

        2. Sure it’s important to make decisions that protect taxpayers from lawsuit liabilities. But what about all the losses incurred by victims of wind who’ve had wind turbines built too close to homes? Is this not perceived to be a legal liability that taxpayers need to be protected from? Wouldn’t it behoove all the province if the Opposition was using its influence to educate the majority about the facts of what’s been happening across the countryside for the last many years? Isn’t “education” the best way to mitigate bad situations?

        Or do the PCs think that the best way to protect against taxpayer liabilities for wind turbine-related damages is to strategize against victims in order to make it harder for us to bring forward these matters? ‘Cause this is the effect the current PC platform is having.

      • Hey shocked and disgusted,

        Tim Hudak – can’t tell your mayor what to do.
        He has already said, ‘just say NO’
        Wainfleet mayor and council – said No.

        What a novel thought – saying NO.

  1. S and D, you have a very distorted view of reality. The quotes I provided couldn’t be more clear. I suspect there is little anyone can say to change your views. A moratorium would stop the spread of these wind projects and independent health studies would begin the process of stopping the harm in existing facilities.The fact that you seriously suggested leaving the Liberals in place as the best scenario tells me all I need to know.

    • You are misquoting me, and I’m wondering whether it’s intentional. I suggest that in fact, YOU are the one with the warped perspective.

      I did not suggest that re-electing the Liberals is the “best scenario.” I asked a (mostly) rhetorical question about whether it “would be any more absurd..?” You’d better pay closer attention to syntax, otherwise look like a fool.

      Since you continuously ignore and misrepresent my point about the insufficiency of a “moratorium and health study” proposition, I suspect there is little anyone can say to change your views. But for the sake of others–and in an attempt to restore my reputation following your slander–I will repeat it once more.

      Since the Progressive Conservatives deliberately offer NO definition of “moratorium”, there is NO reason to believe that electing them will actually “stop the spread” of any of the wind turbines already threatening communities. Without a firm commitment about which projects would be halted, it’s a hollow statement.

      Furthermore, the “health study” chip is pathetic. There is already a “health study” at University of Waterloo, and a “health study” at Health Canada. It’s hard to understand how the notion of a PC-enabled “independent health study would begin the process of stopping the harm in existing facilities”?? In fact, saying it like this suggests this resolution process hasn’t even begun yet…!?

      If you hadn’t noticed, victims have been bringing forward our case in the public forum for years. We don’t need to “begin” this process, we need to end it.

      I dare say that all of these rhetorical, ambiguous promises from the PCs are designed to hoodwink and pacify the mostly complacent flock of Ontarians.

      It’s time the PCs started treating us with a little respect and bring forward an intelligent, honest, thorough conversation about these matters. Making the same, tired, disproven, first-generation arguments are doing us all more harm than good.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m very grateful for all the hard work from Members like Lisa Thompson and Vic Fedeli, but it’s the void left by Hudak’s absence here that is so alarming, IMO.

      • Does this make you feel better:

        “Tim Hudak Renews Call for Moratorium on Wind Turbines
        WEST LINCOLN – Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak, MPP for Niagara West – Glanbrook, was joined by West Lincoln Mayor Doug Joyner, Wainfleet Mayor April Jeffs and members of the West Lincoln and Glanbrook Wind Action Groups to renew his call for a moratorium on Dalton McGuinty’s wind turbine projects – like the one he is forcing on West Lincoln and Wainfleet.

        Tim Hudak and the Ontario PC Caucus brought forward a motion in the Ontario Legislature in April 2010, calling on Dalton McGuinty to place a moratorium on all wind farm projects and restore local decision making powers to local municipalities.”

      • In the link you provided, under “Quick Facts” it says:
        “In April 2010, the McGuinty government unanimously voted against an Ontario PC motion calling for a moratorium on all wind farm projects and the restoration of municipal decision making powers. ”

        Did Tim Hudak vote in support of this motion? What about in support of Lisa Thompson’s private member’s bill?

        Why didn’t he?

      • I totally agree with you, S and D.
        I too am grateful for everything the PC’s have tried to do and are trying to do. Perhaps if the PC’s laid out a well-thought out plan as to what they WILL be prepared to do once in power, I might feel better about them. Obviously the Libs and Dippers are not an alternative either. What a cluster f–k.

      • Hey shocked and disgusted,
        Hard to believe – you said this:
        ‘I did not suggest that re-electing the Liberals is the “best scenario.” I asked a (mostly) rhetorical question about whether it “would be any more absurd..?” You’d better pay closer attention to syntax, otherwise look like a fool.’

        and this:
        ‘It’s hard to understand how the notion of a PC-enabled “independent health study…..’


        Yeah – give me more – I’m on the floor.
        Who’s kidding who?
        Yes – Yes
        I’m paying attention – I promise!

      • Thank you Free Thinker for reading my posts and taking the time to consider and respond. I read all of your posts as well, though I admit that sometimes I have a hard time following your free form logic. But I sincerely appreciate that we all think and express ourselves differently, so please continue to do so. We all benefit from your effort.

        But this is one of those times I can’t quite follow what you’re saying…

        Can I impose and ask you to clarify your comment above?

  2. Shocked and Disgusted! You are quite right, Hudak has yet to make any meaningful promises and the most I would expect, if he should be elected, would be to perhaps hand back some of the decision making to local municipalities, far too little and too late to save the many communities already destroyed by wind energy. Sadder than that, of course, both a Liberal or NDP ‘government’ would not even do that, in fact, we could really say ‘Goodbye’ to Ontario as a place worth living if either replaces the disaster that has been the McGuinty government!
    So, how do we get a government who will act as they should and not only immediately halt all green energy projects until and unless the industries can first prove, through independent(CanWEA please stay out of it)studies that they can produce energy at comparable costs to established supplies, without huge tax subsidies, and without any collateral damage to the communities impacted. If the wind and solar energy industries believe their own propaganda this should be easy…??? 🙂
    The next bit harder but the only proper solution! We also need a new government who will take the entire Ontario industrial wind and solar companies to court, to get every existing contract cancelled, without any compensation, and then to seek compensation and reparation from those same companies, the majority foreign rather than Canadian companies, who have knowingly and willingly caused this harm to Ontario and its citizens. Sadly, we have lawyers involved in all this and part of our current problem is lawyers and Canadian courts have repeatedly found supporting bad law is of greater importance to them( and far more lucrative) than protecting a citizenry who just can’t afford their type of representation.
    The whole wind and solar scam will eventually collapse, it is economically unsustainable and Ontario is already broke. How much of Ontario is left by then is anyone’s guess!
    Liberal, Conservative, NDP and most of all Green, none of them are the solution, collectively they are the problem!
    Anyone for a good old fashioned revolution……………???
    Andrew Watts

    • Good points made here, I would expand. Unfortunately, desperate people cling to straws. The parties offer very little solution to the IWT problems. Turbine company’s, ministry officials and politicians frequently quote WHO recommendations regarding noise limits, but ignore the setback recommendation ( maybe Wainfleet will change that in court ). Personally, I would like to see the WHO recommendation used to remove all turbines within the 2km setback ( I do not see all Turbines feasibly removed ). Pay the developers now for lost revenue under their contract, the land owners get paid out and the turbines gone. We are going to pay, so pay now and get rid of them. Cancel FIT, get rid of the GEAE.
      I have written many times to all the parties asking for a platform that protects citizens from government, not a government that protects government from citizens ( no reply from 329 letters and calls ).
      Property ownership and rights? You have the obligation to maintain and pay for the
      privilege of living somewhere. The Trudeau government removed from the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Right to Property Ownership.
      Democracy? When Lisa Thompson presented a bill, 7 or 9 PC MPP’s were missing, including Hudak…there answer?…we knew it would be defeated anyway….sounds like the attitude of the general population not leaders. Another example of how democracy works in Ontario is the current Bill 115. We are told that the strikes are about
      democracy. Union members are striking over their democratic rights, yet they see nothing undemocratic with being fined $500 and blacklisted if they do not participate in the action, where is the democracy in that?
      Revolution? The citizens are too far divided and fed crumbs that suits their own agenda to ever unite in a revolution.
      So ya, if anyone can find me a government that is willing to make concrete changes that will protect me from government…let me know
      ….maybe the next time you receive an email from one of the parties, you should reply with something that asks about changing the fundamentals of government. Demand that you be protected from and by those elected….see if you get an answer.

      • A major assault will be mounted against any political party or candidate that dares to be the least bit critical of IWTs due to the big money now involved. These huge investments must be protected at any cost.
        This attack won’t work in rural areas but can in urban areas as all that is needed is a minority-majority again.

      • A “Municipal Revolution” is the answer. Peaceful of course. A revolt against the pandering and gutless Councillors who are “wooed” and “patronized” by these Wind Investors over the wishes of the people who pay their wages and support their life styles that seem to imbue a sense of “entitlement” once they are “elected”!
        Councils have to get back to what they were elected to do. Represent the needs and wishes of the people. Manage responsibly the people’s tax dollars on behalf of the people. Stop outside foreign interests of infiltrating and corrupting every Municipality’s Planning Authority and then be held responsible personally for failed and destructive decisions which destroy people’s “quality of life” within that Municipality. God knows the Provincial parties don’t!

      • This is why Norfolk Victims of wind turbines have been diligently bringing forward these matters to all levels of our municipal government for years, LONG before Doris Dumais suggested in her letter this fall to do so.

        The problem is–and this applies at all levels of government–since it’s understood that there are victims who have sustained losses, NOBODY will recognize it because so many are liable for it. In other words, taxpayer resources are being squandered to defend the indefensible, and put all taxpayers at risk of legal liability. Though we have tried hard to prevent this, we are now forced to watch our municipality unwittingly commit suicide.

        When I have a little bit more time, I will re-play the record from Norfolk County, and illustrate that every one of our actions has been responded to with a tactic that’s designed either to delay, deny, or dismiss. Worse is that it appears to be “intentional.” Meaning, Norfolk Victims no longer can trust our municipality: there is evidence of BAD FAITH. And without a provincial or federal government willing to protect us, I’m afraid there is no forum left for us but the courts.

        Unfortunately, since all of our resources have been stolen by wind conspirators, this legal recourse isn’t an option available to us at this time. Some day, however, we look forward to really getting to the bottom of all this and taking a closer examination of all the instances of BREACH.

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