Ottawa appeals WTO ruling on Ontario’s green-energy plan

WTORichard Blackwell, Globe and Mail
The Canadian government has filed an appeal of a World Trade Organization ruling made in December that could derail parts of Ontario’s green energy program. The appeal notice, filed on Tuesday, asks that the WTO overturn its decision that Ontario’s program breaks international trade rules because it forces companies selling premium-priced clean energy into the province’s electrical grid to buy a proportion of their equipment and services in Ontario. Japan first complained to the WTO about those provisions in September 2010, and the European Union joined the case in August 2011. The WTO released its decision on Dec. 19, ruling against Canada on part of the complaint.

The decision said Ontario breached its obligations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, because the local-content requirements essentially treat imported equipment and components differently than domestic products. But it did not uphold part of the Japanese and European complaint that suggested the local content rules amount to an illegal subsidy. “We recommend that Canada bring its measures into conformity with its obligations under the … GATT,” the ruling said. Read article

6 thoughts on “Ottawa appeals WTO ruling on Ontario’s green-energy plan

  1. Do not hold your breath for a quick resolution. The WTO moves at a snail’s pace. It will likely take years to unfold.

  2. The Canadian Government should NOT be defending ,this unjust policy. Would they like the rest of the world to boycott Canadian products? Fair is fair, it’s an open market.

  3. When the WTO ruling came out, I recall McGuinty said he didn’t care and he would go ahead anyway. I believe that the reason for the WTOs ruling is because the FIT program is to generous to the Wind developers ( which also proves how expensive it is to us the rate payers) Everyone should contact their MPs to tell them not to waste taxpayers money on challenging it and that existing plan is a disaster. Let Dean Allison know his constituents are not happy Ottawas challenge

    • In your appeal to MPs and other federal government officials, feel free to use language like this:

      “I urge the federal government NOT to continue its appeal of the WTO ruling against Ontario’s Green Energy Act.”

      “The Canadian government cannot afford to defend policies that clearly lack due diligence.”

      “Canada’s willingness to defend the Green Energy schemes at WTO throws in the garbage excuses that the federal government’s failure to act on these matters is because they are within the provincial jurisdiction, or that resources are lacking.”

      “On the CBC documentary “Wind Rush” last night, Dr. Hazel Lynn, Medical Officer of Health for Grey Bruce stated she very firmly believes people are being harmed by wind turbines. She estimated the percentage affected at five to ten percent of the population (though how she came up with this figure isn’t clear.) Dr. Lynn said that while she wasn’t against wind energy, she didn’t think we should allow people to be “injured” by it. And that instead, we should be identifying and providing resources to people who need help, and giving them protection.”

      “With a fraction of the cost that Canada now intends to spend defending the contempitble Green Energy Act at WTO, the federal government could be assisting Canadians that desperately need relief from the reckless operation of wind turbines. This could also bring light to these critical matters of public health and safety that all Canadians need to better understand.”

      “The Health Canada “Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study” appears to be headed in the wrong direction, which is not suprising considering the federal government’s bias. (Many complaints of adverse health impacts are coming from wind turbine developments that are being subsidized by NRCan’s federal government Eco-energy subsidies.)”

      “Given what I’ve witnessed over the last many years, I notice that with each passing day the plausibility of a good faith explanation for the federal government’s failure to act on these public health and safety matters diminishes. Personally, I can’t see how these problems can be resolved without an element of accountability.”

      “Your silence about these matters enables the further development of wind energy schemes that put more Canadians at risk.”

      • Hey suspicious and dismayed –
        And – you think – your comment makes sense?

        I must be having a ‘blonde moment’.

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