By Hank Daniszewski, The London Free Press
Touted on the campaign trail last fall, there are few jobs to show from Ontario’s $7-billion deal with Samsung — and none in London. In the provincial election, Premier Dalton McGuinty campaigned on his Liberal government’s deal with the Korean industrial giant to buy 2,500 megawatts of “green” power from the company at premium prices, in return for $7 billion in investment and the creation of 16,000 direct and indirect jobs.
The deal included setting up plants in London, Windsor, Tillsonburg and Toronto to make solar and wind energy components. Samsung’s Aug. 31 deadline to build the London plant has come and gone, but even the site hasn’t been announced. “The (approval) process has taken much longer than both the province and the company has anticipated,” said Peter White, head of the London Economic Development Corp., who adds there’s no timeline for construction of the plant. The other three plants are running, but Samsung officials couldn’t be reached Thursday for information about employment levels.
But Tory MPP Monte McNaughton said only about 35 people are working in the Tillsonburg plant, built in partnership with Siemens, a fraction of the 300 jobs promised. He said the Windsor plant, which was to employ 300, only has about 200 workers. “Samsung is not holding up their end of the bargain — McGuinty and (Energy Minster) Chris Bentley are ignoring this and taxpayers have been take to the cleaners,” said the Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP. Read article