Ontario’s odious obligations

throw money ladder windLawrence Solomon, Financial Post
Obligations that are odious should not be honoured. So says the Doctrine of Odious Debts, a theory first postulated by Russian legal scholar Alexander Sack in 1927 that is now increasingly accepted by international bodies such as the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund, as well as by today’s legal scholars.

That doctrine, to date, has been applied chiefly in undemocratic settings, where tyrants callously rack up debts that a hostage citizenry is then expected to repay. It may soon be applied more broadly in democratic states where elected leaders fail in their fiduciary duties, wrongly saddling current taxpayers as well as their children with dubious obligations that do not benefit them, and that they didn’t request.

In the United States, governments at the state, county and municipal levels are beginning to roll back pension obligations that previous governments had negotiated with civil service unions, arguing that the pensions are unreasonably rich and unaffordable. These odious-debt-type cases between unions and successor governments are expected to ultimately be settled by the U.S. Supreme Court.

For Canada, let me offer as a test case my province of Ontario, where the government of Premier Dalton McGuinty has embarked on a spending spree in the name of creating green energy jobs. Under McGuinty’s plan, the province will replace its fleet of coal plants — among the cleanest, most reliable and most economical in the continent — with renewable power contracted from developers at windfall rates — as much as 20 times the cost of power from coal plants. Some of the contracts are flipped after signing — the contracts are so ridiculously generous that the same one can generate quick profits for multiple players. Read article

23 thoughts on “Ontario’s odious obligations

  1. These changes can’t come soon enough…..!!!!
    ‘…That doctrine, to date, has been applied chiefly in undemocratic settings, where tyrants callously rack up debts that a hostage citizenry is then expected to repay…’.
    The above quote describes Ontario perfectly…………. and we are supposed to be in a democracy!
    Andrew Watts

  2. Thank you, Mr. Solomon.

    Odious Obligations. Is Hudak going to have the gonads to pursue this?

    I had faith in Hudak, but he seems to be backpedaling. My understanding is that he will NOT cancel IWT projects which are already up and running or projects which are very close to being built. THAT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. Just because some of the folks are in an unfortunate situation where the IWTs are already built, they should not have to suffer for that !!!! (Although I know many already are). Health of course is the primary concern, we all know that there are other issues: real estate values, aesthetics, higher costs, etc.

  3. If “new” Wind Contracts are deemed dangerous to people’s health and quality of life, why would the ones already signed be considered “legitimate”?
    This attitude of leaving signed contracts alone is nothing more than a GUTLESS and criminal act!

  4. I wouldn’t be betting on the CONs through Hudak to be doing anything unless prodded. As is being said, if it’s not contracted to be built it’s gone, but nothing will be done to what’s already functioning or on the ground.
    In my opinion the CONs, should they get into power, ought to be legislating a big % corp. tax on the profits made by these carpetbagging companies. Use those funds to lower the electricity rates. Also, legislate that IWT companies provide complete assistance to anyone adversely affected by IWT in any way. If you can’t do anything to existing contracts at least through legislation they could be made only marginally profitable and forced to compensate those whose lives they ruined.

  5. Ill effects of wind turbine proximity and lack of right to build on your own property if you are close to one — this is outrageous.

    Hudak isn’t on the job. He has had enough time to study and condemn the projects.

    A real conservative (not a con-man) would work to have turbines built on lakeshores away from people. They don’t have to be on farms!

    Farmers who contract to have turbines built on their property have to sign gag orders to prevent them from saying anything to authorities, neighbours or the media about their own ill health.

    Victor Fletcher / info@torontostreetnews.net

  6. “lies a McGuinty” FTA
    Heh. Loved that unintentional pun. I also enjoyed seeing mcguinty mentioned in the same sentence as Mugabe. Sure, he’s not right next to him on the continuum, but it’s still great to finally see his malfeasance and incompetence recognized.

    • Perhaps McGuinty just hasn’t had the chance to flourish and hone his skills the way Mugabe did. Given enough time, anything could have happened.

  7. Don’t look to any political party in Ontario to suddenly show sense………!!!!
    Whilst Hudak may hand back some decision making to local municipalities that will be it!
    They are all ‘in it together’ and far too often rely on the permanent bureaucracy (you know – the ones who have been sitting down with the wind energy companies through different governments for years) and act on their advice.
    In spite of a very few politicians who are still too slowly reacting to this scam we have no reason to rely on Hudak doing the right thing even if the Conservatives were elected.
    We know, even from this current charade of a Liberal Leadership campaign, that not a single one of them will change the McGuinty energy policies.
    As for the NDP and the Greens, you know they will both continue to support ‘green energy’ regardless! As long as they believe they can harm Nuclear, Big Oil, Big Coal and all those greedy folk who they believe, have done nothing to contribute to our society, ever, they will follow their fantasies! That it may harm humans, animals, birds, bats, the environment? Acceptable collateral damage.
    We can’t rely on anyone but ourselves!
    Andrew Watts

    • “We can’t rely on anyone but ourselves!”…….precisely!……………..next statement to come after that of course is: “then what can we do to save ourselves from the wrath of any of the 3 parties”?……………..a simple answer maybe, but the ONLY answer. It starts right at the bottom of this rotten political pyramid…..your local COUNCIL!
      If every single Council in Ontario actually worked to protect their own electorate and represent them the way they were supposed to, the next level of Government, specifically the Provincial level would have a pretty tough time even taxing the Municipalities let alone dictating harmful legislation like the GEA!………………..A Municipal Council is a lot closer for picketing and marching on than Queen’s Park for most of us. It is made up of people you know and live beside. The Council members have to shop, walk, drive, and eat right next to the people who elected them..they can’t hide, they can’t spout B.S. in public without an immediate confrontation. It’s all we’ve got left………………..time to pin their ears back and force them to DO THEIR JOB!………not the Wind Industry’s job!!!
      Just my 5 cents worth!

  8. Norfolk County has proposed a 37% increase in salary for mayor Dennis Travale; not a bad gig for a small town country boy with an honorary high school diploma.
    To allow this green energy sector bs to continue makes each council member negligent and guilty of participating in criminal activity. People in Norfolk county who continue to be exposed to low frequency noise emitted from industrial wind turbines are seriously ill in Norfolk county and dying. We have asked for a moratorium and the turbines shut down. Not a finger has been lifted to help us. Mayor claims he can do nothing. Correction: he chooses to do nothing. So much for ethics.

  9. Don`t give up on Hudac yet. All politicians, luckily, are not the same.
    ie: Mike Harris is a saint, compared to the Lying, Theiving, corrupt McGuinty.
    Mike Harris` Conservatives, saved Ontarions` sorry ass, before they stupidly elected McGuinty, to destroy the province again, as the NDP & Liberals, did before Harris.
    In Ontario it`s just round and round it goes, over & over, people never ever learning. Liberals destroy things, then Conservatives are elected long enough to fix things, then Libs……and so on it goes.
    The simple fact is, we know that Liberals are hell bent on destroying Ontario with their BS energy, or lack thereof, plans, & NDP and Greens plan to increase the destruction even more! That leaves the much more progressive Conservatives, who are promising to stop this ungreen BS. The only ones who will even try to reverse this mess. That`s a start at least, in the right direction.
    And remember, they have to be carefull what they say, so as not to scare away too many unlearned voters. They have to win power first. Then they can shut down all IWTs that aren`t a safe distance from homes, whatever that ends up being considered, 2km,5km whatever.?
    They have said they`ll cancel the subsidies, which will in turn shut down IWTs, as no longer profitable.
    Is Hudac not from the Wainfleet area? Could he have somehow influenced Wainfleets council to stand strong as they are? Don`t know, just wondering?
    Keep fighting folks, and definately vote Conservative! Our one and only hope!

    • Hudak is from Wellandport, where I am from, and he will be harmed by this garbage as much as we will, and what you said, Mr. Moran, hit the nail right on the head. In case we forget, the investors and promoters of this hoax are intertwined all through every level of society. There has to be some consideration to strategy, that is an unfortunate side of politics. Sometimes playing your hand too soon, can lose you the game.

    • Sorry Douglas! Hudak has done little if anything to actively support Wainfleet’s Council. Our Mayor and her Council bent over backwards to permit the wind energy companies every opportunity to take part in the debate over IWTs. Even managed to upset many local opponents by being far too ‘fair’ to these carpetbaggers.
      When they did choose to take action it was their decision alone, based on the sort of research all of us have done. They really do believe they are acting to protect their own township, its future and its residents.
      No credit goes to any local federal or provincial politician although one can expect some from all parties to attempt to show ‘support’! Hah!
      As for voting for any politician of any party blindly, and hope they will stick to their promises if they should be elected? That’s about as scary a scenario as anyone could imagine! Politicians pretending that wind and solar are a good idea over the past 30 years are precisely how this scam has been allowed to grow unchallenged. Sadly, worldwide, there is not a scrap of evidence to suggest that governments of all political colours who now know it is a scam really intend to do anything constructive to stop it. They have all promised too much to wind and solar energy and now no longer have the courage to admit they have been wrong all this time.
      And how many of the over 90 municipalities who requested a moratorium are actively pursuing opposition to wind projects? How many have already folded and claimed there is nothing more they can do? Rather than looking to provincial politicians you should all be calling such municipalities and demanding to know why they won’t protect their own constituents. It won’t help us just waiting for the next election!
      In our cases, locally, ‘small government is beautiful’!
      Wainfleet Council, and others like them, far too few and far between, deserve our unreserved support. Call them, e-mail them, let them know rural Ontario, not just Wainfleet, support their actions! If we are to stop the continuing destruction of our townships and communities then it will only begin at this grass roots level.
      Andrew Watts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *