Back in 2010, deep green environmentalist Rick Smith, then head of Environmental Defence Canada, hailed Ontario’s Green Energy and Green Economy Act regime as a cost-free operation that would catapult the province into the big leagues of renewable energy. Through fat subsidies and high prices offered to wind, solar and other renewable industry players, jobs and growth would boom and Ontario would be free of its dirty coal plants. It was the End of Coal, the government said. The birth of a renewable miracle.
Asked whether the plan might lead to higher prices for consumers, “No,” said Dr. Smith — he likes to be called doctor in recognition of his PhD in biology. “No. Not at all.”
Smith was absolutely sure that Ontario’s campaign to become the North American leader in renewable energy would not be a burden on consumers. He had the facts, the study, and the numbers. Renewable is doable. “We’ve done some modelling on this and we’re talking a penny’s increase to your average person’s electricity bill,” he said. “Ontarians won’t even notice any impact on their electricity rates.”
The penny that nobody would notice on their bills has morphed into hundreds of dollars a year, in some cases a month, to the point where the premier of the province can’t mention the word “hydro” without getting booed. The government also shocked observers last month when it suspended plans to buy more wind and solar power. Polls suggest voters are furious over electricity rates.
The doubling of electricity prices since 2005 is big politically, but it is just the top-line item on a long list of problems, misconceptions and outright fabrications that lurk within the Liberal government’s decade-long pursuit of radical greenism.
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