Despite overwhelming evidence that governments do badly when they try to remove the freedom from free enterprise, Wynne and McGuinty ploughed ahead with their green energy vision
When former premier Dalton McGuinty visited the new Siemens Canada plant in Tillsonburg in 2011, he brushed aside protesters and boasted that the plant was part of the Liberal alternative energy plan that would “put us at the forefront in North America.”
The plant made windmill blades. Windmills were the future. Clean energy was what McGuinty’s two-year-old Green Energy Act was all about. It would free the province of old, dirty manufacturing and introduce new, cutting-edge jobs that would make Ontario the envy of the world.
Just six years later the plant is closing. Management says big changes in the wind industry make it no longer viable. The cutting edge plant that was to help lead Ontario into the Valhalla of a clean energy future can’t survive in a market that wants bigger blades.
McGuinty has long since faded into retirement. He chose to step down rather than endure further questioning about an earlier energy fiasco. There was no sign of his successor, Kathleen Wynne, outside the factory, Tuesday, as newly-jobless workers sought an explanation for the closure.
“There was quite a bit of anger in there because they shut the place down the other night and never really told anybody about it,” one complained to The London Free Press. “It was bang, everything was locked down.”