They used to say that when you find yourself in a hole you should stop digging, but there’s a new law of holes being written just for Ontario Premier Doug Ford. Elected recently to pull his province out of the fiscal crater it’s in after 15 years of Liberal rule, Ford is now being scolded for easing up on the spadework.
Ford is accused of sending a message that Ontario is “closed for business” because he’s cancelling government renewable-energy contracts and carbon-permit programs that businesses had invested in. But the alternative is not cancelling them, which would mean sinking Ontario further into the muck of the last government’s punishingly expensive climate-control agenda.
And if tearing up contracts for new wind farms and cancelling carbon permits leaves businesses nervous about making deals with government, so be it. Let them focus instead on building actual wealth in the private sector.
The Ford government is going to pass laws cancelling renewable-energy contracts for projects still in development. The fact that still amounts to an eye-popping 758 contracts just shows how much deeper Ontario would have otherwise ended up digging its hole even years after voters demanded an end the very Liberal government renewable-energy policies that enabled these lousy deals.
Ontario’s Green party leader (and sole MPP) Mike Schreiner complains that “the only sign out right now says — in big letters — that Ontario is closed for business when it comes to the $7-trillion clean-tech economy.” In truth, business is open to any “clean tech” that doesn’t rely on government support — should such a thing ever exist someday.