Turbine woes affect party allegiances in Lambton-Kent-Middlesex

 

ELECTION
PC candidate earns Liberal endorsements in Lambton-Kent-Middlesex 22

By Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer

Thursday, June 5, 2014 2:28:11 EDT PM

Well-known Liberals in Lambton-Kent-Middlesex have been coming out publicly in support of Monte McNaughton, the rural southwestern Ontario riding’s Progressive Conservative candidate in the June 12 provincial election.

They include Dr. Thomas Wolder, a family doctor and former mayor in Strathroy, who said his support for the Liberal Party is a mixed bag these days.

“Federally, probably, but certainly not provincially,” he said.

“I’m certainly upset with the way they’ve run things.”

Wolder was campaign manager for former Liberal MP Rose-Marie Ur through four elections but said he’s not supporting the party provincially this time for reasons that include the ORNGE air ambulance scandal, gas plant scandals, climbing electricity costs, Ontario’s growing debt and wind turbines rising in his community.

“My wife certainly doesn’t want these towers near our farm,” Wolder said. “She’s quite upset about it.”

Wolder said he believes many “high-profile Liberals” aren’t supporting the party this election, and added, “I see lots of Liberals down my street that have Conservative signs.”

Wolder said he considers McNaughton “a good man, and I think he’s cabinet material,” but added his support runs more to the candidate than it does to the PC leader, Tim Hudak.

“I don’t think some of the things Hudak’s coming out with make sense, like firing 100,000 people right off the bat,” Wolder said.

McNaughton, a Newbury businessman who took the riding from the Liberals in the 2011 election, said Liberals coming into his camp tell him they’re looking to change a government they believe has forgotten rural Ontario.

“Whether it’s factories closing, or the wind turbines being constructed, or rural hospital cutbacks, I just think this government is seen to be more of a downtown Toronto government, than anything,” McNaughton said.

Rex Crawford, a Wallaceburg area resident who served as a Liberal MP in the 1980s and 1990s, supported McNaughton in 2011 and is again this election.

“I feel Monte’s a real gentleman and working for his constituents,” Crawford said, “and what I’ve seen happening in Toronto is sickening.”

Jeff Wesley, another Wallaceburg politician with strong Liberal ties, said he’s supporting McNaughton, “because he has earned my vote.”

Read the full news story here.

MP: interventionist policies have harmed Ontario

Cheryl-Gallant-MP-RNP-552px72dpi

Cheryl Gallant, MP for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke, rose in the House of Commons yesterday to speak to a bill on Canada’s economic action plan, and in specific to refer to the situation in Ontario, where high rates for electricity are harming the business environment.

Here are some excerpts from her speech (which was initially objected to by the leader of the Green Party, Elizabeth May).

Ms. Cheryl Gallant: Residents of Ontario, who are suffering from paying the highest electricity rates in North America, will recognize the name Gerald Butts as one of the authors of the so-called Green Energy Act—

Ms. Elizabeth May:

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I hate to interrupt my hon. colleague, but I wonder if the Speaker has any views as to relevance. I do not see Mr. Butts’ name in Bill C-31 anywhere.

The Deputy Speaker:

That is not a point of order. Certainly the relevancy issue, it seems to me, is quite clear on the point that the member for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke is making.

Continue, please.

Mrs. Cheryl Gallant:

Mr. Speaker, I mention the name of the individual, who the Ottawa media have labelled “the puppeteer” because of his Rasputin-like control over the Liberal leader, to give a sense of the type of ruinous policies that would be implemented in Ottawa if Liberal Party insiders like Gerald Butts or Mike Crawley ever had their way.

The only green in that Ontario Liberal policy is the green that it put in the pockets of Liberal Party insiders like party president Mike Crawley, who received a $475-million contract to build industrial wind turbines nobody wants at prices nobody can afford. Worst of all, electricity from these wind turbines is then dumped, at a loss, to our economic competitors, costing Ontario taxpayers over $1 billion last year and countless lost jobs. Ontario’s poor economic performance is dragging down Canada’s economy.

Those are the findings in a recent study co-authored by economics professor Livio Di Matteo of Lakehead University. The study, “Can Canada Prosper Without a Prosperous Ontario?”, examines Ontario’s shift from the economic engine of Canada to a have-not province that received $3.2 billion in equalization payments—handouts—from Canadian taxpayers in 2013-14. “Ontario’s poor record on GDP growth, employment and business investment reflects a damaged provincial economy that’s dragging down the national economy…”, Professor Di Matteo comments.

If Ontario adopts smarter policies focused on competitiveness and economic growth rather than interventionist government, it could unleash its private sector and improve Ontario’s economy for the benefit of taxpayers in Ontario and across Canada. In other words, follow the lead of the federal government.

He goes on to say that Ontario’s economic struggles over the last decade, which led to becoming a have-not province, receiving federal transfers instead of serving as a foundation for the national economy, has implications beyond its borders. Ontario is facing an $11.7 billion deficit in the current fiscal year as well as a manufacturing industry hobbled by high electricity rates.

Professor Di Matteo blames an incomplete transition to a more competitive world economy aggravated by high energy costs and interventionist government policies.

Read the entire Hansard transcript here: 41st PARLIAMENT Bill C-31 Report Stage June 5th, 2014

 

Wind on the agenda:Thunder Bay-Atikokan candidates meeting

Wind power was front and centre during the recent all-candidates’ meeting in the riding of Thunder Bay-Atitokan. Irene Bond of the Nor’Wester Mountain Escarpment Protection Committee reviewed the decision by the government of Manitoba not to approve any new wind power projects because power generation from wind is inefficient, expensive, and out of phase with demand, and then asked the candidates for their views.

See the Liberal candidate response at minute 9, NDP at 5:15, PC at 8:46, and the Green at 7:42, but it is important to listen to the first question too, from the Fort William First Nation Chief on the topic of the judicial review of the wind power project, and the need for community consultation.

See all the videos here.

We must add that Mr Mauro seems uninformed; while he says the government is scaling back on large wind power, the fact is the government has announced that under the new procurement process for large scale wind power, 300 megawatts will be contracted for in 2014 alone. There are 55 wind power projects from the old procurement process right now, totalling $22 billion in cost to the province.

Ontario power rates triple: “irrational” planning

| June 2, 2014 | Last Updated: Jun 3 8:17 AM ET
 

Ontario Hydro may well have been a mess. But it was a mess that produced less expensive electricity

In the summer of 2003, just before Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals gained power in Ontario, 50 million people in the U.S. Eastern Seaboard and Ontario suffered an electricity blackout caused “when a tree branch in Ohio started an outage that cascaded across a broad swath from Michigan to New England and Canada.” Back in 2003 Ontario’s electricity prices were 4.3 cents a kilowatt hour (kWh) and delivery costs added 1.5 cents per kWh. An additional charge of 0.7 cents — known as the debt retirement charge to pay back Ontario Hydro’s legacy debt of $7.8-billion — brought all-in costs to the average consumer to 6.5 cents per kWh.

The McGuinty Liberals claimed the province’s electricity sector was in a mess when they took over in 2003. The Liberals’ first Energy minister, Dwight Duncan, said then that he rejected the old Ontario Hydro model. “It didn’t work. We’re fixing it. We’re cleaning up the mess.”

Fast forward 11 years. Today, Ontario electricity costs average over 9 cents per kWh, delivery costs 3 cents per kWh or more, the 0.7-cent debt retirement charge is still being charged, plus a new 8% provincial sales tax. Additional regulatory charges take all-in costs to well over 15 cents per kWh.. The increase in the past 10 years averaged over 11% annually. Recently, the Energy Minister forecast the final consumer electricity bill will jump another 33% over the next three years and 42% in the next 5 years.

Whatever mess existed in 2003 is billions of dollars worse today

Summing up: Whatever mess existed in 2003 is billions of dollars worse today. The cost of electricity for the average Ontario consumer went from $780 on the day Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals took power to more than $1,800, with more increases to come. The additional $1,020 in after-tax dollars extracted from the province’s 4.5 million ratepayers is $4.6 billion – per year!

Why?

First, the Liberal Party fell under the influence of the Green Energy Act Alliance (GEAA), a green activist group that evolved into a corporate industry lobby group that adopted anthropogenic global warming as a business strategy. The strategy: Get government subsidies for renewable energy. The GEAA convinced the McGuinty Liberals to follow the European model. That model was: Replace fossil-fuel-generated electricity with renewable energy from wind, solar and biomass (wood chips to zoo poo). In the minds of those who framed the Liberal’s energy policies, electricity generated from wind, solar, biomass – green energy – was the way of the future.

The plan was implemented through the 2009 Green Energy and Green Economy Act (GEA), a sweeping, even draconian, legislative intervention that included conservation spending and massive subsidies for wind, solar and biomass via a euro-style feed-in-tariff scheme. The GEA created a rush to Ontario by international companies seeking above market prices, a rush that pushed the price of electricity higher. The greater the increase in green energy investment, the higher prices would go.

At the same time, Liberals forced installation of smart meters, a measure that added $2-billion to distribution costs. Billions more were needed for transmission lines to hook up the new wind and solar generators. At the same time, wind and solar generation – being unstable – needed back-up generation, which forced the construction of new gas plants. The gas plants themselves became the target of further government intervention, leading to the $1-billion gas plant scandal.

To force adoption of often unpopular wind and solar plants, the GEA took away municipal rights relating to all generation projects, stripping rural communities of their authority to accept or reject them.

To pay for the rising subsidies to wind and solar, the Liberals adopted an accounting device that would spread the cost over all electricity consumers. The device was called the “Global Adjustment.” The Global Adjustment draw on consumers grew fast and will continue its upward movement. In effect, the Global Adjustment is a dump on ratepayers for energy costs that are above market rates. During 2013, the total global adjustment was $7.8-billion. Of that, 52% went to gas/wind/solar/biomass.

The GA for 2014 is expected to rise to $8.6-billion, adding another 2.9 cents per kWh for each electricity consumer.

To oversee all this, the Liberals established the Ontario Power Authority to do long-term energy planning (LTEP) and to contract renewable generation under the feed-in tariff (FIT) program that guaranteed wind and solar generators above-market prices for 20 years or more. In 10 years Ontarians have seen four versions of the so-called long-term plan, suggesting there is nothing long-term or planned. The Auditor General’s report of Dec 5, 2011, disclosed that no cost/benefit analysis was completed in respect to those feed-in tariff contracts.

The numerous Liberals who have sat in the Energy Minister’s chair have had a penchant for believing how the sector should function, issuing “directives” from the cabinet. The directives created the most complex and expensive electricity sector in North America. The Association of Major Power Consumers issued a “Benchmarking” report in which they stated: “Our analysis shows that Ontario has the highest industrial rates in North America. Ontario not only has the highest delivered rates of all these jurisdictions; the disparity in rates also is growing.”

The almost 100 directives over the past 11 years from Liberal energy ministers have instructed the OPA, the Ontario Energy Board, Ontario Power Generation and Hydro One on a wide variety of issues from building a tunnel under Niagara Falls to paying producers for not generating power, subsidizing industrial clients for conservation while subsidizing other industrial clients for consumption. Numerous new programs have been created that support clients in Northern Ontario, urban clients for purchasing EVs (electric vehicles), homeowners for purchasing CFL light bulbs and a host of other concepts without weighing the effect on employers or taxpayers.
Aside from the burden on consumers, Ontario’s Power Trip has cost jobs as companies – Caterpillar, Heinz, Unilever and others – closed Ontario operations while others, such as Magna, failed to invest in Ontario due to high electricity prices and high taxes that would have created private sector jobs.

Were “green energy” jobs created? Government claims hit 31,000 in a press release in June 2013 but since then no mention of green job claims appears in releases. The recent budget of Finance Minister Charles Sousa reported 10,100 jobs in the “clean tech” sector, a far cry from earlier claims.

Ontario Hydro may well have been a mess a decade ago. But it was a mess that produced electricity priced to consumers at 6.5 cents a kWh. Current prices of 15 cents a kWh will rise to over 20 cents a kWh by 2018/19, forcing the average Ontario ratepayer to pay an additional $700 annually. By that date the cost of “renewable energy” to Ontario’s 4.5 million ratepayers will result in an annual extraction of $8-billion to satisfy the perceived benefits of wind, solar and biomass. Over the 20 years of the FIT contracts, $160-billion in disposable income will be removed from ratepayer’s pockets to access a basic commodity, all in the name of “global warming” and renewable power without use of a cost/benefit analysis.

Perhaps it is time for a change in the governing of Ontario and particularly the way the electricity sector is overseen.

Parker Gallant is a former Canadian banker who looked at his local electricity bill and didn’t like what he saw.

Read the full article and comments here.

Wind power’s hidden costs

Not such a great deal for Ontario
Not such a great deal for Ontario

This letter was written in response to a letter to the Ottawa Citizen by Robert Hornung, president of the corporate wind power industry’s lobby group, the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA). Mr. Hornung had asserted that wind power was among the lowest cost options for power generation.

We disagree.

Ottawa Citizen, May 31, 2014

Wind power comes with hidden costs

Wind power comes with hidden but significant costs: backup power is needed because wind is an intermittent source of supply, produced often when it is not needed, and inflexible to changes in demand. Ontario generation capacity now exceeds demand but because the Green Energy Act requires that renewable energy sources get first access to the provincial grid, we are forced to take wind power over lower-cost conventional supplies.

Readers may also be unaware of the cost of curtailing operations at existing plants, or of losses on export sales. In 2013, this was about $1 billion. Since Ontario started paying wind power corporations to not produce power in September 2013, ratepayers have picked up the cost of $16 million—money, literally, for nothing. The top non-producers are Enbridge, TransAlta, Brookfield and GDF-Suez.

The auditor-general stated in 2011 that no cost-benefit analysis was ever done for renewable sources of power; if it had been, no one would be talking about what a great deal wind power has been for Ontario.

Jane Wilson

president, Wind Concerns Ontario, Ottawa

Jan Carr on the Samsung contract CFRA today

Former CEO of the Ontario Power Authority, Dr Jan Carr, will be interviewed by journalist Rob Snow on CFRA radio today after the 5 PM news, on the topic of the Samsung contract which he stated in a letter to the Financial Post was a egregious example of government procurement, and caused the power industry to be “aghast” at the fact that the contract was awarded without competition, to a company with no expertise in either wind or solar power generation.

Listen live at www.cfra.com

Wind power invades beauty of Great Spirit Island

Windmills on Manitoulin Island. (Mike Strobel/QMI Agency)

Mike Strobel, QMI Agency, May 26, 2014

KAGAWONG– It looks like Martians landed on Manitoulin Island this spring.

They hulk on McLean’s Mountain behind Little Current, Manitoulin’s metropolis, pop. 1,500.

What a shocking sight it is as you approach the century-old iron swing bridge, the only land link.

When I left last October, there was nothing between that ridge and God but treetops and clouds.

Now? Someone call Orson Welles.

“It’s like we’ve been invaded,” Deb Turner tells me at Turners of Little Current, a 135-year-old department store.

The War of the Worlds giants also march along the Cup and Saucer trail behind M’Chigeeng, the closest Ojibwa reserve to my woodsy shack near Kagawong, “Ontario’s Prettiest Village.”

“They’re a blight,” says Deb’s husband, Jib, who is running for Tim Hudak’s Tories.

Jib’s great-great-grandmother was migrating west when her boat arrived at this Paradise and she declared, “I don’t know about you, but I’m staying right here.”

Who could blame her? Or the Martians? The Ojibwa call this Spirit Island with reason.

The invaders, of course, are not really Martians, but windmills. McGuinty Mushrooms. Dalton’s Big Wind. Built so Liberals could feel warm and fuzzy.

There are 24 on McLean’s Mountain and two at M’Chigeeng, each 150 metres, including blade. They dwarf the Peace Tower, the Taj Mahal, Rogers Centre, even Adam Vaughan’s ego. They are higher than Rob Ford on a Saturday night.

You could live with them, I guess, if they were productive or cost-effective or were going to save us from Doomsday.

But here’s the rub: At 10 a.m. Sunday, of 13,116 megawatts total output across Ontario, just 130 megawatts came from windmills, according to a government website (ieso.ca) where nuclear and hydro still reign.

The “others” category even out-produced windmills.

Read the full story here.

Constraining wind power in Ontario

Making your head spin or, how Ontario’s energy sector is regulated

Enbridge Gas Distribution recently received the blessing of the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) for a 40% hike in what they charge Ontario’s consumers for distributing natural gas, claiming, because of the high demand during a cold winter they were forced to purchase it at a high market price.  The OEB granted the approval despite many objections by various interested parties who pointed out that Union Gas had requested a smaller increase.

This note was in the OEB’s approval:  “This means that Enbridge plans for lower storage deliverability requirements and transportation capacity” requiring gas purchases at higher spot prices on the open market.  One wonders why Enbridge is not required to maintain a larger storage capacity, which would have allowed them more prudence in purchasing the supply of gas, but that is presumably a question for the OEB to ask!

While the OEB was weighing their decision, another arm of Enbridge was constraining their production of wind-generated electricity.  That was to allow the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) to protect the grid and prevent blackouts or brownouts by requesting constraint.

Constraining wind power—and paying for it—started September 11, 2013. Since then Enbridge has been paid for not producing about 83,500 megawatt hours (MWh), which should have generated close to $9 million.

Enbridge was not alone: Brookfield didn’t produce over 29,000 MWh and IPC/GDF Suez (where the CEO is Mike Crawley) didn’t produce 12,800 MWh, and TransAlta didn’t produce 17,100 MWh.  In total about 161,000 MWh were constrained since IESO started paying wind developers—that means  ratepayers picked up the $16 million cost.  And that cost doesn’t include what ratepayers pay for remote meteorological stations to ensure wind developers don’t lie about what they may have produced.

Interestingly enough if one checks out Elections Ontario to determine what those wind developers contributed to the three major political parties in 2010, 2011 and 2012, you find that the NDP received nothing, the Ontario PC party received $1,080 from Enbridge and the Ontario Liberal Party or OLP received $8,000 from Enbridge, $14,840 from Brookfield and nothing from the rest.  The CEO of IPC did donate a total of $555 to the OLP.

The wind power lobby organization Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) contributed $16,620 to the OLP over the last three years and zero to the NDP or the Ontario PC party.  I wonder why?

This situation is a win-win for some of the parties involved, but a hit to the pocketbook of the average ratepayer.

©Parker Gallant,

May 22, 2014

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent Wind Concerns Ontario policy.

 

 

 

Samsung sweetens the deal in Southgate

Wind turbines.

Samsung sweetens the pot in bid for Southgate wind project

By Don Crosby, For The Sun Times

Samsung isn’t giving up on plans for a wind energy project in Southgate.

Company representatives appeared before council on Wednesday with a new proposal.

Samsung is offering Southgate 15% equity in the 120-megawatt project. Company spokesperson Tim Smitheman said as an equity partner, Southgate could expect a net annual dividend of $905,000. That would increase the township’s annual revenue by 19% based on 2013 property tax collected.

The partnership in the project isn’t a gift. The township’s share of the cost for the 40 to 60 turbine development would be $10 million.

Smitheman said Samsung would secure a loan to pay for Southgate’s share. The township would repay the loan at a rate of $500,000 a year out of its dividend for 20 years.

However, even after the loan payments, Southgate would net $905,981 a year – a total of $18.1 million over 20 years.

In addition to the equity partnership Samsung and Pattern Development, the principal owners of the proposed project, would give Southgate $3.6 million over 20 years in a community vibrancy fund to support community, environmental and wellness initiatives.

The dividend, vibrancy fund and annual tax revenues of $250,000 from the wind energy project would net Southgate $26.7 million over the 20-year life of the project.

Smitheman said the only other community where Samsung has 15% equity agreement is Six Nation of Grand River, which has agreed to be host to a 250-megawatt wind project.

Southgate council could decide to include all or a portion of township residents as shareholders and divide the annual dividend payments among them, or it could use the money for operations and capital spending.

The township had a population of 7,190, according to the 2011 Canada census, the latest available.

Deputy-mayor Norm Jack wanted to know why Samsung didn’t include the equity partnership in its initial offer to the township earlier this year.

Smitheman said council hadn’t indicated it was interested in a partnership agreement and negotiations hadn’t progressed very far when council voted to declare Southgate an unwilling host community.

“We had only met once or twice with council when the unwilling host resolution came down. We felt we weren’t given an opportunity to put our best foot forward . . . having had the opportunity I think we would have submitted this earlier,” Smitheman said.

Barbara Dobreen, a Southgate resident who is opposed to wind energy projects in the township, said the latest offer still has too many unanswered questions.

“They are basing that number on a certain level of production. That 15% equity goes down as production goes down.”

She’s also opposed to dividing the dividend among residents. She prefers to see the township use the money as it sees fit.

“I don’t see it as good a deal as they are purporting it to be,” Dobreen said in an interview after Wednesday’s council meeting.

Coun. Kim Peeters said the money is attractive and would be well used, but worries there are too many hidden strings attached and…

Read the full story here.