Ontario’s electricity sector ‘chaos’: Tom Adams

Ontario government headed to court over NAFTA challenge
Tom Adams Energy, February 12, 2016

Tom Adams
Tom Adams: Ontario engaged in fiscal and legal shenanigans

Ontario Gas Scandal Doppelgänger

On Monday, a NAFTA arbitration panel will start oral hearings in Toronto arising from a dispute between the Delaware-incorporated renewable power developer, Windstream Energy, and the Government of Canada (notice how awkward it is for the public to attend). At stake is Windstream’s claim for damages of $475 million plus interest and costs over an alleged breach of NAFTA obligations by the Ontario government. Windstream had a Feed-In Tariff (FIT) contract granted by the Ontario Power Authority in 2010 to develop a 300 megawatt, 130-turbine offshore wind project west of Wolfe Island, but says it was thwarted by the Ontario government prior to construction.
My main interest in the Windstream litigation is how it illuminates the chaos inside official Ontario’s administration of the province’s electricity future. The case also illustrates how international trade agreements can leave the federal government on the hook when provincial government engage in shenanigans, an important but previously known fact of life in our imperfect federation. (As if our provincial governments need more incitement for irresponsibility.)
Read the full post and associated documents here.
What's your reaction?


  • Debbie
    Posted February 12, 2016 1:05 pm 0Likes

    Thanks, Tom. I have often reflected on the implications for T Boone Pickens’ legal action under NAFTA which puts Canadians across the country on the hook for Ontario’s decisions, should the decision be awarded in his favour. How is is reasonable to ask taxpayers in Moncton or Iqaluit to bear the burden for Ontario’s folly? How many more international contract-holders will find the NAFTA route expedient should such circumstance arise? The Ontario government may soon find itself pressed in by industry litigation, federal pressures for accountability, an angry rural provincial base, and indignant Canadian taxpayers. Thanks, Kathleen.

  • Pat Cusack
    Posted February 12, 2016 1:15 pm 0Likes

    Amazing what politicians get away with, eh?!

  • Barbara
    Posted February 12, 2016 8:46 pm 0Likes

    Things just got worse today with the energy trade agreed to among Canada, Mexico and the U.S.
    If an electricity agreement/contract is signed between a U.S. state, then Canadian province that signed will have to supply the electricity or be sued.
    The U.S. needs foreign supplied clean energy so that U.S. fossil fuel plants can be shut down.

  • Barbara
    Posted February 14, 2016 12:32 pm 0Likes

    Canadian Climate Forum
    Symposium, Nov.12-13, 2015, Ottawa
    Speakers included:
    Hon.Glen Murray, Ontario
    Ron Bonnett, Pres.CFA
    Don McCabe, Pres.OFA

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