FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 5, 2016
Ministry of Energy Handing Out Renewable Contracts to Donor Companies
QUEEN’S PARK – Ontario’s archaic fundraising rules have continued to make news due to the appearance that large-scale corporate donations are having an impact on the business of the government. Today during Question Period, members of the Ontario PC Caucus highlighted a number of concerning donations from wind power companies, who in turn received government contracts.
“The Minister of Energy is a prolific fundraiser for the Liberal Party, because he needs to meet his cabinet seat quota. It is reported that the Minister of Energy’s fundraising target was as high as $300,000,” said Leader of the Official Opposition Patrick Brown. “That’s not an easy task for anyone. Some could raise that money through hard work, or maybe the minister found other ways.”
Over the last few years, seven renewable energy companies donated $255,000 to the Liberal Party, and in the latest round of renewable procurements all seven of those companies were awarded contracts from the Ministry of Energy. These contracts occurred despite the Auditor General confirming that the province is overproducing electricity and selling it at a loss.
Three wind companies, Enerfin, SWEB Developments, and Innergex, who have never donated to the Liberal Party of Ontario applied for contracts in the same round of procurement but didn’t receive any contracts.
“The Premier can deflect from the real reasons these unnecessary contracts are being signed but we all know she’s just paying it forward,” added PC Energy Critic and MPP for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke John Yakabuski. “How can the Premier claim this is an impartial process when the companies that don’t donate get nothing and companies that donate a quarter of a million dollars get signed lucrative contracts?”
“Will the Premier tell us, has any Minister of Energy solicited donations for the Ontario Liberal Party from companies seeking grants or contracts with the government of Ontario, yes or no?” concluded Leader Patrick Brown.