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MPP Smith pleased government moving to repeal Green Energy Act and expand natural gas access

Todd Smith announcing the cancellation of the White Pines project

Following the cancellation of hundreds of renewable energy projects – including the industrial wind turbines that were being built in Prince Edward County – the Ontario government has introduced legislation to repeal the Green Energy Act.

If passed, it will fully strike the Green Energy Act from the province’s books – including provisions that stripped away the power of local municipalities to block unwanted wind and solar farms.

“The Liberal’s Green Energy Act took away powers from municipalities to stop expensive and unneeded energy projects, such as the White Pines project in Prince Edward County, and led to skyrocketing electricity rates for Ontario families,” said Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte. “Under the last government, we saw energy rates triple, driving manufacturing jobs out of Ontario and hurting families.”

The proposed legislation would give the government the authority to stop approvals for energy projects where the need for electricity has not been demonstrated. This would put the brakes on additional projects that would add costs to electricity bills that the people of Ontario simply cannot afford.

“The Green Energy Act represents the largest transfer of money from the poor and middle class to the rich in Ontario’s history,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines.

“One of the first actions your government took was to cancel 758 expensive and wasteful energy projects as part of our plan to cut hydro rates by 12 per cent for the people of Ontario, saving $790 million for electricity customers,” said Minister Rickford. “The days of sweetheart deals for energy insiders and unpopular projects forced on local municipalities are over.”

According to the Ontario Energy Board and the Independent Energy System Operator, wind and solar added $3.75 billion in costs to electricity bills in 2017. In 2017, 26 per cent of electricity generated from wind and solar was curtailed, or wasted.

“This is electricity that Ontarians paid for, but didn’t need or use,” Smith said.

Smith is also pleased his government announced it would expand natural gas access to families and businesses throughout rural and Northern Ontario, thanks to an innovative partnership with local communities and the private sector.

“The proposed new program would deliver decades of benefits to potentially dozens of communities across Ontario at no additional cost to the taxpayers, while keeping existing natural gas costs low,” he said.

“By cancelling the cap-and-trade carbon tax, we have already acted to bring natural gas prices down for Ontario families and businesses,” said Premier Doug Ford in a media release. “Now we are taking the next step to ensure that the benefits of natural gas expansion are shared throughout the entire province.”

Private sector companies have been limited from participating in natural gas expansion, portions of which were instead managed by a taxpayer-funded program. If passed, the Ford government’s new program would encourage more private gas distributors to partner with communities to develop projects that expand access to affordable and efficient natural gas.

“The decision to extend natural gas services will support future housing supply and choice in rural and northern communities while providing home owners and businesses with an affordable and reliable heating option that will keep their everyday costs down,” said Joe Vaccaro, CEO of the Ontario Home Builders’ Association.

Natural gas is the most common heating source in Ontario, generally more affordable than electricity, oil and propane. Currently about 3.5 million homes and 130,000 businesses use natural gas. The changes would potentially enable natural gas connections for more than 70 communities, connecting approximately 33,000 households.

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. ADJ says:

    Funny how that works! Some guys have all the luck. Relax.

  2. Dennis Fox says:

    Well if Doug Ford can do it, why not others? After dealing in drugs, he inherited his daddy’s business and money. Then when Robbie died, he inherited his share of the company and life insurance policy – causing Rineta to sue him. He hasn’t worked a day in his life yet many voted fr him.

  3. Mark says:

    Such as guaranteeing an income without working!

  4. Dennis Fox says:

    Keep dreaming.

  5. ADJ says:

    lol, sorry Dennis, thanks for waiting. I was watching the news report on the Conservatives putting the brakes on the clean emissions law that the liberals jacked on us. oh I know, brought in by Harris but tweaked by the liberals to bump up their petty cash fund. Man, I tell you, Doug is just saving me money every week! Can’t wait to hear what he’s planned for next week! Just doing what he promised…nice change from the previous government who had a specialty team to think up ways to screw you.

  6. Dennis Fox says:

    What no argument from you? Your silence is very meaningful.

  7. Dennis Fox says:

    Investigate the facts. There is really no comparison between the results of a citizen’s referendum like what we had here, where 82% voted for making PEC council much smaller, compared to the attack on the democratic process that Doug Ford has committed. With absolutely no public input, nor any rationale Ford imposed his definition of democracy onto 2.5 million people. However, what Ford’s actions can be compared to are our Council’s lack of respect for public opinion and for the democratic process. In the article above, I believe the Conservatives and Todd Smith deserve to be slammed.

  8. ADJ says:

    Interference in TO municipal election you say….would you be referring to the cutting of Toronto Council seats? Something you have raved on about for our own Council. So can you now say you are ok with the current PEC council #s or are you just up for slammin the Conservatives? Obvious.

  9. Dennis Fox says:

    I take great comfort in seeing the lack of interest shown for this. However, I do believe it is necessary to point out a few of the basic topics he has excluded – – – the cancelation of the $15 minimum wage, pay equity, sick leave for employees, guaranteed income project for over 4000 Ontarians, cancelation of alternate energy projects and having nothing to replace them with, cancelation of cap and trade, the carbon tax – leaving nothing to protect our environment, the cancellation of the sex ed program and the undemocratic interference in Toronto’s municipal election. (I think) Todd Smith and his government have taken Ontario back in some 25 years! He should feel shame.

    It is unfortunate that Ontarians were too trusting in his government and voted for them without having a platform to run on. Yes, we will pay for this misguided trust – for the next four years!

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