The Answer is Blowing in the Wind
TORONTO — Ontario's Liberal government hopes its Green Energy Act to be introduced Monday will create 50,000 new jobs and transform the province's struggling economy, but environmentalists warn the plan relies too heavily on nuclear power.
The bill will make it easier to bring renewable energy projects to life and create a culture of conservation, said Energy Minister George Smitherman.
“These two thrusts combined will support a new green economy for this province and will create sustainable green employment for Ontarians,” said Mr. Smitherman.
“The (bill) will turbo-charge the creation of renewable energy in this province and set the standard for green energy policy across this continent.”
The knock on Dalton has always been that he's been a cautious and risk-averse Premier. Yes, he's given Ontarians five years of good government, but banning light bulbs isn't exactly a legacy project.
So it's encouraging to see his government putting something in the window which, at first glance, appears bold. Doing it at a time when the environment is no longer the trendy issue du jour also takes a bit of guts - especially after watching Gordon Campbell and Stephane Dion go down in flames over the environment.
However, McGuinty and Smitherman do seem to have learned their lesson here - the emphasis looks to be squarely on job creation and the economy, as it should be. And if you're going to spend money on infrastructure to stimulate the economy, a push on green energy isn't a bad way to go, since it's something we'll benefit from in the long run.
With the exception of a few NIMBY groups, it's hard to be against green energy...so I suspect NDP and Tory criticism of this will be minor and largely on the process.
So this one could be a winner. And with the days of winning by default winding down, and the economy in taters, McGuinty is going to have to work to earn his re-election. This should help.