The Business Council of Canada is weighing in on the Progressive Conservative Government’s plans to cancel hundreds of green energy
contracts, including the 9 turbine White Pines wind farm in Prince Edward County.
Monday, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Council and former Deputy Prime Minister of Canada, John Manley wrote a letter
outlining the Council’s concerns about how the cancellations could steer business away from Ontario.
The cancellation legislation has passed first reading and could be passed soon by the majority PC government.
Below is the Business Council of Canada letter to Premier Doug Ford.
I am writing with respect to your government’s recent introduction of Bill 2, Urgent
Priorities Act, 2078, and in particular lhe White Pines Wind Project Terminqtion
Although the latter focuses on one specific renewable energy project, we are
concerned about the broader impact of this legislation on Ontario’s business
climate. Bill 2 would revoke permits several years after the proponent obtained
them from the appropriate regulatory bodies, cancel contracts with the
lndependent Electricity System Operator that were negotiated in good faith, and
unilaterally set the terms upon which the proponent may be eligible for
compensation. We believe this legislation, if enacted, will undermine investor
confidence and set an unfortunate precedent for how the government intends to
deal with the private sector.
The principles at stake in this matter are similar to those arising from the recent
political fight over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. The Business Council of
Canada, along with other business groups, criticized British Columbia’s government
for attempting to block a project that had already received all necessary federal
and provincial permits. We and others told Premier Horgan that his efforts to
thwart the project would damage Canada’s reputation as a safe and secure
destination for investment, and call into question our country’s ability to get major
infrastructure built in a timely and efficient manner.
It is of course the prerogative of any new government to change policy direction.
We certainly do not question your government’s right to adjust Ontario’s future
electricity supply mix. In your dealings with renewable power developers,
however, we urge you to consider carefully the potential lasting negative effects
that arbitrary actions can have on investor confidence. Among Ontario’s strengths
are its reputation for fair dealing and respect for the rule of law. Many of the
business leaders I represent are concerned that this hard-earned reputation is at
Premier, in the recent Speech from the Throne your government said it intends to
“send a message to the world that Ontario is open for business”. We applaud that
sentiment, but the unfortunate reality is that the White Pines Wind Project
Termination Act sends a different and much less welcoming message. I urge you to