Failed McGuinty energy experiments lead to wind about-face

For Immediate Release:
February 15, 2011

Sarnia – Opposition Environment Critic Toby Barrett says McGuinty’s latest backtrack on offshore wind is government’s latest admission its expensive energy experiments have failed.

The reversal – calling for a halt to offshore wind projects in Ontario – follows a lengthening of setbacks for offshore wind over the summer, and a July 2010 McGuinty backtrack on microFIT prices for some solar projects, reducing them from 80.2 cents per kWh to 64.2 cents.

“After stubbornly refusing to bow to Opposition demands for significant changes to the Green Energy Act – including demands for wind moratoriums – McGuinty’s stunning reversal on offshore wind is little more than an attempt to appease urban voters, while continuing to ignore the concerns of rural Ontarians,” declared Barrett. “Mr. Hudak has been clear from the start – we need a moratorium on all wind farm projects; not just those offshore from city dwellers.”

In April 2010, the McGuinty government unanimously voted against an Ontario PC motion that called for a moratorium on all wind farm projects until an independent, comprehensive study of the health and environmental impacts could be completed.

“For some time now I have been made aware of concerns for offshore wind impacts on waterfowl foraging, migration, resting, nesting and feeding areas – if McGuinty is just now coming late to the party then shame on him,” Barrett noted. “While scientists and experts such as Dr. Scott Petrie have warned of the dangers to area birds and bird migration, it is political science – with an election in the offing – that has forced Mr. McGuinty’s hand.”

Previous to his about face, McGuinty’s Green Energy Act had encouraged at least 91 offshore wind projects applications – the largest proposing more than 700 turbines – for Lake Erie alone.

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For more information, please contact MPP Toby Barrett at
(519) 428-0446 or (905)-765-8413, 1-800-903-8629