Posts Tagged ‘Dalton McGuinty’

John Laforet: Is 2013 Going To Be The Year of Three Premiers?

Dalton McGuinty has announced his intention to resign as Premier, once the Ontario Liberal Party chooses a successor for him, which is expected to happen at the end of January. Whomever wins McGuinty’s crown in 85 days, will be sworn in as Premier likely two or three weeks later.

With support for the Ontario Liberals plummeting over the last number of months, and an emboldened opposition holding the balance of power in the legislature, McGuinty’s successor will likely fall on their budget, triggering a spring election that the Liberal Party will have an incredibly difficult time winning.

Polls show the next election will likely result in another minority government, with the PCs having a slight advantage on the seat count, but not necessarily the popular vote — adding an additional dose of volatility.

It’s anyone’s guess how this all shakes out, but it is hard to try to understand how any of this instability is good for people and businesses in our province. We effectively have a lame duck Premier for the next 85 days, who will be replaced by another lame duck Premier, who completely lacks a mandate and might last another 90 days on their own.

Ontario needs renewal and a new Premier to lead that. That said, the sooner citizens get to vote on who that Premier is, the better for everyone, because at least that will bring democracy back to decision making in our province.

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“Wind Concerns Ontario’s Winds of Change Tour Launched in Owen Sound”

Wind Concerns Ontario has successfully launched the latest province-wide organizing effort of 2011, this time with a strong election focus. Over the next forty or so days, Wind Concerns Ontario members in sixty seven ridings will be mobilized to actively work to defeat Liberal incumbents, and candidates in their respective ridings. I look forward to personally visiting over two dozen ridings to hold rallies, canvas blitzes and other events.

We pulled out of Toronto last night around midnight and didn’t roll into Owen Sound until 3am. I was pleased to visit the AM 560 CFOS studio again at 9am to talk with Manny Paiva about the problems with Dalton McGuinty’s industrial wind schemes. By 10:30am over fifty members of Wind Concerns Ontario groups from around Bruce-Grey Owen Sound had come to the pavilion at the very beautiful Harrison Park to formally launch Winds of Change, talk about the importance of the coming election and the need to elect good MPPs who will represent rural Ontario.

Although Bill Walker was unable to attend in person, he was kind enough to send a statement to be read on his behalf to the folks who were present and it was very well received. To make it clear that Wind Concerns Ontario means business about doing its part to ensure winds of change help blow the McGuinty Liberals from Queen’s Park, many of those who came for the morning went for a canvas after lunch.

I had a couple of other interviews about the Winds of Change tour, followed by a quiet afternoon to catch up on Wind Concerns Ontario stuff.

Tomorrow Bob Rae is going to be in Owen Sound, so we’ve decided to attend his event because as a former Federal Liberal Riding President, who did not vote Liberal for the first time federally in the last election, I’m curious how he can reconcile his desire to rebuild the Federal Liberals in rural Ontario, and support the re-election of Dalton McGuinty, whose government has ended local democracy, destroyed property values, harmed human health and the environment while selling out rural Ontario largely to Ontario Liberal Party donors and industrial wind welfare recipients.
If I get the chance to ask Rae, I will be sure to share how that goes.

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Coal and Racism as Political Weapons in Dalton McGuinty’s Ontario

Surprised to see coal and racism have anything to do with each other? Welcome to Dalton McGuinty’s Ontario. Disagree with him and you’re a coal loving, puppy kicking, candy stealing from a child, racist. You probably want to close hospitals and schools too.

The wind industry and it’s political supporters (and donation recipients) at the Ontario Liberal Party have turned the word ‘coal’ into a political weapon. If you disagree with their bizarre industrial wind energy scheme you must support burning coal (even if more wind power generation won’t result in less coal power generation). It also becomes your fault people are dying – apparently in droves if you believe non doctors from Canadian Association of ‘Physicians’ (used sparingly) for the Environment like Gideon Foreman. McGuinty will tell you coal related illnesses cost Ontarians $3 billion dollars a year in health care costs – just don’t expect him to prove it or produce the savings when coal generation is permanently phased out. Because it isn’t true and he knows it.

Dalton McGuinty has had two responses to Tim Hudak’s opposition to signing untendered, seven billion dollar secret deals with a corrupt company like Samsung and ending the Feed-in-Tariff program. First McGuinty tried to suggest Tim Hudak was a racist. Then he tried to suggest Tim Hudak wants to burn more coal.

Neither argument is true, but it’s Dalton McGuintyso the truth isn’t a necessary ingredient of any statement.

From Tuesday May 10th’s Toronto Sun:

Hudak “can’t mention Samsung without calling them foreigners,” McGuinty said. “It’s not the 1950s, it’s the 20th century.”

First, it actually isn’t the 20th century. It’s the 21st century and has been for a whole eleven years. Second, the Premier suggesting that racism in the 1950′s was OK and perhaps even a legitimate argument in determining business relationships is enlightening, but at the end of the day irrelevant because Samsung could be from Markham, or Ottawa, or Windsor, or Hamilton and it still would be a bad idea. Sole sourced, untendered contracts negotiated by George Smitherman, the man who brought us the e-Health scandal kickbacks of your money to Ontario Liberal friends, with a company known for buying politicians off is clearly a recipe for disaster.

From Tuesday May 10th’s Globe and Mail:

Mr. McGuinty said Mr. Hudak is against foreign investment and clean air. He said the Opposition Leader would kill jobs and take Ontario back to the dark days of relying on pollution-spewing, coal-fired plants for electricity.

First – the Progressive Conservatives have stated publicly they would phase out all coal plants in Ontario by 2015. Dalton McGuinty promised to by 2007 (broken promise) 2011 (broken promise)  2014.

Second – Wind turbines can never replace coal because they are an unreliable form of energy project that requires a fossil fuel back up. That’s what all these new Natural Gas plants are about (replacing coal fired generation and backing up wind turbines).

Third – On Tuesday May 10th 2011 when Tim Hudak pledged to scrap McGuinty’s deal with the corrupt Samsung and end the Feed-in-Tariff program to industrial wind developers coal output was at 4MW an hour all day.

So enough to keep a pilot light from going out.

 How much coal was burned on May 11th, the day after per hour? 3 to 4MW all day.

 And May 12th? 3 to 4MW all day.

OK, but how about May 13th? 4MW all day.

In other words coal fired generation in Ontario is already basically phased out and it has nothing to do with wind, why? Because when turbines were operating at 1000MW tilt two weeks ago we were generating 200MW of coal fired power, and today, May 13th when wind turbine generation fell to 33MW – coal was still at 4MW.

That said, don’t expect the Liberals to formally announce it just yet, because those turbines aren’t in the ground to credit for taking these plants offline.

Dalton McGuinty loves a good lie, and his cabinet seems obsessed with this ‘coal being replaced by wind’ lie. But it just isn’t credible and should have Ontarians wondering why we’re spending billions and billions of dollars on a plan with a stated purpose it can’t meet, and has already been met.

Tim Hudak is doing the right thing withthis policy announcement. I like that he is honest and willing to say and do the right thing, even if it results in McGuinty going ballistic. It will prove politically popular in the right places and firmly draws the line between special interests and citizens. McGuinty’s attacks are so bizarre they won’t stick. Who knows, maybe the Premier is running for leader of the third party like his federal cousin?

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Wind Welfare Warriors Just Don’t Get It (But Thank God They’re Losing)

I would be lying if I said I was surprised the Ontario Liberals and their paid for lackeys at the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association and Environmental Defense had conniption fits and went to the Twitter-verse to vent their spleens about how awful/ignorant/evil/cruel anyone who would dare get in the way of their access to our wallets must be.

That said, the number of folks who were tweeting for their jobs over the last two days, hammering Tim Hudak for standing up for those of us who don’t support giving these guys and their special interest partners the farm - has been a small but spirited bunch. Their utter lies and misrepresentations are frustrating to read. But it’s a good thing no one is listening to them anymore. Folks using the hashtag #comeclean are the equivelent of a handful of people standing in a circle screaming obsenities at the top of their lungs about someone who isn’t present and won’t hear them in front of  an audience made up entirely of other participants standing in the same circle who hold the same view and are saying ‘I know, right?’.

Claiming that Samsung is investing $7 billion in Ontario for a mere $500 million in incentives is just plain untrue. No business would ever do that and considering wind energy is 100% subsidized by the taxpayer it will surely be costing us far more than $7 billion (this is a whole article itself). Suggesting their are thousands of jobs on the line isn’t true either. The jobs just don’t actually exist. Industry and government both admitted that today. Announcing employment does not a job make. Claiming we aren’t paying more for wind, but more for new energy is cute, but misleading. Wind is new energy and we are paying more for wind then we are for other new energy.

It was interesting to see however is how the media has handled this.

These same folks who are spinning away on Twitter all day and their organizations aren’t being quoted in any of the papers around Ontario. Why? Because Environmental Defense, the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association, Canadian Wind Energy Association and the other ‘Wind Welfare’ recipients who formed the ‘save wind welfare’ orgy of special interests – comeclean.ca are no longer relevant to the conversation. They have no credibility left, because their claims aren’t believable. They are now a parody of themselves. Fodder for laughter. Walking, talking lampoons.

(If you’d like to force these folks to find honest employment please visit http://endwindwelfare.ca and tell party leaders to stop funding their lies and hysterics.)

The special interests that brought you the Green Energy Act and have used it as a weapon to attack and tear apart the fabric of local communities have lost their place in the public debate. For the most part so have the industrial wind developers who benefit from the very programs Hudak is promising to end. This is a battle we’ve been waiting for, and fighting for the right to fight and are both ready and motivated to win. By coming out with a citizen focused, easy to understand pledge, Hudak has signaled to tens of thousands of concerned Ontarians that campaigning for the blue guy will mean change the Liberals won’t offer.

That’s good news for us, and Hudak, but not Dalton McGuinty or his whiney wind welfare brigade.

Ontario is still a democracy, and there is nothing Dalton McGuinty, dirty money or wind pimps can do about that.

The same folks whose voices no longer matter are the folks who were behind a $300,000 public relations fiasco put on by Sussex Strategy to ‘confuse’ the public, media and politicians to stop talking about the cost of electricity and renewables.

Remember how that went?

Well first – we all got to read the document (smooth move folks).

And since that $300,000 campaign of misinformation was leaked, Wind Concerns Ontario has won an offshore moratorium that has effectively ended any chance of offshore wind development in Ontario’s Great Lakes, and now has a clear commitment from Tim Hudak that should he become Premier there won’t be any more financial incentives for industrial wind developers.

There are 145 days until Ontario’s election, and these folks ought to be scared because we’re just getting started and as many have noticed – this current announcement that has seen these groups sidelined doesn’t even involve their sacred cow – the Green Energy Act. We are still advocating for and waiting to hear specifics on that file as well.

I was proud to see that this debate is largely being waged between the Progressive Conservatives and the Liberals with Wind Concerns Ontario and our local groups playing a key role in providing citizen response to the announcement. Especially our groups in Liberal held ridings. Seeing that an end to Samsung’s deal and FIT get implemented into law is something we will fight tooth and nail for and can do in ways buying another botched strategy from Sussex Strategy simply can’t even begin to compete with.

Wind Concerns Ontario has been clear on that as well, and will continue to be during the ‘Truth about Turbines Tour’ that will be travelling six thousand kilometres to over thirty five communities in sixteen Liberal held ridings, eight PC ridings and one NDP riding. We are more committed than ever to winning this ‘winner take all’ fight that was forced upon us by the Wind Industry and it’s ‘wind welfare warriors”

If these wind welfare warriors continue to conduct themselves in such a blatantly partisan and dishonest fashion – our campaign to cut all public funds to these organizations will take on a new seriousness because I  and others I am sure will be damned if we are to be beaten with our own money but a bunch of  dishonest swines at the trough.

Folks like http://energyonthestreet.ca (Pearl Street Communications) can talk about ‘changing the channel’ and engaging communities better – but it’s beyond spending more time talking – it’s about being credible and telling the truth, something the wind industry just doesn’t fundamentally believe in doing.

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The ‘Truth about Turbines Tour’ Begins Next Week in Thunder Bay

As always, I am looking forward to going back to Thunder Bay to stand with the folks who volunteer countless hours with the Nor’Wester Mountain Escarpment Protection Committee (NMEPC) as they oppose Horizon Wind’s plans to clear cut and blast watershed protection lands to install industrial wind turbines. These turbines would tower 1200 feet over the community, when the height of the turbines and the escarpment are factored in and are irresponsibly close to humans.

The environmental devastation required to build this project is something not seen in southern Ontario and is something that I can only describe as shocking. Having seen the results of clear cutting and blasting for industrial wind development underway in Dorion Ontario near the Ouimet Canyon, and being able to visit the proposed site for Horizon’s project, I see no responsible way anyone can argue any environmental benefit with this kind of development. Each turbine site requires the clearing of a full hectare of land. In Dorion, the developer used something like four hundred dynamite blast caps per turbine location. Under Horizon’s plan they will clear cut and blast 150 acres of pristine, untouched, until now protected escarpment under a deal that will see the City and ratepayers financially hosed for the privilege of enabling all of this (as the land owner) to happen.

The Green Energy Act has gutted the environmental planning process, and fails to recognize the genuine environmental uniqueness and significance in the North that is threatned by irresponsible developers who intend on bullying their way through the process and blasting their way through the environment.

I’m really happy to be heading back to Thunder Bay to lend my voice and the support of Wind Concerns Ontario to resident’s fight up there. It will be my third trip up since December 2010 and the start of Wind Concerns Ontario spring tour titled the ‘Truth about Turbines Tour’. It’s an ambitious project that will see events, meetings, marches and rallies throughout Ontario to raise awareness and organize opposition to this government’s industrial wind energy proposals. Wind Concerns Ontario can only do these kinds of things because of the thousands of volunteers on the ground in communities all over our province. It’s their strength and support that makes this all happen and it’s something not even the best industry strategy can defeat.

As the election approachs, its becoming clearer and clearer that should the Liberals choose not to back down, they will lose a number of seats on this issue as concerned citizens take political action in defense of their homes. I continue to be amazed by the lengths folks will go to stand up for what they know is right and am thrilled to have the opportunity to learn from, meet and work with such an amazing range and diversity of people from all over our province.

Spending forty-four days on the road, travelling six-thousand kilometres, visiting thirty six communities, in sixteen Liberal, eight PC and one NDP riding is not how I intended to spend part of May and most of June, but is something I think is important, because of the hard work so many are doing to stand up for their communities. I look forward to doing my part to help, and to lay the ground work to defeat this government in the fall, should they decide to force a de facto referendum on this issue through their candidates.

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