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Rod slams an act. Find out which one (4 photos)

Friday, June 06, 2014   by: Darren Taylor

Local candidates in the provincial election campaign shared their thoughts on the sustainable energy sector in a discussion Thursday.

Candidates were asked by visiting members of the Toronto-based Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA) how each party would ensure sustainable energy remains a part of Ontario’s energy supply moving forward, how important they feel the sustainable energy sector is in job creation, and what role they see for green energy in the province’s economic and energy landscape.

“We must live within our means, and by eliminating the deficit (currently at $12 billion) we will have sustainability (in energy) going forward,” Progressive Conservative candidate Rod Fremlin said.

Fremlin criticized former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty for establishing the Ontario Power Authority, saying that it has become a bloated bureaucracy costing Ontarians $80 million a year.

“We must take advantage of cheap and abundant natural gas, and open access to affordable nuclear power and hydroelectricity…to restore the positive environment for energy-intense manufacturing which results in solid jobs to keep youth in Ontario,” Fremlin said.

Fremlin also slammed the Liberal Green Energy Act, passed in 2009.

“The Green Energy Act has not delivered on the jobs it promised,” Fremlin said.

Fremlin said only 10,000 jobs were created in the energy sector as opposed to the 50,000 that were projected by the Liberals, saying many of those jobs were temporary jobs involved in the construction of projects such as wind and solar farms.

“High energy prices are driving manufacturers to lower cost jurisdictions,” Fremlin said, adding the Progressive Conservatives would get those rates under control.

David Orazietti, incumbent Liberal MPP, said the green energy sector was one that barely existed when the Liberals first came to power in 2003 and estimated 42,000 jobs have been created through Liberal development of the sector.

Orazietti said green energy is a job creator and job retainer for the Sault, saying that steel used in the construction of a wind farm near Windsor was manufactured at Essar Steel Algoma.

Orazietti defended the Green Energy Act as a responsible shift away from coal-fired energy, saying coal-fired energy cost Ontario’s healthcare system $4.4 billion a year for the treatment of respiratory illnesses.

Celia Ross, NDP candidate, said she is a personal supporter of solar power in particular, but that not everyone can afford to install solar panels on their roofs.

“We need to assist people with retrofit grants and loans…those people need help and must be encouraged to take part in this energy revolution” Ross said, adding that developers need to be encouraged with incentives to build energy efficient buildings.

“High energy costs must be brought down to make sure manufacturing jobs are not lost,” Ross said.

“The NDP believes power should be bought from Quebec, and we should not sell power to the United States for half of what it cost us to produce it.”

Kara Flannigan, Green Party candidate, was clearly the most enthused about renewable energy at Thursday’s discussion, which was held by OSEA and the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC) at Algoma’s Water Tower Inn.

“The city of Sault Ste. Marie has worked very hard with its partners to become the alternative energy capital of North America.”

“Look at the diversity of projects we have…we have wind, hydroelectric, solar, cogeneration, natural gas, biodiesel,” Flannigan said.

“All of these projects involved a lot of people in the planning, engineering and construction stages, and these systems, once they are built, need maintenance …that’s why we have Sault College training people to take care of these things, and our future looks great.”

Flannigan said she looks forward to the Innovation Centre’s Smart Energy Plan coming to fruition.

That plan, it is estimated, will create 300 to 600 jobs in the community.

“Our city has shown everyone that we can do better, and Ontario must do better,” Flannigan said.

The OSEA is a Toronto-based not-for-profit organization dedicated to sustainable energy, funded by its own member groups.

It has approximately 100 corporate members, and approximately 7,500 individual members.

Solar panel manufacturer Heliene Inc., with a facility in the Sault, is an OSEA corporate member.

The OSEA is currently on a four-city tour of Ontario during the current provincial election campaign, and learned of the Sault’s green energy initiatives through Heliene and the Innovation Centre.


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Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
Battler213 6/6/2014 9:45:13 AM Report

So, yet again, NDP wants to throw money at problems. Seems legit. What better way to eliminate a deficit than to throw more money away. Good job!
Twist Of Fate 6/6/2014 10:27:51 AM Report

The problem with all this "green energy" is that we are not the ones that benefit from it, electricity rates continue to sky rocket and just to rub salt in our wounds our government sells excess to the USA at half the price it costs us to make it.
Something just doesn't seem right to me, and to make it worse they want to continue putting up more turbines and solar panels that we quite obviously do not need.
66cherokee 6/6/2014 10:39:31 AM Report

Instead of completely getting rid of the coal fired generating stations, all they had to do was install special scrubbers. They, the Liberals, don't tell you about the people that lost their jobs in Thunder Bay when they closed that coal firing station. You know how kids go "liar liar pants on fire", well that's what I think of the Liberals.
Justin Tetreault 6/6/2014 11:02:43 AM Report

That's totally wrong. There are no more coal fired plants in Ontario. The last plant closed in April.
Justin Tetreault 6/6/2014 11:03:43 AM Report

Special scrubbers in a coal plant is like saying "My cigarette has an extra filter so it must be safe"
steelworker 6/6/2014 11:08:10 AM Report

Essar Steel has special scrubbers (called baghouses) that work quite well at removing pollutants.
LSARC 6/6/2014 11:42:01 AM Report

Green Party Flannigan wants to lift moratorium on offshore wind developments...what is green about putting machinery which can leak pollutants into our pristine waters?

Killer_Spawn 6/6/2014 12:55:08 PM Report

steelworker, you obviously don't live in the west end do you?
habber 6/6/2014 1:31:22 PM Report

legalize pot. problem solved
Oreo cookie 6/7/2014 12:06:39 AM Report

Global warming, then cIimate change and now climate disruption...the people who believe in this dogma are just as clueless as the SMALL gaggle of pseudo-scientists promoting this B.S. Let's kill our economy so the Chi coms and East Indians can take over.
Why don't you FOOLS go to those backwards cesspool countries and protest against global warming...or whatever you call it now. Do your last will and testament before you leave.
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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