December 20th, 2019
December 20th, 2019
QUEEN’S PARK — The Official Opposition NDP is demanding to know how much Doug Ford’s war on the environment will cost this time, as Ford rips wind turbines out of the ground at the Nation Rise Wind Farm in North Stormont leaving Ontarians on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars in cancellation costs, yet again.
“Doug Ford declared his war on the environment the moment he became premier, and it is Ontarians who are paying the price with a government that is ignoring the climate crisis and costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars to not build renewable energy,” said MPP Peter Tabuns, the NDP’s Energy and Climate Crisis critic.
“First he ripped down the White Pines wind farm project at a cost of at least $141 million, and now he’s scrapping the Nation Rise Wind Farm — it’s bigger, it was further along in its construction, and it’s likely to be even more expensive to rip it down. Doug Ford needs to come clean about how much this will cost taxpayers,”
“Even the local Conservative MPP Jim McDonell has said this action would be as bad as the Liberals cancelling the gas plants.”
The excuse provided by Environment Minister Jeff Yurek in his decision letter on the project claimed that it would do “serious and irreversible” harm to bat populations, a claim that is not supported by the evidence. The Environmental Tribunal concluded there was no reason to block the project on the grounds of impact on bats. Yurek disagreed, providing no evidence to back himself up.
“Ford’s flimsy excuse for tearing the renewable energy infrastructure down is that the windmills impact the local bat population — which scientific studies and bat experts say is not true, and the government knows it,” said Ian Arthur MPP, the NDP’s Environment critic.
“For Yurek and Ford to make stuff up to justify their war on the environment is disturbing.”
The Auditor General revealed that the Ford government has wasted $231 million to cancel 751 cancelled projects, including an estimated $141 million to cover the cost of terminating the White Pines project in Prince Edward County. The Nation Rise Wind Farm was due to be completed in less than three months time, and Yurek’s decision means 230 construction workers will now be laid off.