Martin Regg Cohn: Doug Ford was dangerously short-sighted when he killed Ontario’s renewable energy projects
In the beginning, there were plans to create 50,000 new wind turbines. That’s what I believe the Conservatives promised us.
We’re talking about a promise that has been broken and that has resulted in a lot of anger. For example, that anger is directed at Ontario Premier Doug Ford. He said he was going to build 50,000 wind turbines, and that’s what he promised to do. That’s what he said he’ll be doing for years to come and has been promising that to his base for some time.
In short, he promised to build 50,000 new wind turbines. He hasn’t built them. We know that because we have contracts (with Ontario Power Generation for renewable energy production) that were based on those commitments.
He has not built them. That’s the reason that he lost the election last week.
Now, let me say something else. It is true, he did promise to build 50,000 wind turbines. He said he would not put them on our lands, but that was in the summer, so let me say something else.
The truth is, he lost the election because he lost the vote of Ontarians who feel that he lied about his commitment, and he lost the vote of those who feel they will be hurt by new projects. He did not win the election because he won over the rural Ontario voters and the rural Ontario voters are now angry, and they have that anger turning to rage.
One of the ways that they are going to turn that rage into action is an attempt by Doug Ford to get people who don’t want to see the new wind turbines offside, either on the local, provincial or national level. That will include the NDP and New Democrats.
That will include, in particular, the leadership of Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party. Trudeau has already expressed concern that the new wind turbines that Mr. Ford is building are not going to meet the minimum Canadian standards.
The Liberals have a track record of being unable to deliver on their promises.
What he has built — in addition to those 50,000 turbines — will be a substantial portion