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From Frontier Centre for Public Policy — Evaluating McGuinty’s GEA

Steve Lafleur — October 26, 2012

After serving nine years as Premier of Ontario, Dalton McGuinty has stunned the country by announcing his intention to step down as Liberal leader, and to prorogue the legislature.

Regardless of one’s opinion of the man, he has arguably had a bigger impact on the province than any of his predecessors since Bill Davis.  While it would be difficult to adequately weigh the costs and benefits of his decisions … doing so would be rather trivial, given his departure. The next Premier (or two) will still be dealing with the fallout from these decisions….

Green Energy Act: There have been many costly programs implemented, but the Green Energy Act (2009) is unique in that it created a labyrinth of new regulations for one of the provinces most important sectors. Though the Green Energy Act was intended as a means for small producers to sell electricity back to the grid, it has simply lead to massive subsidies to large corporations for very little return.

Small producers looking to take advantage of massive subsidies can take years to have their projects approved, while the provincial government has made lucrative deals with large players such as the $7-billion Samsung deal. If the McGuinty government wanted to reduce emissions, it should have moved aggressively to increase the provinces natural gas generation — the driver behind diminishing emissions in North America.

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