The 50,000 green jobs promised by the Green Energy and Green Economy Act have not materialized. The government claims 31,000 jobs have been created but has not provided any independent, transparent report that verifies this number. At best, many of the jobs have been temporary construction-related ones.
The Green Energy and Green Economy Act required wind and solar projects to use minimum domestic labour and goods in support of achieving a green jobs economy. This provision ran afoul of international trade rules and Ontario was forced to drop it.
The government renegotiated an untendered $7 billion contract to build wind and solar generation with Samsung and now claims that this action saves consumers money on their monthly electricity bills. The deal was a mistake in the first place.
By comparison far more high-value jobs could be created by: refurbishing Ontario’s nuclear reactors, building new reactors and recycling the provincially-owned coal stations to utilize renewable carbon neutral biomass and natural gas for meeting peak electricity demands.
Ontario hosts the majority of Canada’s $6 billion dollar-a-year nuclear industry, its 160 supply chain companies and 60,000 high-value direct and indirect jobs.
A recent analysis by Strategic Policy Economics indicated that refurbishing Ontario’s nuclear reactors and building two new ones would create over 100,000 more person years of Ontario employment than building additional wind generation.
Investments in biomass supply chain infrastructure for Ontario’s forestry sector would create about 3,500 jobs and contribute about $600 million annually to Ontario’s economy (Pembina Institute, April 2011).
Sourcing additional biomass from Ontario’s farms would create more jobs in the agricultural and transportation sectors.
These biomass investments would also support Ontario’s emerging bio-economy.
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