McGuinty’s Feed-In Tarrif Program Breaks International Trade Rules

For Immediate Release

(Queen’s Park)— McGuinty’s controversial feed-in-tariff program breaks international trade rules, according to a preliminary report from the World Trade Organization.

In 2006, the McGuinty Liberals introduced a feed-in-tariff program that pays higher premiums to renewable energy producers provided that a certain proportion of their equipment is purchased locally. However, the World Trade Organization prohibits governments from treating imported goods any different from domestic goods. This preliminary ruling against Canada says that Ontario’s program breaks these rules.

“This ruling shows that the McGuinty government doesn’t know what is best for Ontario, or how to meet Ontario’s international trade obligations,” said Thompson.

The final ruling is expected in November and may require Ontario to change the subsidies of the feed-in-tariff program. Currently, the McGuinty subsidies pay as much as 80 cents per kilowatt-hour, which is 20 times the going rate.

“Tim Hudak and the PC party of Ontario have been against this program since it was introduced,” said Thompson. “Not only is the feed-in-tariff program unaffordable for Ontario families, but there is no transparency around how the subsidy rates were determined.”

The prorogation completely shut down the legislature and no decisions can be made in the house. The legislature is expected to resume after the Liberals choose a new leader in January.

“Now that the house has been prorogued, there is even less transparency in government and we have no way of holding the Liberals accountable for this poorly planned program,” said Thompson. “I am concerned that the McGuinty Liberals are making important decisions behind closed doors, and that’s not what democracy is about.”

Tim Hudak and the PC party would end the feed-in-tariff program and integrate renewable energy into Ontario’s power grid by ensuring a transparent, fair, and competitive process.

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