Canada Loses WTO Appeal Over Wind Subsidies

(Queen’s Park)— Today Canada lost an appeal with the World Trade Organization (WTO) in a landmark case over incentives for green energy projects such as wind turbines. The Feed-In Tariff (FIT) program provides rich incentives for green energy proponents to provide energy in Ontario.

Japan and the European Union said the incentives were illegal because they discriminated against foreign firms, a complaint that was upheld by a WTO adjudication panel in December 2012. In December, the WTO ruled that the Green Energy Act and the controversial FIT program break international law.

“The FIT program was always an unaffordable and misguided policy that drove up energy prices hurting seniors, families, and small and medium businesses,” said Lisa Thompson, MPP (Huron-Bruce). “The initial ruling and now the appeal shows that FIT also breaks international law. It’s time for the Liberal Government to admit their mistake and do away with this failed program.”

Complaints to the WTO are brought against countries not provinces. Since the since decision from the WTO is now final, Canada, and subsequently Ontario, could have to pay damages to the affected parties and Ontario would likely have to change the local content requirements of the FIT program in order to comply with international law and avoid retaliatory tariffs from other jurisdictions.

“Any financial penalty that Ontario has to pay will fall on the taxpayers,” said Thompson. “I am sure the taxpayers are tired of paying for Liberal failed energy policies. Between the cancelled gas plants, unwanted wind turbines, and an illegal FIT program, Ontarians have had enough!”

“This nonsense has to stop. It is time for a change,” said Thompson. “Tim Hudak and the PC party have committed to cancelling the FIT program, which we were against from the start. We will also ensure that energy is affordable for Ontario businesses. We will make this province an attractive place to invest, which will ultimately create jobs and a stronger economy.”

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