Green Energy Policies Push Electricity Rates Up And Jobs Out Of Ontario

REUTERS/Kimberly White/File Photo

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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Green energy policies in Ontario and sky-high electricity rates have killed 74,881 jobs in the Canadian province since 2008, according to a report released Tuesday.

According to the nonpartisan, conservative Fraser Institute, Ontario now has the highest electricity rates in Canada (and potentially North America) “largely as a result of the Green Energy Act and its induced inefficiencies.”

Co-author Ross McKitrick states, “Taking the provincial government’s claims for its green-energy job-creation initiative at face value, we estimate that Ontario may have lost at least 1.8 permanent manufacturing jobs for every new job created under the green-energy initiative since 2008. This is likely a lower bound, since many of the green-energy jobs were only temporary.”

The report cautions that hydro rates are driving manufacturing jobs out of Ontario — the traditional foundation of the province’s economy.

“In 2016, large industrial consumers in Toronto and Ottawa paid almost three times more than consumers in Montreal and Calgary and almost twice the prices paid by large consumers in Vancouver. Even some select large industrial consumers (Class A) that were granted rate reductions still paid higher rates than high-demand electricity users in Quebec, Alberta, and British Columbia,” McKitrick wrote with Elmira Aliakbari.

The report found that between 2010 and 2016, electricity bills in Ottawa grew by 50 percent as compared with a national average of 15 percent.

During this same period, the Fraser Institute notes that the manufacturing sector in Ontario fell by 18 percent and the iron and steel industry plummeted by 25 percent. The study first documented how dramatically the Ontario economy declined over the six year period examined and then assessed how much of that decline was due to accelerating hydro costs.

“We estimate that about 64 percent or two-thirds of the lost manufacturing jobs from 2008 to 2015 could be attributable to rising electricity prices.”

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