"The Green Energy Act is one of the centrepieces of Dalton McGuinty's second term," The Globe's Adam Radwanski says. "It's supposed to be pivotal to the province's economic and environmental future. And it asks Ontarians to shoulder higher energy bills over the next few years to subsidize the costs.
"That being the case, Mr. McGuinty's Liberals needed to do their homework before moving forward. But as demonstrated this month by a pair of controversies, and as many Liberals privately concede, they were in too much of a hurry for that."
Brad Duguid wasn't Ontario's Energy Minister when the act was introduced. But he's in that role now - and he's on the hot seat.
Late last year, Mr. Duguid introduced a new 10-per-cent rebate meant to stem the tide of anger over rising prices. This month, he announced a moratorium on offshore wind turbines and conceded the government lacks the transmission capacity to connect some of the new solar panels it previously committed to. Meanwhile, he's touring the province trying to reassure Ontarians that it's all going according to plans and to remind them of the benefits of phasing out "dirty coal."
The Green Energy Act isn't all that's on Mr. Duguid's plate. Nuclear power is by far the biggest component of the government's new Long-Term Energy Plan, but it still lacks a supplier for new reactors. And recently, the Liberals have taken heat from the opposition for cost overruns in the construction of a new hydro tunnel under the city of Niagara Falls.
With energy policy shaping up as one of the flashpoints in this year's provincial election, Mr. Duguid joined Mr. Radwanski to take your questions on Ontario's green future. Review the discussion in the panel below.
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