Ontario will mourn loss of green energy jobs if Hudak elected

Feature story - October 3, 2011
Burlington - Greenpeace Canada installed a green energy memorial outside the Excess Energy assembly facility today to symbolize the loss of green-collar jobs in Ontario if Conservative Leader Tim Hudak is elected, scraps Ontario’s groundbreaking Green Energy Act and proceeds with his plan to build new reactors instead.

“Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak’s plan to scrap the Green Energy Act and build expensive, new reactors will kill thousands of green jobs and threatens Ontario’s global competitiveness,” said Shawn-Patrick Stensil, an energy campaigner with Greenpeace Canada.

Greenpeace activists held a vigil at the Excess Energy assembly facility around a graveyard to green jobs, which featured tombstones stating ‘Wind Power’, ‘Green Jobs’ and ‘Solar Power’. Green hard hats were laid in front of each tombstone to symbolize the lost jobs if Hudak cancelled the Green Energy Act. Two mourners held a banner reading: “Hudak: Don’t Nuke Green Energy” while staff from Excess Energy stood by.

“Excess Energy’s work has doubled since the Green Energy Act came into force and we’ve had to hire more staff. The Green Energy Act is helping protect the environment and create good green jobs. Tim Hudak’s plan to scrap the Green Energy Act is bad for the environment and our jobs,” said Vern Sherwood, Founder and CEO of Excess Energy.

Excess Energy’s Burlington-based facility, powered by 100% renewable energy, assembles and prepares renewable energy technologies for installation on homes, businesses and farms.

In addition to scraping the Green Energy Act, the Tim Hudak Conservatives said they have spent billions on new nuclear reactors at the Darlington nuclear station. The growth of green energy in Ontario will be capped in 2018 because of current plans to build expensive new reactors and maintain nuclear supply at the historic level of 50 per cent of Ontario's electricity supply.

Over 200 organizations and green energy developers have endorsed the Darlington Declaration, which calls for Ontario to abandon its plan to build expensive new reactors and allow for the continued expansion of more affordable, safe green energy options.

“Japan has dumped plans for new reactors and passed its own green energy act. Germany and Switzerland have done the same. Tim Hudak’s plan to abolish the Green Energy Act and go on a nuclear spending spree is the wrong direction for Ontario,” said Stensil.