TORONTO — Ontario Premier Doug Ford says $231 million to cancel green energy contracts is not a waste of taxpayers’ money.
“I am so proud of that,” Ford told reporters outside his Queen’s Park office Thursday.
“They went into communities without their approval and just rammed them down their throats,” he said, referring to the previous Liberal government.
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His government announced they would rip up 758 contracts for renewable energy two weeks after taking office in 2018.
One of the projects, the White Pines Wind Turbines Project in Prince Edward County, had been in development for ten years when it was cancelled. Nine wind turbines are now being dismantled.
Energy Minister Greg Rickford originally said there would be no cost associated with cancelling the contracts and the move would actually save ratepayers $790 million, a figure industry experts have disputed.
Ford repeated the claim Thursday.
“I’m proud we actually saved the taxpayers $790 million when we cancelled those terrible, terrible wind turbines that really for the last 15 years destroyed our energy file.”
The premier referred all questions about the green energy contracts to Associate Minister of Energy Bill Walker after the cost was first revealed by the NDP Tuesday. Ford did not attend question period Wednesday.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath asked the auditor general to investigate the total cancellation costs Wednesday.
Horwath said she worries the costs could mount like they did after the Liberal government of Dalton McGuinty cancelled two gas plants.
That government also said the total cost would be $230 million, but a year later, the auditor general said it was actually $1.1 billion.