Cancellation of Renewable Energy Contracts Disproportionately Hits First Nations and Local Communities

N/A | July 5, 2018

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The dust is beginning to settle on the Doug Ford Government’s July 5, 2018, order to cancel 758 renewable energy projects in Ontario. What is emerging is clear: the hardest hit by this decision are First Nations and local communities By way of background, Ontario rolled out the Green Energy Act in 2009 in an effort to phase out coal production and decrease reliance on auto-manufacturing after the 2008 “great recession” by rapidly introducing a renewable energy economy to the province. Above market, fixed-price contracts for renewable proponents were issued by way of a Feed-in-Tariff Program (“FIT”) to induce otherwise reluctant proponents into the market by delivering certainty regarding the return on investment. Domestic content requirements mandated a percentage of the projects be built in Ontario, and Ontario implemented policies to proactively incentivize Indigenous ownership to minimize project interference.

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