Missed Opportunity for Ontario-Based Green Jobs

Today’s announcement by the Ontario government outlining the regulations of the Green Energy Act is a real missed opportunity for creating clean energy manufacturing jobs in Ontario,” said Ken Neumann, National Director for the United Steelworkers.

“The confidence and anticipation we expressed that the Ontario’s Green Energy Act would help revitalize Ontario’s manufacturing sector was shaken today by the government’s announcement that wind power facilities will only have to have 25% Ontario content until 2012,” added Neumann.

“Our union is a strong supporter of the efforts to expand the renewable energy sector. Ontarians are counting on the Green Energy Act to provide good clean jobs as well as good clean energy. Setting the domestic content so low will not spur the creation of a manufacturing base to support this industry, and will limit domestic job creation.”

Based on what is known from industry experts, 25% local content could be met without any local manufacturing.

Government originally estimated 50,000 jobs would be created by the effect of this Act. USW, along with others, commissioned a study which showed that as many as 90,000 jobs were within reach with strong local content requirements.

“We thought the Government was on the right track with the Green Energy Act, but these job creation estimates will be difficult to achieve without a wind turbine manufacturer in the province,” added Neumann.

“We will continue to look for ways to stimulate the creation of green jobs and remain open to working with the Ontario Government to attract manufacturing to this province, but we are disappointed with today’ s announcement.”

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