Ontario Considering Green Energy Act

Ontario is proposing legislation to attract new investment, create new green economy jobs and better protect the climate, officials announced March 3. The proposed bill, the Green Energy Act (GEA), if passed, would help the government ensure Ontario's green economic future by investing in well-paying green jobs (50,000 in the first three years) and by protecting the environment, combating climate change, and creating a healthier future for generations to come.

The proposed GEA is a bold series of coordinated actions with two equally important thrusts:

• Making it easier to bring renewable energy projects to life, and

• Fostering a culture of conservation by assisting homeowners, government, schools and industrial employers to transition to lower energy use. The proposed GEA, and the expected regulatory changes and policies that would flow from it, include a range of measures. It would encourage billions of dollars in investment to help ensure Ontario's energy supply mix is one of the cleanest anywhere. The proposed legislation would also enable the government to set domestic content requirements for renewable energy projects, leading to job opportunities. If passed, the legislation would also drive new economic opportunities for local communities, First Nations, and Metis communities to build, own, and operate their own renewable energy projects.

If passed, the GEA would build on the Ontario government's earlier initiatives on the province's power supply, including a plan to eliminate coal-fired power by 2014, the single largest climate change initiative being undertaken in Canada.

"There exists today a global race to establish the policies, attract the investment, and build the foundation for the green economy that is sure to sustain future prosperity and progress," said George Smitherman, deputy premier and minister of Energy and Infrastructure. "It is a race Ontario is determined to win. This proposed legislation would help Ontario become the preferred destination for green jobs, green investment, and green energy."

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