By Stuart Trew, Thursday, April 12th, 2012
PHOTO: A wind farm near Sarnia (Image taken from the Green Energy Act Alliance website)
The landmark WTO challenge to Ontario’s landmark Green Energy Act continued at the end of March with the first hearing into the case brought by Japan and the European Union against Canada. Though the federal government is trying to undermine the spending powers of municipal governments in its trade negotiations with the EU (CETA), it is defending — nay praising — the capacity of public spending to support local development in its defence of the important Ontario policy.
At issue in the WTO dispute are local content requirements in the Act that must be met by solar and wind power producers in order to qualify for high feed-in-tariffs (high rates paid for the clean energy). This “Buy Ontario” component...