Ontario plans to become a leading green economy in North America.  And those who stand to benefit glibly repeat this mantra as if it is was something to be proud of:

Governments in Canada are now actively competing to become environmental leaders. No longer content to merely follow environmental trends, several Canadian provinces have introduced legislation and programs designed to make them leaders not just in their jurisdiction, but across North America. One area at the forefront of this trend is green energy generation: the generation of electricity from renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, water, biomass and biogas. Several Canadian jurisdictions have introduced legislation which offers economic incentives to generate green energy, removes barriers to access the market, reduces red tape in respect of permitting and approvals, and encourages the development of local content in such green energy projects. In Ontario, the Green Energy Act was designed to accomplish these goals and establish Ontario as a North American leader in green energy. British Columbia, Quebec and New Brunswick have also introduced programs and legislation to accomplish similar objectives.

But what does it mean to be a green leader? If California and Spain are any guide, today’s “green leader” is more likely to be tomorrow’s loser.  Is this rush to be green worth the risk?

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