Samsung energy contract details remain secret

ONTARIO - The provincial government is still hiding the exact costs and details of a historic green energy deal that convinced Samsung to invest $7 billion in the province, says the NDP.

The Ontario, Samsung and Korea Electric Power Corporation deal forms the backbone of the governmentÂ’s green energy plan to bring solar and wind power jobs to the province.

It ensures four clean energy-manufacturing plants will be built in Ontario, bringing with them thousands of new jobs.

The Liberals argue they can’t release the terms of the contract due to confidentiality reasons but the opposition has complained — since the deal was signed last January — that the agreement should be completely transparent.

The New Democratic Party obtained the contract in December through a Freedom of Information request. The NDP recently released it to the media.

But the 31-page agreement contains scant details on payments or premiums the Korean industrial giants will receive from Ontario as part of the deal. Those provisions have been redacted in the contract.

This proves once again, said NDP MPP Peter Tabuns, that the Liberals are consistently keeping people in the dark concerning energy deals.

“The NDP is pro-green energy,” said Tabuns Toronto-Danforth in an interview. “But if you sign a contract with a major corporation the people of Ontario should have enough information to judge if we got a good deal or not.”

The Liberals say they have been completely transparent on their green energy initiatives. They add the deal between Ontario, Samsung and Korea Electric Power Corporation should net the province 16,000 jobs.

When the contract was signed, it was revealed Samsung would get $437 million in subsidies over the life of the 25-year-agreement over and above the high feed-in tariff rates it will receive for power from wind and solar projects.

Energy Minister Brad Duguid said the NDPÂ’s opposition to the Samsung deal is incredibly awkward considering the partyÂ’s ideology. One would think they would support the creation of clean energy jobs and the movement away from coal-fired plants, he said.

“The fact is, through this agreement and the feed-in-tariff we are creating thousands of jobs across the province,” he said. “We are building a clean energy economy in Ontario that is leading the world and the Samsung initiative is what really got it under way.

Now is the time for NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak to stand up and say whether or not they support creating clean energy jobs, Duguid added.

But hiding the details isnÂ’t productive, the opposition countered.

There is so much white-out in that document it looks like it has been filed in a blizzard, said Progressive Conservative MPP John Yakabuski Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke.

“There are complete pages where there is nothing there,” said Progressive Conservative MPP John Yakabuski Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke, the Tory energy critic.

Both the Tories and the NDP have been heavily criticized by the Liberals for failing to come clean on their long-term energy plan.

Yakabuski said the PC energy plan will be released well before the October election.


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