Society of Energy Professionals

Society of Energy Professionals

February 01, 2010 11:00 ET

McGuinty: Ontarians not up to the job

Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, Energy Editor, News Editor, Tech/Telecomm Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 1, 2010) - Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty's "backroom deal" with Samsung is a slap in the face for Ontarians, says a leader of Ontario's energy professionals.

"Ontario has everything required to build and operate a greener electricity system," says Rod Sheppard, President of the Society of Energy Professionals. "We have the wealth, we have the entrepreneurs, we have the innovation, we have the skills and expertise, and we have the will. Why is the Premier cutting his own deals with government-owned and -supported Korean conglomerates?"

Sheppard was commenting on the continuing controversy over the deal with Samsung and the Korea Electric Power Company (KEPCO), negotiated directly by the Ontario government. Samsung has promised to build four factories for the manufacture of certain wind- and solar-power components, in return for the right to operate 2,500 megawatts of Ontario's electricity system.

Though the Samsung promise to create more than 1,400 permanent jobs sounds promising, he says, if they pan out they'll come at the cost of control over a substantial part of Ontario's electrical system.

"Ontario has a procedure for acquiring more wind and solar power," he said, "a procedure this government itself set up for the purpose. Where was the request for proposals? Why does Samsung get to do an end run around the process Ontario businesses are required to follow? How fair is that?"

"Where is the evidence," he asked, "that this project couldn't be built by Ontarians?"

Sheppard referred to the process set up by the Ontario Power Authority, a government agency set up to plan for and acquire the electricity generation needed for the future. The McGuinty government in the past has taken pride in the amount of new, green electricity that was being contracted for by the OPA.

Samsung is what is referred to in Korea as a chaebol, a family-owned business aggressively supported, financed, and promoted internationally by the government of South Korea.

"There's the irony," said Sheppard. "While the government of Ontario lacks faith in its own investors, entrepreneurs, and public enterprises to get the job done, Samsung comes in with the full support of their government."

The Society of Energy Professionals represents more than 7,800 professional employees-engineers, scientists, middle management, information technology specialists, etc. in Ontario's electricity sector. The Society supports the government's conservation and renewable-power goals, and believes the Ontario's economy and public needs affordable, reliable, and secure electricity. The Society of Energy Professionals is Local 160 of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers.
/For further information: please contact Brian Robinson at (416) 716-6438/ IN: ENERGY, LABOUR, TELECOMM

Contact Information

  • Brian Robinson, Communications Officer, Society of Energy Professionals
    Primary Phone: 416-716-6438