Gerald Butts, the former top advisor to Justin Trudeau who left government following the Jody Wilson-Raybould scandal, has returned to Ottawa. This time, he is working as a member of a new crack team task force called Resilient Recovery.
The task force, made up of green industry and environmental leaders, says its goal is to help seize a "once-in-a-generation" opportunity to build things in a “better” way post the COVID-19 pandemic. The task force asks organizations who fit its definition of clean to “sign on” to work to “build a more resilient Canada.” As a recent Niagara Independent article pointed out, not a single mainstream business leader or energy industry executive is part of the team.
We should be very wary of the recommendations that will come from this task force. Their priorities are clear: green energy at any and all costs - no matter how expensive, no matter the threat it poses to the Canadian taxpayer.
Many of the task force members run climate activist groups and we know they have the ear of the Prime Minister, like Gerry himself. Trudeau and Butts have been best friends since their days together as undergraduates at McGill University. Canada will get no real recovery plan from them. We will be left with green slogans and expensive, inefficient policy suggestions.
We only have to look at Butts’ resume to see the disastrous effects his climate agenda has had on Canadians so far. This is not the first time he has been part of a team pushing green ideology on taxpayers.
Gerry Butts is known as one of the architects of Dalton McGuinty’s disastrous Green Energy Act. The GEA hurt Ontarians (and is still hurting them), resulting in energy bills increasing by 70% from 2008 to 2016. Ontario’s claim to fame became its high energy rates - the highest in all of North America.
Big manufacturers across the province began to flee for friendlier economic climates. Even former premier Kathleen Wynne said in her 2018 campaign that because of the Green Energy Act many families were having to choose between paying their energy bills and feeding their families.
The GEA originally promised the creation of 50,000 green energy jobs. The government later admitted that that number was not based on any formal analysis, that many of the jobs would be temporary, and that it did not account for the lost manufacturing jobs due to the increased energy prices.
Wind and solar were incredibly expensive to produce (Hourly Ontario Energy Price was 2.36 cents per kilowatt hour, while wind producers were paid as much as 13 cents per kilowatt hour, solar producers multiples of that) and the consumer was the one who had to make up the difference.
Through a hidden tax euphemistically called the Global Adjustment Fee which suddenly started to appear on Ontario energy bills. A Global News article from 2016 stated that for every $100 in usage that appeared on your bill, $23 was actual electricity cost, while the other $77 was from the “Global Adjustment Fee”.
The Green Energy Act. The Global Adjustment Fee. Genius ideas from the mind of Gerald Butts and friends. The outcomes included massive public debt, noncompetitive energy rates, high costs for consumers and a decimated manufacturing sector.
And now the rest of Canada can get it too!
Canada’s economy has been set back massively in the last few months. Getting things back on track requires a commitment to making life more affordable, not less affordable. Gerald Butts and his task force will sacrifice affordability in the name of a strange green future. That looks more like recidivism than resilience.