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Ontario’s green energy policies break trade rules, EU says

The Toronto Star
August 12, 2011

In a stern communiqué from Brussels, the EU complained to the World Trade Organization that the province gives subsidies to renewable energy producers to force the use of Ontario-made goods.

“This is in clear breach of the WTO rules that prohibit linking subsidies to the use of domestic products,” it said in its statement Thursday.

“The European Union leads the world in the promotion and development of renewable energies, and welcomes the commitment of Ontario to encourage their use,” the EU continued.

“However, the promotion of renewable energies must be done in a manner consistent with international trade rules. The EU believes that the Ontario Green Energy and Economy Act … is inconsistent with Canada’s WTO obligations. Under the WTO, it is illegal to condition access to a subsidy to the use of domestic products.”

In June, Japan launched a similar complaint to the WTO about Premier Dalton McGuinty’s signature green energy program.

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