In 2011, then auditor general Jim McCarter noted most of the green energy jobs created were in construction, and would last only one to three years.
Credits: STAN BEHAL/QMI AGENCY
It's always good for a laugh when politicians - from U.S. President Barack Obama, to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne - brag about green energy as a job creator.
To illustrate, let's review the number of jobs actually created by the Ontario Liberals' green energy plan, as opposed to what they promised, while they've been sending our hydro bills into the stratosphere.
When ex-premier Dalton McGuinty introduced his Green Energy Act in 2009, he said it would create 50,000 jobs in Ontario by the end of 2012.
But when former auditor general Jim McCarter reported on McGuinty's green energy plan in December, 2011, he found most of those jobs - 30,000 - were in construction, lasting only one to three years.
When Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli recently announced he was dramatically scaling back Ontario's deal with Samsung, a South Korean industrial conglomerate, to produce green energy, he downsized the Liberals' job creation numbers, again.
Now the Liberals say their Green Energy Act has produced only 31,000 jobs up to mid-2013, not the 50,000 jobs by the end of 2012 promised in 2009.
From the auditor-general's report in 2011, we can safely conclude most of those 31,000 jobs are temporary, lasting one to three years.
But even verifying that these reported 31,000 jobs are real is difficult because most of them are "indirect" as opposed to "direct."
To illustrate this, we need only look at the Liberals' downsized deal for green energy with Samsung, supposedly the crown jewel of their green energy strategy.
When McGuinty and the Liberals first announced this sole-sourced deal with Samsung in 2010, they said it would produce 16,000 jobs over six years.
Now, Chiarell's ministry says that number has been scaled back to 9,000 (with the government's participation reduced from $9.7 billion to $6 billion).
But only 900 of those, or 10%, are "direct" jobs and thus relatively easy to verify. The other 8,100 are "indirect" and much harder to independently confirm.
Finally, whatever the number of jobs created by the Liberals' green energy program, we know it's a virtual certainty they have resulted in a net job loss in Ontario.
Why? Because as McCarter noted in 2011, "studies in other countries have shown that for each job created through renewable energy programs, about two to four jobs are often lost in other sectors of the economy because of higher electricity prices."
So, here's what we now know about the Liberals' 2009 promise to create 50,000 new green energy jobs by the end of 2012.
As of mid-2013 the number is only 31,000, more than half of which are temporary, lasting one to three years, and that only about 10% (assuming the Samsung deal is representative) are "direct" jobs.
Finally we can estimate, based on the auditor general's 2011 report, that creating these 31,000 jobs has resulted in job losses of anywhere from 62,000 to 124,000 positions in other sectors of the Ontario economy, because of the high cost of green energy, which has to be backed up by conventional energy sources, because it is so unreliable.
Some day, people will realize the load of bull they've been sold by their politicians on green energy.
When they do, I predict there's going to be a run on pitchforks, tar and feathers, right across Ontario.