Toronto’s City and District School Board taking taxpayer’s “on a ride” with “Idiotic Green rhetoric”!

Posted: November 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

It’s hard enough to swallow the home-owner’s tax bills that pay for education and it’s hard enough to pay the ever increasing electrical bills that are basically out of control since the Green Energy Scam that McGuinty rammed through Parliament has caused Ontario to become a literal “basket case” of debt in Canada!…………….but when a the School Board actually promotes more idiotic ideas that will eventually add to the energy poverty in Ontario then it’s time for a complete revue of who the hell is in charge here?

The TDSB has recommended that schools host solar panels on their roofs that will generate clean green power and will also generate massive funding for the Toronto School System and it will all be FREE!

Nothing in this world is free…….everything comes with a price and in this case the price is incredibly high!

On a footnote one should also question this: If a fire department will not fight a fire on a building covered with solar panels because of the dangers of electrocution, what happens to a school when it catches fire?…………………………just sit back and watch it disappear?

Another really well thought out agenda isn’t it?………………………………..NOT!!!!

Solar Panels and the Green Energy Act: Ratepayers become Taxpayers under Liberals

If Torontonians truly believe their municipally elected councillors or school trustees are responsible representatives of the City and the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), they will buy the concept that either of them can make money by simply putting solar panels on their local hockey arena or on school roofs. Sounds wonderful and is “green”; meaning it will reduce pollution and save the planet.Back on May 19, 2011 the TDSB announced with some fanfare that solar panels would be put on hundreds (450) of Toronto area school roofs and be paid for by a private developer (AMP Solar Group) who would also pay the costs of repairing the roofs and generate enough electricity to power 6,000 households. It would also provide $120 million in revenue to TDSB over the next 20 years. The TDSB Chair, Chris Bolton labelled this as “a win-win for everyone involved,” and went further to state; I am enormously proud to say at the TDSB we walk the talk and we are leading the way to a greener community. 

Recently another announcement coming jointly from the City of Toronto and Toronto Hydro Electric System announced that 10 city arenas would receive solar panels that would generate 2,600 megawatt hours (MWh) or enough to power 215 households and generate as much as $16 million for the City over the next 20 years. A former high school classmate of mine and now a City councillor had this to say; “This is a great opportunity to make use of underutilized City roof space and generate revenue for the City,” said Councillor Norm Kelly (Ward 40 Scarborough-Agincourt), Chair of the Parks and Environment Committee. “Reducing environmental impacts for communities and improving air quality for our residents is another step in the right direction.” 

Yet another recent article posted on both the David Suzuki Foundation and Pure Energies Inc’s website extolls the virtues of solar power. According to the postings, if a homeowner signs up to have solar panels placed on their roof they can make a donation to the David Suzuki Foundation, a charity with annual revenues of almost $11 million. The Pure Energies Inc. website even has this bon mot to entice you; “Join the Free Solar Community Program and support the David Suzuki Foundation at the same time!” 

If the readers of this article got this far and bothered to read the above they would have noticed words like: “greener community”, “generate revenue”, “reducing environmental impacts”, “improving air quality”, and “Free”. Coupling all those words together would give you a warm and fuzzy feeling. Put panels on the roof and you are doing a service for the community, saving the world from “global warming” and at the same time you are contributing to a charity and its free. Wow!

Unfortunately nothing is free and most rational individuals would recognize that the hype is not even mildly truthful! Someone must pay and while it won’t be the Toronto or Ontario taxpayers it will be the ratepayers of Toronto and Ontario.

Examining the costs and implications of the above announcements it is worth noting that the solar panels on the roofs of those 450 Toronto schools would cost ratepayers in excess of $800 million over the 20 years of the contract and the installation of solar panels on the 10 Toronto arenas would add another $26 million to ratepayers bills. Now if Toronto’s ratepayers (715,000) alone had to pay for those costs it would mean an additional cost of $1,155. to the average Toronto ratepayers for electricity over 20 years. The cost of the “free solar community program” supporting the David Suzuki Foundation” sure isn’t free but measuring its cost is not capable nor available.

To put some context around the solar panel take from the ratepayers it is important to realize that Toronto Hydro purchase(d) power at 7.2 cents per kWh (2011) via the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) but seem content to work with the City of Toronto to extract anywhere from 71.3 cents per kWh to 48.7 cents per kWh from all of Ontario’s ratepayers to cover the cost of greening Toronto.

The cost of the TDSB and arena contracts are hardly free, and are 7 to 10 times the cost of regularly purchased power from existing electricity (exclusive of wind & solar) generator produced power in the province. It is impossible to measure the cost of the David Suzuki Foundation/Pure Energies Inc. joint effort but one wonders; why are Ontario ratepayers picking up the costs of a private company generating; revenue, profits and tax benefits all without getting any of the benefits accruing to Pure Energies and the David Suzuki Foundation and without public disclosure? Are we all that gullible?

The bad news in contrast to the claims emanating from the TDSB, Toronto Hydro, Pure Energies Inc and those Toronto politicians, was noted in a recent Toronto Sun article, that pointed out that not only did TDSB run overboard on construction of Regent Park’s Nelson Mandela Park Public School by $11 million they also missed the submission date for the feed-in tariff (FIT) application for the solar panel concept, meaning; the estimate to repair those roofs (TDSB reportedly has a $3 billion backlog in major school repairs) has again raised its ugly head. Also gone is the $120 million the TDSB indicated they would receive over 20 years and the belief that the sun panels on the school roofs would power 6,000 households.

The fact that Chris Bolton is still the Chair of the TDSB means that the blame must clearly be pointed at him, his fellow board members, AMP Solar and the Ministry of Energy. Bolton’s words just over a year ago about the “win-win” and “walk the talk” may not now be as wonderful as suggested back on that May 2011 day!

The provincial budget picks up the costs of school boards throughout Ontario meaning that the Toronto school roof repairs will become a problem for Laurel Broten, the Minister of Education as the TDSB doesn’t have another plan to repair those roofs nor the money.

If one logically looks at the original concept announced by the TDSB Chair, Chris Brolton, the roof repairs to those 450 Toronto schools would have ultimately been paid for by all of Ontario’s ratepayers without affecting the Education budget. Now its the Education Ministers problem!

It is important to point to Toronto’s politicians and their ostrich like belief that if the money comes from another source it won’t be noticed.

There is only one taxpayer/ratepayer and it is time that politicians recognize that robbing one to cover the excesses of their poor management will not go unnoticed. The GEA has created enough problems to ratepayers without using them as a means to hide tax increases. Stop the madness!

Parker Gallant,

November 19, 2012

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Comments
  1. Anonymous says:

    That is sick!! It amazes me that this keeps happening time and time again in todays day and age. I was relieved I am sat down. The gaffers know about the future. Lets see the problem to this.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I agree! cannot believe that this was happening these days. I am very happy I am not jogging. We would love to help answer about the future. I will want to know this new development to this.

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