Windstream Radio Interview Podcasts

Here are four radio interviews on the Windstream NAFTA case. The podcasts are presented in reverse chronological order with brief descriptions of the subjects addressed listed with approximate time stamps.

I joined Devon Peacock from AM980 News in London February 18.

2:00 – Basic summary of the case.
6:10 – Similarities between the gas scandal and the Windstream cases.
8:25 – What is former Energy Minister George Smitherman doing trying to hit the taxpayer?
11:00 – What does the Windstream case teach us about how energy is being administered in Ontario? Ontario’s electricity problems are not contained within Ontario’s border. A major plank in the government’s case defending against Windstream’s claim is its absurd assertion that they are just trying to protect drinking water. On the other side, Windstream has presented powerful evidence that the government “precautionary principle” defence is simply an attempt to cover up its politically-motivated decision to impose a moratorium on off-shore wind power with retroactive application to Windstream.
13:00 How the federal taxpayers gets to be at risk for provincial wrongdoing?
14:30 Premier Wynne is still claiming that the government had to protect drinking water. (See this passage from the Hansard from earlier this week.)
15:00 Windstream’s case is strongly presented, while the Canadian government’s case is burdened with contradictions.

I joined Tom McConnell of NewsTalk 610 CKTB in St. Catherines and CJBK 1290 in London on February 16.

7:00 basic background
11:00 What was the reasoning behind the creation and cancellation of the Ontario government’s off-shore wind power program? The politics that caused the McGuinty government to pull back on the off-shore program revolved around vulnerable ridings in regions around Leamington and Point Pelee, Scarborough, and Kingston.
14:00 The excuse where McGuinty tried to cover up his political decision to cancel the gas plants with the line “It is never too late to do the right thing” has a direct counterpart in the case of off-shore wind power. The government’s junk excuse was that they had to follow the “Precautionary Principle” to protect drinking water from off-shore wind power.
18:30 I express concern about the Oakville and Mississauga gas power plant fiasco, with its massive costs that government attempted to cover up, being used as a precedent to value Windstream’s lost profits.
23:30 Why the federal government is on the hook?
26:00 Addressing former Minister Smitherman’s role, McConnell asks what Smitherman is doing? I explain how the case has former cabinet colleagues testifying against each other
27:00 We briefly discuss increasing Ontario government subsidies to increase use of electric cars.
29:40 McConnell, on behalf of a listener who has written in, asks if I ever get threatened due to my investigations of electricity wronging.

Rob Snow Feb 15 CFRA NewsTalk580 (Ottawa) You can grab an MP3 of the show here:

The relevant time stamps are 6:00 to 15:30. The show content focused on basic background of Windstream’s contract and the off-shore wind program in Ontario, parallels with the gas scandal, the Abitibi NAFTA precedent (14:00), the general problem of provincial governments behaving badly with foreign firms and the federal government getting stuck with the bill.

Mark Towhey Feb 14 CFRB NewsTalk1010 (Toronto)

The relevant time stamps are 1:14:00 to 1:22:00. The show focused on basic background of the Windstream case, potential implications, parallels with the gas scandal and the “clean in-box” operatives, and George Smitherman’s role in setting up the feed-in tariff program then working for the claimant (around 1:20).

One Comment

  1. The Ontario cap-and-trade is another type of trade agreement which could involve “trade” lawsuits?

    Trade agreements can have unintended consequences.

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