Wind company owed $28M by federal government asks court to force payment

Wind company owed $28M by federal government

TORONTO — A wind power company is going to court to try to get $28 million it is owed by the federal government over an Ontario offshore wind moratorium.

Windstream Energy had a 300-megawatt project planned for an offshore wind project in eastern Ontario when the provincial government abruptly enacted the moratorium in February 2011.

The company took its complaint to a NAFTA tribunal, which partially ruled in Windstream’s favour, awarding it $25 million in damages for unfair and inequitable treatment as well as $3 million in legal fees.

But because obligations are Canada’s, and not the provinces’, under the North American Free Trade Agreement, Windstream is looking to the federal government for payment — and says it hasn’t yet received any.

The ruling said payment was due within 30 days of the Sept. 30 ruling and under NAFTA rules, Windstream can seek enforcement of the award after three months.

“We’ve spent the better part of the last 120 or 150 days trying to negotiate payment with them and they’ve just not been reasonable or willing to do it, so they’ve failed to comply w the tribunal’s award at this point, and so we have no choice but to bring an enforcement action against them,” said Windstream director David Mars.

Windstream filed an application Tuesday with the Ontario Superior Court asking for enforcement of the $28-million award.

It is also seeking the interest it was awarded — 2.7 per cent, compounded annually, from Nov. 1, 2016 until the date of payment.

“This large dollar amount continues to bear interest that ultimately the taxpayers have to pay,” Mars said. “So if Canada were to pay us today, interest ends and taxpayers don’t have to continue to pay additional amounts of money.”

Global Affairs Canada spokesman John Babcock said the federal government is in discussions with the Ontario government.

“Canada stands by its international commitments and fully intends to honour the tribunal’s award in the case,” he said in a statement. “Steps are currently being taken to process the payment.”

Ontario Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault’s office said both governments are “currently taking steps with respect to processing payment of the award to Windstream.”

Trillium Power Wind also had an offshore wind project in the works at the time of the moratorium, and that company has sued the Ontario government for $500 million for misfeasance in public office.

The Liberal government is also under criminal investigation stemming from Trillium’s claim. The company alleged in the lawsuit that government officials destroyed documents after the company sued over the government’s cancellation of a Lake Ontario wind project and the provincial police are investigating.

None of Trillium’s allegations have been proven in court.

In its statement of defence, the government says it was a coincidence that the moratorium and cancellations were issued just before Trillium’s financing was set to close.

 

Allison Jones, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Lake Country house fire causes $50,000 in damage

Fire crews responded to the blaze Monday night

More multi-family housing projects proposed for Kelowna

Projects in Rutland and the Mission areas of the city proposed

Kelowna man charged with killing wife, daughters in court today

Progress in year old murder case is slow going

West Kelowna council tentatively sets tax hike in budget

The tentative tax hike is set at 3.9%

West Kelowna to hire eight more firefighters

The city looks to solve what they are calling a critical shortage of firefighters

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

Auto shop apologizes after B.C. employees disrespect memorial convoy

Mr. Lube staff members suspended after incident Sunday in Nanaimo

One-third of pregnant women think cannabis won’t harm their baby: UBC

Review of six U.S. studies found doctors didn’t communicate health risks of pot use

Heavy snowfall expected for Coquihalla, Okanagan valley

Coquihalla highway, the Connector, and Highway 3, from Princeton to Allison Pass are getting snow.

China demands US drop Huawei extradition request with Canada

China detained two Canadians on Dec. 10 in an apparent attempt to pressure Canada to release Meng

Hollywood announces 2019 Oscar nominations

Netflix has scored its first best picture nomination, something the streaming giant has dearly sought

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

Man charged in 7-Eleven fire in Shuswap granted bail

Accused facing arson charges released with 23 conditions including a 7 p.m. curfew

Most Read