I have a story in today’s Toronto Star about George Smitherman, new energy and infrastructure minister for Ontario. Last week, Smitherman directed the Ontario Power Authority to review and “fine tune” its 20-year power plan so that it might accelerate conservation goals and increase renewable-energy targets.
This story gives a good sense of where Smitherman is coming from, and where his commitments lie. He’s clearly enthusiastic about what can be done with renewables and conservation, and while he’s not about to backtrack on the province’s nuclear targets, he is sending a clear message that his expectations for renewables/conservation are high and that he’s intent on raising the bar.
Having earned the nickname “Furious George” as health minister, his previous gig, Smitherman is probably the best equipped politician in the Liberal government of Premier Dalton McGuinty to follow through. He’s hands-on, dogged, and has appreciation for strategy and vision. It will be interesting to see how things roll out over the next six to 12 months.