Globe and Mail columnist Margaret Wente is a board member at Energy Probe, as is University of Toronto economics and law professor Michael Trebilcock, who was quoted extensively in Wente’s column two weeks ago trashing Ontario’s green energy policy. Energy Probe is an environmental research group founded 30 years ago by its executive director, Lawrence Solomon, who is also a columnist for the National Post where — along with Terence Corcoran — he regularly trashes renewable energy initiatives and is an outspoken climate-change denier. Energy Probe, to its credit, is for a number of sound reasons against the use of nuclear power. But it’s also an organization that supports continued use of coal plants in Ontario and believes the oil sands isn’t that much of an environmental threat. In essence, it comes across more like a libertarian thinktank posing as an environmental group.
Why Wente doesn’t disclose her long-held role within Energy Probe when she writes columns reflective of its mandate strikes me as odd, given the standards of fair journalism we expect from the Globe and Mail. But even worse, she goes ahead and quotes a fellow board member of that same organization without acknowledging their mutual connections to Energy Probe.
Never mind that she, like Trebilcock, apparently owns rural property near a proposed wind development so has a personal bone to pick with wind energy and the provincial policies that are enabling such developments.