Ontario Invests $650 M in Renewable Energy Jobs

A new fund aimed at promoting and securing high-paying renewable energy jobs for residents in the Canadian province of Ontario was announced last week. Premier Dalton McGuinty unveiled the Next Generation Jobs Fund, which will make $650 million available to companies looking to invest in the development of clean cars, clean fuels, and renewable technologies and products during a visit to a General Motors manufacturing plant in Oshawa.

“There’s a huge opportunity out there and Ontario is determined to seize it for our people and our economy,” McGuinty said. “With the world looking for innovative ways to conserve energy and fight global warming, some place is going to secure thousands of jobs by researching and developing new solutions, and we want that place to be Ontario.”

The Next Generation Jobs Fund will support environmental advances in all areas of the economy, including advanced manufacturing, energy production, forestry and agriculture. The fund will be modeled after the successful $500 million Ontario Automotive Strategy which has helped to leverage over $7 billion in total new auto investments in the province over the past four years.

“The approach is tried and true: we know we can attract investment and create and keep good full-time jobs by working with companies that are looking for the most aggressive and innovative places in North America,” McGuinty said. “What’s new is designing a fund specifically to develop and manufacture green technologies and products across all sectors. There are people out there who claim you have to choose between a strong economy and a clean environment. We understand that, in today’s world, to grow your economy you must green your economy.”

To bid for financial support from the fund, companies will have to demonstrate they can:

• Secure good jobs for Ontarians
•  Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
•  Help establish Ontario as a global leader in an emerging market
•  Build on existing expertise in areas in which Ontario has a
strong research and commercial base or create new expertise, and
•  Create synergies among researchers, business people and
entrepreneurs.

Research cited in The Economist, May 31, 2007, reports that global investment in renewable power-generation, biofuels and low-carbon technologies rose from US$28 billion in 2004 to US$71 billion in 2006. This level of investment presents tremendous opportunities for economic growth and job creation.

“What’s good for business must also be good for the environment,” said Bill White, President of DuPont Canada. “DuPont’s Research and Development Centre in Kingston demonstrates how businesses offer quality jobs in the development of new green technology such as biofuels and polymers made with corn and other renewable resources ¬that lead to quality jobs with our Canadian and global manufacturing customers.”

“We see the government’s challenge of developing even more leading-edge, efficient and low emission vehicles as a great opportunity for our industry,” added Arturo Elias, President of GM Canada. “This is the kind of positive partnership that can accelerate green vehicle technologies while also helping to ensure we remain at the forefront of competitive jurisdictions to invest, employ and grow for the future.”

Other recent clean and renewable initiatives by the Ontario government include:

• A $10 million investment with Roxul Inc. to support the development of new commercial, industrial and residential insulation products that use recycled scrap material from the steel and construction industries.
• A $1.6 million investment with wood composite manufacturer Flakeboard Company that will feature a biomass combustion system that will help reduce gas consumption.
• A $235 million investment in General Motors that includes the development of fuel-efficient cylinder deactivation engine technology and the production of 100 prototype fuel cell-equipped Chevrolet Equinoxes.
• A $21 million investment to help Queen’s University create its Advanced Research and Innovation Centre that specializes in bio-processing and biomaterials.
• Investing $6 million in the Ontario BioAuto Council to help move emerging technologies into the marketplace.
• Investing $6 million to support Lakehead University in working to ensure the sustainable development of Ontario’s boreal forest.

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