Auditor general to audit costs of cancelling eastern Ontario wind farm project

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The Ontario government announced that effective immediately, the White Pines Wind Project in Prince Edward County is cancelled. photo by lynne brown/superior media

TORONTO — Ontario’s auditor general says she will examine the costs associated with a government decision to cancel an eastern Ontario wind farm.

Environment Minister Jeff Yurek revoked the Nation Rise Wind Farm project’s approval late last year, citing concerns about the bat population.

Nation Rise has launched a legal challenge of the government decision, and is asking the Ontario divisional court to set it aside.

The NDP says it’s concerned the cancellation could cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, given a recent revelation that the province is spending $231 million to cancel more than 750 renewable energy contracts.

NDP energy critic Peter Tabuns wrote to the auditor general to request that she review the cancellation costs — which the government has not disclosed.

Auditor general Bonnie Lysyk responded this week to say her annual audit of the province’s financial statements will include examining those costs.

But for a full, special investigation, a request has to come from a cabinet minister, the legislative assembly or a legislative committee.