Fit To be Untied. How A New Provincial Government Can Unravel Feed-in Tarif Electricity Contracts

Ontario Government Building

“A newly elected Ontario legislature could terminate or amend FIT contracts as it chose.”

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CCRE Commentary – FIT to be Untied by Bruce Pardy – April 2018In “FIT to be Untied” author and Professor of Law, Bruce Pardy describes how a newly elected Ontario Legislature could legally terminate, tax or amend the province’s Feed-in Tariff (FIT) electricity contracts which have proven to be expensive and contentious.
A new Ontario government may cancel, tax or amend FIT contracts without triggering a right to compensation (except for foreign investors) if it does so with legislation that is express and unambiguous. The Canadian Constitution and principles of representative democracy demand that each new government be free to pursue its own policies without restrictions created by long-term contracts made by the previous regime. Cancelling long-term electricity contracts or imposing a royalty or other tax is a legitimate legal step that a newly elected government could take. Professor of Law at Queen’s University, author Bruce Pardy has taught at law schools in Canada, the United States and New Zealand, served for almost a decade on the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal as adjudicator and mediator, and is an occasional columnist for the National Post. He has written extensively on environmental law and governance, ecosystem management, climate change, property and tort theory, human rights, and the rule of law.