Ontario fights green energy criticism with jobs

Wed Dec 1, 2010 3:17pm EST
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By Nicole Mordant

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - The government of Ontario, fighting back against criticism of its green power drive, will announce clean energy investments this week that will create almost 2,000 jobs in Canada's most populous province.

On Thursday, officials will announce that a unit of Germany's Siemens AG will open a wind turbine blade manufacturing plant in southern Ontario, a provincial government source said.

The facility will employ 300 full-time workers and create 600 construction and other jobs.

That follows news on Wednesday that South Korea's Samsung C&T Corp and its partners will set up a plant to make steel towers for wind turbines in the province, creating 300 new full-time jobs and up to 400 construction and indirect service jobs.

The facility will be located in the city of Windsor, in southern Ontario, traditionally the province's manufacturing heartland but an area hard-hit by the economic recession and the financial woes of U.S. automakers.

On Tuesday, Ontario's energy minister attended an event at a nearby wind project, which is creating 126 new jobs.

Added together, the three announcements total more than 1,700 jobs.

"The McGuinty government's energy plan is working," Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan said on Wednesday, referring to the ruling Liberal Party and Premier Dalton McGuinty.   Continued...