Ottawa

Auditor to look at cost of cancelling Ontario wind farm

Ontario's auditor general says she will examine the costs associated with a government decision to cancel a wind farm project near Cornwall, Ont., over concerns about the local bat population.

Province pulled plug on project near Cornwall, Ont., citing concerns about local bat population

Ontario's Environment Minister Jeff Yurek revoked the Nation Rise Wind Farm project's approval late last year, citing concerns about the bat population. Now the province's auditor general says she will examine the costs associated with that decision. (Patrick Pleul/dpa via Associated Press)

Ontario's auditor general says she will examine the costs associated with a government decision to cancel a wind farm near Cornwall, Ont., over concerns about the local bat population.

Environment Minister Jeff Yurek revoked the Nation Rise Wind Farm project's approval late last year.

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 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.

The decision to revoke the wind farm project's approval was over concerns about the local bat population. Little brown bats, pictured, are listed as endangered on Ontario's species at risk list. (Peter Thomson/Associated Press)

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.

As it has previously, the environment minister's office said Thursday it would be inappropriate to comment while the company's legal challenge is underway.

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