Meet Jon

Jon Kieran is the Ontario PC candidate for Don Valley West.  

An energy executive with 35 years of experience, Jon understands why hydro bills in Ontario have skyrocketed under the Wynne Liberals and how to fix the problem. Jon’s writings and commentary on Ontario’s energy sector have been featured prominently in the media.  

Jon has extensive experience working within government and knows how to deliver results. A PC member since 1981, he has been a researcher and speechwriter to MPPs, the Caucus Office and a Leader of the Official Opposition. Jon holds a Bachelor of Arts in urban economics from Carleton University, and a Master of Science in monetary economics from the London School of Economics.  

Jon is a world traveller who has visited over 50 countries, and is functionally fluent in French.  

A father of two and a long-time Toronto resident, Jon understands the challenges the City of Toronto and the riding of Don Valley West face. Jon strongly believes it’s time for a change in Ontario. He wants Don Valley West families who work hard to pay less and get ahead.

 

Professional Background

Jon Kieran is an accomplished energy executive with more 35 years’ experience.  He is President of Integrus Consulting Inc., a Toronto-based advisory firm originally founded in 2002. Integrus delivers business development services to energy companies.

With extensive expertise in power system commercialization, origination, project development, marketing and sales, distributed generation and corporate relations, Jon has worked and travelled throughout Europe, Asia, the Caribbean and the Americas. His roles have included Director, Corporate Development for Ontario Hydro’s international subsidiary (OHII) and Hydro One from 1996 to 2002, as well as Director, European Sales, for Detroit Edison’s distributed energy affiliate, DTE Energy Technologies Inc. (DTech) from 2002 to 2005.

Between 2008 and 2015, Jon led development and due diligence initiatives on behalf of Électricité de France’s renewable affiliate in Canada, focusing on solar rooftop and ground mount, wind, biomass, biogas, small hydro and tidal energy projects.

Jon’s policy expertise includes distributed energy policy implementation and program delivery at Ontario’s Ministry of Energy in 2007, the first person appointed to the role.

Jon graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in economics from Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario. He earned his Master of Science in international monetary economics from the London School of Economics in London, UK

 

An Expert Renewable Energy Whistle Blower

I speak honestly about Government mismanagement of our electricity system and the consequences we all face: skyrocketing hydro bills. I also speak honestly about practical solutions – and how these problems can be fixed without saddling our children with up to $93 billion in debt!

Having developed solar energy projects in Ontario between 2008 and 2011, I watched the Green Energy Act worsen Ontario’s rising electricity surplus after 2013. Kathleen Wynne kept adding more and more supply – long after coal plants had been closed and demand had started to decline.

Professional Jon

Yes, back then, I was “volunteered” by my employer to attend $5,000 dinners with Kathleen Wynne. That’s a fact. And baseball games, hockey matches and golf tournaments. These were public venues, but admission was restricted to energy companies that could pay big bucks to gain access to Kathleen Wynne and members of her Government.

Yuck! There wasn’t a shower hot enough to wash away the stench of pay for access. I complained in writing to my employer. I also complained in 2014 when the wife of a sitting Liberal Ontario cabinet minister took over as Vice Chair of the Canadian solar industry’s Board of Directors.

After leaving my employer in 2015, I spoke candidly about the grotesque mismanagement of large renewable procurement in Ontario. My whistle-blowing included guest commentary for the National Post and speeches to the Board of Trade, Chamber of Commerce and Kiwanis Club.

My September 2, 2016 column in the National Post, demanding that Kathleen Wynne terminate unneeded purchases of large wind and solar, literally generated tens of thousands of online views and comments. Twenty-five days later, the Liberal Government cancelled a $3.8 billion large renewable procurement – citing “advice from experts.”

I haven’t developed a renewable project in Ontario since 2011. I haven’t been employed or retained by players in the industry since 2015. I am free to speak the truth about what’s wrong – and to make constructive proposals on how to fix it!

 

A Hard-Working, Progressive Tory

We live in a world dominated by brands. As such, many election campaigns today are waged through advertising and social media. But I have an old-fashioned belief that Ontario Progressive Conservatives stand for fundamental and unchanging values. These values are not gimmicks. They don’t get tested in focus groups and they don’t get rediscovered and pitched at election time. They stand the test of time!

I joined the Progressive Party of Ontario in 1981. Having just returned from graduate school overseas, I was honoured to take on the role of speechwriter and researcher in the Caucus Office of Premier Bill Davis’ government. Serving elected members of the government at Queen’s Park was a reminder to me of the importance of adhering to fundamental principles.

Every day, government wrestles with challenging decisions that directly affect peoples’ lives. Control of public finances is an equally large responsibility: government spends taxpayers’ money on behalf of taxpayers, and can be tempted to impose future tax burdens for the sake of popularity today. Most importantly, the measure of any good government is how well it generates and sustains prosperity and wellbeing for all its citizens.

 

My experience as a Tory taught me there are three unique values we hold dear: individual freedom and responsibility; fiscal accountability of government; and, compassion for people and communities.

Based on these principles, my desire to contribute to a PC governing team is clear! I think we can do better as Ontarians. I believe we need to re-establish ethical guidance in government decision making. I expect more from government as a citizen, and expect voters to hold me to a higher standard.

It’s time we embrace principled government in Ontario again. The three Tory values that guide me are a comfort to me, as well as a road map on where our priorities really are. It’s time for real change, and a values-based governing culture is our first step in Ontario.

 

A Citizen Who Cares About Community

A fundamental value of Progressive Conservatives is compassion for people and communities. I grew up in an Ontario PC party that established the Human Rights Commission; created the training, college and university system in Ontario, and launched the community and social services ministry. These initiatives are the source of great pride among Tories, and for good reason.

Compassion for people is a critical principle in government, because it drives the outcomes of decision making. The ultimate role of government should be to ensure sustainable health and wellbeing of its citizens.

Although this principle may seem obvious, it’s become a major challenge in Ontario. Expenditures of massive amounts of money on student improvement in public school mathematics don’t necessarily improve math scores. Expenditures of massive amounts of money on over-market, long-term electricity contracts don’t necessarily improve the power system. And most clearly, historic increases in Ontario’s indebtedness will actually make it more difficult for government to allocate money for health, education and social programs.

My vision is a government that sustains prosperity.  It takes active steps to help people who are less fortunate, and it manages its operations to ensure long-term viability of programming.

Helping people is a personal decision that all citizens make. In Ontario, caring for the community is a quality shared by the majority. My own volunteer experience over the past many years has focused on helping young people adapt to the challenges of modern society. I am proud of my association with two helping organizations: Big Brothers of Metro Toronto (In-School Mentoring Program); and, Junior Achievement of Toronto (“Economics of Staying in School” program).

 

A Leader Who Champions Teamwork

There is no greater honour than to welcome a new volunteer to our campaign! I am always struck by the dedication of our volunteers – (usually) younger members of the community who are keen to get engaged in the political process based on a values-driven belief we can do a better job for Ontario.

I’ve worked in large corporations where teamwork was often a byproduct of how hierarchies got their work done. In that culture, leadership was about finding great followers.

I reject that view entirely! Such an approach doesn’t work – particularly among young people. They’re too smart, too digitally savvy, too turned off by the dullness and drift of top-down decision making.

In my vision of teamwork, a good leader is one who creates other great leaders!  I ask all volunteers to define the role they want, and how to make it happen. I welcome critical feedback, and champion points of view that “don’t fit” with conventional wisdom.

Our campaign in Don Valley West is about challenging the volunteer team to find their passionate role, and to dare themselves to contribute in a way that makes them proud.

We are a flat campaign organization where volunteers get both ingredients they need for success: clear direction; and, the responsibility/accountability to make a constructive difference. Maybe that’s why our campaign has been noteworthy for more than 10 months in attracting the best and the brightest!