July 13, 2012
CORNWALL – On Wednesday, Energy Minister Chris Bentley admitted to the Legislative Estimates Committee that the rushed cancellation of a gas-fired power plant in Mississauga, mere days before the October 6 election, was ordered by the Liberal campaign office and will cost Ontario taxpayers at least $180 million. This includes only costs that cannot be recovered, such as labour and materials that can’t be reused. Costs associated with the dismantling and clean-up are yet to be revealed and the Ministry hasn’t yet released the documents related to the dispute settlement.
Greenfield South, the company sole-sourced by the Government to build the power plant, will keep the land and buildings in Mississauga and build a gas-fired plant in rural Lambton. Rather than convert an existing local coal power station, Greenfield South will build a brand new power plant on land provided by OPG. Before the cancellation, the people of Mississauga were told that the power plant had to be built where the power was needed, which leads us to question the motive behind the move to Sarnia.
Local MPP Jim McDonell offered a sobering perspective: “This money could have been used to hire at least 2000 nurse practitioners, or purchase 90 MRI machines. Residents of Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry, Prescott and Russell counties could have obtained access to essential health care faster and closer to home through more nurse-practitioner-led clinics. All Dalton McGuinty achieved was a land giveaway, a ballooning bill and an empty concrete shell. The true cost of this and other examples of McGuinty’s mismanagement, such as E-Health, ORNGE Air Ambulance, the Green Energy Act, the WSIB and others, will cost Ontarians tens of billions of dollars. It is little wonder that our income taxes are now the second highest in Canada, our power rates are the highest in North America and our provincial deficit is three times greater than all the other provinces combined”.
The true cost of another power plant cancellation in Oakville remains unknown.