Oakville power plant explodes on McGuinty

by Kelly McParland, National Post

Following the bouncing ball of Premier Dad’s political thought processes is getting harder — and more entertaining — all the time.

For quite some time, Ontario’s paternalistic  premier has insisted that building a gas-fired power plant in the leafy enclave of Oakville was an absolute necessity, and that there was no chance he’d reconsider his decision to push ahead with it.

Ontario needed the power, he said. Oakvillians had a right to complain, but he wasn’t required to listen. He’d already made clear he’d had enough of NIMBYism, and he wasn’t going to be pushed around on the issue, even by one of the country’s wealthiest neighbourhoods, where people know how to organize an effective opposition.

Residents pointed out the obvious problems with the plant: it was smack in the middle of an area filled with schools and homes. Oakville already has its share of big industry — a mammoth Ford plant for one — and the air already suffers for it.

Too bad. This was one line Dalton McGuinty wasn’t going to cross. He was determined to show other communities he could stand up to pressure, and that his devotion to green energy outweighed his concern about his party’s popularity.

Until Thursday. Then, all of a sudden, Energy Minister Brad Duguid shows up in Oakville and announces that — ta-da! — the plant isn’t needed any more.

Did we say it was essential? Ha, silly us … we meant it was entirely optional, depending on projected power needs. And those needs have changed, just like that. Poof, gone. No more needs. Hey, watch what I do with this rabbit…

Turns out, all Ontario requires is some more transmission lines. And nobody goes to the wall over power lines eh?

Now, you might point out that projected power needs could change again — say, when the economy recovers — but that would just spoil things. Dalton probably isn’t going to be around when that happens, not the way the polls are going, so he won’t have to worry about it. Let Tim Hudak  find a neighbourhood willing to take the friggin thing.  Dalton will be up at the cottage, admiring the windmills in the distance.

Everyone knows Duguid and McGuinty are fibbing on the Oakville file. They cancelled the plant because it was going to cost them a seat. Local Liberal MPP Kevin Flynn openly opposed the plant and sought to reverse his own leader’s decision. A brave move, but if the plant had gone ahead, he’d have been toast in the next election, which is a year from now. He’s still no shoe-in, since the locals aren’t likely to put much trust in anything to do with McGuinty.

They will also be aware that this latest McGuinty reversal — God, how many is it now? — is likely to prove hideously expensive. Ontario had a deal with Trans­Canada Corp. to build the plant, and it’s just possible TransCanada will want some compensation for being jerked around by the premier. Whaddaya think they’ll ask for: Half a billion? A billion?

Oh well, nevermind. Premier McGuinty can just introduce a new tax. Like the HST. Or the health tax. Or the eco-fee. Sure he promised not to raise taxes, but that was sooooooo long ago. No one remembers that stuff.

7 thoughts on “Oakville power plant explodes on McGuinty

  1. We don’t have a “Government” at the Provincial level anymore!

    What we have is a bunch of “stuffed shirts” who are trying to “manage a CRISIS” which they have created with their failed Energy Policy they have embraced almost as “a religious zealot” would embrace the “Second Coming!”

    For anyone to “expect” much change with an election in 2011, just remember who started Ontario down this “path of destruction!”

    Go back to Harris in 1998 and read the history of this failed Energy Program!…in fact go back even further and the complete dismantling of our once affordable Hydro Program and all sorts of fingers have been in the Ontario Taxpayers Pie without regard to Political Stripes!

    Until there is an “honest” attempt by “someone who gets elected” into Provincial Government we will forever be a broken and failed Province with no future for our children and grandchildren. Ask your own child why they don’t vote: Their answer will tell you what’s wrong!

  2. This Liberal government is a disgrace.
    The Oakville gas plant is cancelled after several million of our tax dollars have been spent. The one in the Holland Marsh situated in the Green Belt is to proceed. Needles to say the Holland Marsh is a Conservative riding and grows a lot of food.
    There are a lot of well-heeled Liberals in Oakville. Maybe that’s what it takes to be recognized and listened to–vote Liberal.
    McGuinty’s shot himself in the foot over this one.

  3. It is a numbers game, nothing more, as well as pure abuse of power.

    If this facility is not needed, how can wind turbines possibly be justified?

  4. I wish Dalton and his gang lived in a different time. Then I could have the satisfaction of watching him hanging from the gallows after being found guilty of treason.

    Perhaps this isn’t so far off…. He does seem content to live in some alternate reality than do the rest of us Ontarians.

  5. We should all recognize that since there will be no power plant… then something must take its place. Otherwise there can be no expansion in Oakville. So where will the transmission lines go?

    This is my problem — there is no rational policy and no discussion of “what-ifs”!

  6. Yea, like: “WHAT IF all of us who are complaining about sleep deprivation, stress, headaches, anxiety, chest tightness etc, really ARE suffering because of the imposition of wind turbines too close to our homes?”

    “WHAT IF wind turbines are killing us?”

    Who’s going to give us back the life we’ve already lost, and the years that have been taken away?

    And when you factor this in, what is the real COST of wind energy to the consumer, the taxpayer, and the victim?

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