by Christina Blizzard, Toronto Sun
TORONTO – The day before Frank Klees’ doomed plan to run for the Speaker’s chair hijacked news at Queen’s Park, PC leader Tim Hudak released embarrassing photos showing a generator being shipped to a Mississauga power plant that – supposedly – has been scrapped. In a last-ditch attempt to shore up political support in that part of the GTA, the Liberals cancelled the plant in the dying days of the election campaign.
So how come, more than two weeks later, with the election won, the seats saved, the Tories were able to snap a picture of a truck carrying a major component of the plant to its destination?
“This Mississauga power plant is supposed to have been cancelled by Dalton McGuinty during the election campaign. It’s now 18 days later and the plant is (continuing) to be built. In fact, this is the most expensive component of what’s probably a $300-$400 million project,” Hudak told reporters.
Newly appointed energy minister Chris Bentley released a statement saying the government is committed to “relocating the natural gas plant originally planned for Mississauga.
“The government will work with the company to find a suitable location for this plant. More information will become available as discussions progress.”
That makes it sound as if some giant crane will come along, pluck it up in one piece from the residential area where it’s now located and plunk it down in a field close to nowhere.
That’s not going to happen. The plant was well on its way to completion. Changing plans now will cost hundreds of millions of dollars – a disgraceful waste of time and money.
And where will they put it?
Do we foist it on rural Ontario – the way the government has stuck residents there with hectares of ugly wind farms?
We’ve already destroyed our best farmland and most beautiful countryside with those ugly monstrosities. What’s another gas plant on top of that?
It was just that mindset that cost the Liberals all their rural seats. Now they’ve appointed Kathleen Wynne – a downtown Toronto, urban MPP if ever I saw one – to mend fences in rural Ontario.
Cities needs the power – and rural Ontario is paying the price.
Urban Ontario sucks up the juice while the countryside gets stuck with windfarms and power plants.
The political power of the cities means things can only get worse.
The Nimbys want it all. The want to sip their lattes – but have the rest of the province generate the electricity to run the coffee machines.
Generating electricity far from where it’s needed makes the system even less efficient. One of the weakest links in our electricity supply is the antiquated grid, which needs billions of dollars in upgrades and refurbishments.
Stick the power plants where they’re out of sight and out of mind of a majority of voters – and you’ll have to rely even more on those bad hydro lines.
One ice storm and there’ll be an ocean of frosted lattes. And even frostier latte-lovers.
Where’s Bentley going to site the Mississauga and Oakville plants, pray tell?
Northern Ontario? The Bruce Peninsula? Muskoka?
Have some courage, minister.
Power systems should be designed based on rational thought – not on political expediency.
Sure, you don’t place a gas-powered plant next to a school. But sometimes, you have to do the right thing and put it close to a residential area.
As it is, both the Mississauga and Oakville plants were money down the drain – and no power to show for it.