Wizard of Ontario

Grid operators must ride them up and down all day long in this masquerade—serving the illusion that wind and solar are actually contributing meaningful amounts of electricity. Meanwhile the gas plants spit out far more emissions than if they were simply turned on and allowed to run at an even output.

by Rick Conroy, The Wellington Times
It was crass and ugly political theatre. It could not have been more bald. Two days before the leaders’ debate in advance of the last Ontario election, three Liberal MPPs—Laurel Broten, Charles Sousa and Donna Cansfield—stood on a stage, their arms raised in triumph. All three were running in ridings around Mississauga amidst a debate about a gas-fired electricity generating facility rising out of the ground in the Sherway Gardens area. All three were thought to be at risk of losing their seat because of the plant. A year earlier neighbouring MPP Kevin Flynn had persuaded Dalton McGuinty his seat wasn’t safe unless the Premier killed a much larger gas-generating facility in Oakville. The Mississauga MPPs needed a similar favour. No matter the cost. Faced with losing power over his management of the energy file, McGuinty folded his convictions and opened up the taxpayers’ wallet to appease his desperate MPPs. Now the costs are beginning to be tallied.

Earlier this summer Finance Minister Dwight Duncan admitted that moving the Mississauga plant to Lambton near Sarnia would cost taxpayers at least $190 million. This week beleaguered Energy Minister Chris Bentley said his government would relocate the cancelled Oakville gas-fired generating plant to Lennox Generating Station at Bath—just across the bay from Cressy. The cost of the move: $40 million.

The total price tag for protecting those four Greater Toronto seats: $230 million. Not only do rural Ontarians get to shoulder a goodly share of this fiasco—they also get the gas plants and their emissions the GTA refused to take. Read article

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