Contempt Grows: Gas Plant Fiascos Will Cost at Least $640M
25 September 2012
An “unmitigated disaster”
- TransCanada’s lawyers describing the settlement negotiations, Globe and Mail, September 24th, 2012
QUEEN’S PARK – Taxpayers will pay at least $450 million for the politically-motivated decision to cancel and relocate the Oakville gas plant, Ontario PC House Leader Jim Wilson said today. This brings the total cost of cancelling the power plants in Mississauga and Oakville to a staggering $640 million.
“It’s an insult and an abuse of power to deceive taxpayers about the true costs of these cancelled power plants,” Wilson said. “Internal government documents reveal a far more damning price. Taxpayers will pay a minimum of $450-million – all because the Liberals were afraid of losing their seat in Oakville.”
The cost, according to Schedule B of the Memorandum of Understanding between the government and TransCanada, includes a $40 million payment for unrecoverable costs and a $210 million payment to purchase TransCanada’s gas turbines. The OPA documents further reveal that an additional $200 million will be required for new transmission lines, a cost which was concealed by the Minister of Energy for the past two years.
“The case for contempt is growing against the McGuinty Liberals,” Wilson said. “Not only are they still trying to hide the true cost of cancelling these gas plants, but there’s also reason to believe that Minister Bentley has failed to provide all documents requested by the Estimates Committee.”
Despite emails from the Ontario Power Authority repeatedly citing political interference in the decision to cancel the plants, Wilson noted that the released documents did not include any of the requested correspondence between officials from the Liberal Party of Ontario and officials at the Ministry of Energy and the Ontario Power Authority.
“Massive portions of the documents are either redacted or missing entirely,” Wilson said. “Therefore, we have introduced a motion of contempt to ensure the Liberals are held accountable for withholding the truth from Ontarians,” Wilson continued. “If passed, the motion will re-strike the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs to immediately begin an investigation into the cancellations of the two power plants and the subsequent cover-up.”
“The costs of these cancelled plants continue to rise, at the taxpayers’ expense. We may not know the true costs for years, but it is clear that the figures provided by the government are absolute nonsense. The cost of cancelling the Oakville power plant is at least $450 million.”
“It’s all further proof that the McGuinty Liberals are grossly incompetent and can’t be trusted to manage a highly important and complex issue like energy,” Wilson concluded.