Fedeli on Gas Plants: Wait for the Oakville Shoe to Drop
30 July 2012
“Another source told The Star there’s a legal opinion that TransCanada, the private company under contract to build the plant, could sue the province for $1 billion.”
- The Toronto Star, October 7, 2010
QUEEN’S PARK – In the wake of the Liberals’ admission that the politically-motivated Mississauga gas plant cancellation cost taxpayers $190 million, Ontarians should brace for a bill of up to $1 billion for its Oakville “twin”, Ontario PC Energy Critic Vic Fedeli said today.
“We have waited nearly two years for the government to release information on the terms of the Oakville cancellation,” Fedeli said. “And we’re still waiting. In the wake of the Mississauga scandal, the need for disclosure on the Oakville Liberal ‘seat-saver’ is now urgent.”
According to the government’s own math related to the cancellation cost of the Mississauga plant, scrapping the Oakville project will cost a minimum of $300 million. Yet sources have indicated that the province could face a lawsuit of up to $1 billion, Fedeli explained.
“All this may explain why Dwight Duncan was so jumpy when asked about the Oakville plant cancellation the other day under PC Caucus questioning,” Fedeli noted: “That’s quite a number – for a cost that should be billed to the Ontario Liberal Party’s expense account.
“And all for not so much as one megawatt of electricity to show for it. No wonder businesses and investors are taking a pass on Ontario as a place to expand and create jobs.”
Meanwhile, another unanswered concern over the Mississauga affair is that Greenfield South Power secured a no-bid contract for its Lambton replacement, Fedeli noted, meaning taxpayers have no idea if they are paying a fair price for the project.
“And the cost of the project is high to start with because they are building an entirely new facility, as opposed to converting the existing one from coal to gas,” Fedeli added. “Dwight Duncan insists this is a near-impossible conversion – which is nonsense. Just this month, for example, OPG announced they were converting the Atikokan coal plant in Thunder Bay to natural gas and biomass. Does the former Energy Minister not know that?”
Worst of all, Fedeli concluded, is the fact that the huge sums needed to pay for these politically-motivated decisions are being robbed from priority services and deficit reduction. “This reckless overspending puts at risk the things Ontarians care most about – like quality education and dependable health care,” Fedeli said.
“That’s the real scandal behind these gas plants.”