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Power generation woes continue

April 30, 2013   ·   0 Comments

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Julia Munro, York-Simcoe MPP

People in York-Simcoe know very well how the Liberals mismanage our power generation system as they saw the government push through the Holland Marsh gas-fired generating station with no environmental assessment. Yet we also all saw the Liberals cancel gas plants – ones to be located in Liberal ridings – when the political heat got too much for them.
For months, the Ontario PCs have been calling on the McGuinty-Wynne Liberals to tell Ontario taxpayers the truth about the cost of cancelling the Mississauga gas plant. Each time the Liberals insisted that it would only cost $190 million.
The Auditor General announced that Ontarians are now on the hook for at least $275 million to cancel the Mississauga gas plant – $85 million more than the amount originally cited by the McGuinty-Wynne Liberals. These additional costs are an indictment of the Liberals’ cover-up and attempt to mislead taxpayers. This is money that cannot be used for the things that Ontarians value most, like health-care and education.
The power plant in the east end of Mississauga was cancelled by the Liberals during the 2011 election to save Liberal MPPs in the surrounding ridings. Since the builders had a contract with the government they were able extract huge compensation from the government.
It is important to remember that the Ontario Liberal government controlled this process from the very beginning. They set up the Ontario Power Authority in 2004 which said we needed more power generation in the GTA. The Liberals allowed the application to move forward, watched the plant being built, panicked in the middle of the 2011 election, and then cancelled the plant.
Some of the specific costs revealed in the Auditor General’s report include:
• $90 million in penalties and interest to the power company’s lender in the U.S., on a $59 million loan.
• $41 million in labour costs without seeing copies of payroll documents or T-4s.
• $4.2 million to the power company for the plant property without gaining title to the property.
Even though we know the cost of the Mississauga gas plant, the investigation is far from over. For months the Liberals claimed that canceling the Oakville gas plant would cost taxpayers only $40 million, while independent energy experts estimate that it could cost over $800 million. Taxpayers deserve to know who ordered the cancellations, how much they cost, and most importantly, who is now trying to cover them up.
From shutting down the Legislature, to withholding documents on three occasions, the McGuinty-Wynne Liberals have made coordinated attempts to cover up the truth about their misdeeds.
People in Ontario deserve a government that provides responsible oversight for families and taxpayers. One that makes fair and necessary decisions and a government that we can trust to do their jobs properly and take responsibility for their actions.

         

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