McGuinty admits moving gas plants was his decision
Former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty admitted Tuesday he didn’t know the full cost of moving gas plants in Oakville and Mississauga when he made the controversial decision to relocate them.
Speaking before the legislature’s justice committee Tuesday, McGuinty admitted the decision to relocate the plants west of Toronto came later and cost more than he would have liked, but he said relocating them was the right decision, given their proximity to schools and homes.
“We were faced with a circumstance where gas plants were sited right next to schools, condominium towers, family homes and a hospital,” he said. “That wasn’t right.”
The decision to close the power-generating plants become controversial for two reasons. The first was the timing: the Mississauga plant announcement came during the 2011 election campaign; the Oakville decision came a year earlier. Both decisions were made in response to growing opposition in ridings held by Liberal MPPs.
The combined cost of tearing up contracts with the developers was another problem. The cost of moving both plants is now estimated to be more than $585 million, far above the $230 million McGuinty and the Liberals had been claiming.
During his testimony on Tuesday, McGuinty’s clashed with Progressive Conservative MPP Vic Fedeli, especially when McGuinty insisted the $40-million figure the Liberals had been using as the cost of cancelling the Oakville plant came from the Ontario Power Authority. It was recently estimated that moving the plant will likely cost more than $300 million. An auditor’s report on the Oakville relocation is due this summer. (Source: CBC News)