Minister Chiarelli makes empty promises on power plant siting
In a letter published in The Ottawa Citizen today (but not available online) Wind Concerns Ontario vice-president Parker Gallant writes:
Ottawa Citizen, October 18, 2013
Peddling empty promises
RE: Angry Ontarians talk turkey with Wynne over $1B gas plant bill, Oct. 10
On the same day that Ontario’s new Auditor General, Bonnie Lysyk, released her report on the Oakville gas plant cancellation, Ontario’s Minister of Energy Bob Chiarelli tried to deflect the bad news in a news release headlined “Ontario Improving Decision-Making on Large Energy Projects.” In it was a link to 18 recommendations by the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) and the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO).
The recommendations were fluff. Words like “outreach,” “understand,” and “enhance,” were used but nowhere was any mention of returning local planning to the communities where these large power projects are to be sited.
Minister Chiarelli declared that “We want to get these decisions right … we are committed to ensuring communities have their say right from the start.”
Sending out a news release dealing with siting power projects on the same day that the Auditor General disclosed that the cost of moving the Oakville gas plant cost the ratepayers and taxpayers of the province $675 million, is not just an admission that they got the siting process horribly wrong, it pretends it is being fixed.
The truth is, the Ministry of Energy remains firmly in charge and will decide what it wants. To tell Ontario communities that they will “have their say from the start” is insulting. In just four days in early October, approvals for three more huge wind power generation projects were announced, the largest with a capacity of 180 MW. All these were without community consultation.
Mr Chiarelli is peddling more empty promises to detract from the mess that the Ontario Liberals have made of what used to be a competitive electricity sector.
Wind Concerns Ontario