Private sessions on Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan
Here, from The Toronto Star on Friday August 2 (page B5—inexplicably, there is no link to this story online), is a story by Business writer John Spears, on how the consultations on Ontario’s much-needed Long-Term Energy Plan are rolling out. Note: we have it on good authority that the so-called public consultation sessions are dog-and-pony shows with a set of posters from the masses to view.
Private sessions for industry insiders, public sessions for everyone else: That’s how Ontario’s Energy Ministry is conducting consultations on its long-term energy plan.
The consultation rolled into Toronto Tuesday and Wednesday this week, one of eight stops around the province.
Energy bureaucrats were reviewing the plan, published in 2010. The plan sets targets for how much of the province’s power should come from nuclear plants, gas-fired generators, hydro stations or other renewable sources.
An invitation-only session in the afternoon–closed to the public–drew about 100 industry insiders, according to one participant. They were clustered into discussion groups, each headed by a ministry official.
The public session at The Intercontinental Hotel on Bloor Street West in the evening was less formal, with ministry officials standing by information displays to answer questions or field comments.
About 50 people turned up for the session, most with some connection or longstanding interest in the power sector. Two, who didn’t volunteer their names, were employees of CANDU Energy; another was an employee of the Town of Whitby, scouting for industry intelligence.
Brendan Costelleo is a third-year student in nuclear engineering at University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
“I’m curious what’s going to happen when the Pickering reactor shuts down,” he said. That’s due about the end of the decade; the province is still considering whether to build two new nuclear units to offset it.
Audrey O’Handley of Whitchurch-Stouffville and Rita Bijons of Toronto were looking to promote low-carbon, community-based energy projects.
They were happy to be able to speak directly to senior Energy ministry officials, but weren’t sure how feedback from the public was being recorded, as no one was visibly taking notes.
Information about the review of the plan is available on the Ministry of Energy website.