Your hard-earned tax dollars were offered up to save five vulnerable Liberal seats in last fall’s election. Ontario’s energy policy was essentially rewritten on a restaurant napkin on a Saturday morning, not by experts, but by Liberal spin doctors. That decision was paid for by every single taxpayer in the province.
But the payout is far from over. The other shoe will soon drop. You should be prepared for a bill of up to $1 billion for the Mississauga plant’s Oakville “twin.”
It’s been nearly two years since Dalton McGuinty scrubbed the power plant project in Oakville, and we’re still waiting for him to release information on those cancellation terms. According to the government’s own figures on Mississauga, scrapping Oakville will cost a minimum of $300 million. Yet sources indicate the province could face a lawsuit of up to $1 billion. That’s a cost that, quite frankly, should be billed to the Ontario Liberal Party. In the wake of Mississauga, the Liberals need to come clean on their Oakville ‘seat-saver’ now.
Make no mistake, you’re not finished paying for the Mississauga plant yet, either. It’s being relocated to Lambton on a no-bid contract, so we have no idea if taxpayers are getting a fair price. And rather than convert an existing coal plant at the site to gas, a BRAND NEW facility will be built! Estimates peg that cost around $300 million.
The worst part of these reckless and politically insidious expenditures is that they are robbing resources from priorities for families like quality education, health care and deficit reduction. The money from Mississauga could have paid for at least 600 new doctors, 3,100 first-year nurses, or 6,000 cancer treatments. That’s unconscionable when you really think about it.
But perhaps the greatest scandal in this – and it is a scandal – is that we don’t have ONE megawatt of electricity generated to show for all this money Dalton McGuinty has shovelled out the door! Is it any wonder businesses and investors are taking a pass on Ontario as a place to expand and create jobs? Whether you’re a working taxpayer, hydro ratepayer, business owner, or one of the 600,000 unemployed in Ontario today, you have every right to be mad as hell.
PC Energy Critic and MPP, Nipissing