Andrea Horwath Seeks Answers on OPG Thunder Bay
THUNDER BAY – New Democrat Leader Andrea Horwath was up during question period seeking answers on the Thunder Bay Generating Station. The issue has been a focus for the City of Thunder Bay and NOMA.
Ms. Andrea Horwath: My question is to the Minister of Energy. I was in Thunder Bay last week speaking with municipal leaders, energy and mining experts and the chamber of commerce. They want answers from the minister about Thunder Bay’s generating station. Liberals promised a conversion and then cancelled it, then promised it again and then cancelled it again.
“People of Thunder Bay want some certainty. The Premier and the minister have had enough time to make a decision and now the northwest deserves an answer. Will this government be converting the Thunder Bay generating station tonatural gas?
Bob Chiarelli: I thank the leader of the third party for the question. Mr. Speaker, we have been putting in a lot of time and attention, and indeed consultation, with people from Thunder Bay and the Dryden area. We had some very significant meetings at the AMO conference. We are well into finalizing details on that particular issue.
>One thing we have done is acknowledged, in a recent report that just come out from the Ontario Power Authority, the tremendous requirement for new generation in the northwest. That particular report is online and I encourage the leader of the third party to read it.
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Supplementary?
Ms. Andrea Horwath: Thanks for the advice. I’ve read the report, Speaker.
The people of northwestern Ontario need to know that their region has the energy necessary to grow, to create new jobs, and to take its place as an economic leader in the province. They can’t do that if there is uncertainty over how they will meet their energy needs going into the next years and decades ahead. When, Speaker, can the people in northwesternOntario expect this government’s decision about the future of the Thunder Bay generating station gas conversion?
Hon. Bob Chiarelli: Mr. Speaker, I’m concerned that the leader of the third party is speaking only about Thunder Bayand that one particular generating station. There is a very significant challenge in Northwestern Ontario including north of Dryden, including Thunder Bay and including west of Thunder Bay. We are looking at all of those. We will be providing an answer which will include very significant investments in transmission and generation in that part of the province, probably within three or four weeks.
I would ask the leader to be a little more patient and be also mindful that any future generating plant in Thunder Baywill be used six hours per year.