THUNDER BAY – Politics – Banning the burning of coal is a legislative goal on Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. The announcement a few weeks ago to convert the Thunder Bay Generating Plant to enhanced bio-mass made by Thunder Bay Atikokan MPP Bill Mauro and Minister of Northern Development and Mines, Michael Gravelle were the final steps toward a meeting between the Premier and former United States Vice President Al Gore.
The Thunder Bay Ontario Power Generating Station was slated to be converted to natural gas, that plan was shelved two years ago. The move to enhanced bio-mass was released at a media conference at the Airlane Hotel has received positive reviews from the two local MPPs.
Concerns over the details on the announcement remain to be released.
Al Gore Salutes Coal Ban Announcement
The trip to Ontario by Al Gore representing Climate Reality was to bolster the efforts promised by the Ontario Liberals. “To solve the climate crisis, we need people, provinces and countries to show the way forward towards a coal-free, sustainable future. Ontario has distinguished itself as a leader in Canada and around the world,” said former U.S. Vice-President Gore. “It is heartening to see the tremendous progress that has been made here and it is my hope that others will quickly follow suit,” stated Gore demonstrating an enthusiasm like an evangelist in full flight.
Wynne Government Under Fire Over Manufacturing Job Losses
The meeting between Premier Kathleen Wynne and Al Gore is being panned by the Opposition. Tim Hudak states, “You blew the Cliffs deal. This chance—it could have been what the oils sands are to Alberta. You fumbled the ball. We lost those jobs. That investment will go elsewhere.
Hudak charges, “The very same day that Cliffs walked away from the table—they said high energy rates are part of that equation; Heinz, high energy rates—you spent your time hugging it up with Al Gore, the very policies that drove hydro rates through the roof in the first place”.
Questioning the Premier in the Ontario Legislature, Hudak asked, “Don’t you think, considering the impact of hydro on jobs, that was a poke in the eye? Wasn’t that salt in the wounds? Wasn’t it an extraordinary misjudgment to embrace the high-energy policies that are driving jobs out of our province?”
Premier Wynne responded, “I care deeply about people losing their jobs. I care deeply about bringing jobs to Ontario. I care deeply about working with businesses, but not to sacrifice our children’s health. There is no place for policies in this province that would sacrifice children to the economy.”