The Ontario Auditor General released her report outlining the cancellation costs associated with the Oakville gas plant. The AG stated in a press conference that the net cost to taxpayers will be at a minimum $675 million with the potential of being as high as $1.1 billion. When added to the Mississauga gas plant cancellation costs, the total bill is $1.6 billion. That is why Dalton McGuinty left when he did. He rode out of town before the going got really tough in a minority parliament.
Give Premier Wynne credit for wanting to be transparent and asking the AG to investigate and determine the true cost of the gas plant cancellation. However the problem is that she was at the McGuinty cabinet table and actually chaired the meeting in which the decision to cancel the gas plant was made. It will be difficult for Wynne to pass the blame to McGuinty.
Adding insult to injury, the costs were higher than necessary based on the actions of the government as it waived provisions in the contract that would have protected the Ontario Power Authority and the taxpayers. McGuinty and his cabinet made a political decision prior to an election campaign that Premier Wynne has acknowledged.
The disrespect towards the Ontario taxpayers has been contemptuous. The Oakville gas plant is just the latest in a growing list of boondoggles such as E Health and Ornge that have occurred under the Ontario Liberal government.
Enough is enough. At this point we believe that it is now up to the people of Ontario to decide the future of Premier Wynne and the mistakes of the McGuinty Liberal government. We encourage the Opposition Leaders to pull the plug on the government and let the Premier face the voters in an election. The provincial government needs to address important issues and we do not feel this will occur until the people have had their say on McGuinty’s shameful legacy.
Wynne testified under oath at the legislature’s justice committee to explain why her government continually referred to a $40-million cost for cancelling the Oakville plant. “Whenever I have stood and used a number, that has been the number that I have understood to be the real number,” she told the committee.
Mississauga.com – April 30, 2013
Colin Andersen, CEO of the energy planning agency, says the OPA commissioned outside experts who estimated the cost of cancelling the Oakville plant at $241 million. However, Andersen told a legislative committee the OPA itself now puts the cost of the Oakville project at $310 million, and explained the difference by saying many future costs are hard to estimate.
The Windsor Star – April 30, 2013
We estimate that the decision to cancel the Oakville power plant and build a new plant in Napanee may cost the public $675 million, with $40 million being paid by taxpayers and $635 million being paid by electricity ratepayers. However, this cost may increase by up to $140 million because of a possible increase in the tolls relating to the delivery of gas.
Ontario Auditor General Report – October 8, 2013