All Parties Wanted the Gas Plants Cancelled

All Parties Wanted the Gas Plants Cancelled
Posted on June 8, 2014 | Doug Feltmate | Written on June 8, 2014
Letter type:
Blog Post



Author's Note:

Author's Note:

I'm writing this blog to help get all the facts out in the public domain about the cancellation of the gas plants in Oakville and Mississauga...


This is worth the read....with Hudak and Horwath taking such a high road on the gas plants.....a little history lesson should help. Perhaps, Tim should give back the $40,000 he and his wife were paid by Trans-Canada. Things aren't always as they appear.

Please share if you feel it is relevant at this time.

Oakville mayor Rob Burton has just published a fascinating timeline on his website. If you care about Ontario politics – if you care about the truth – you should take a few minutes to read it. It provides facts about the gas plant controversy, not conjecture and misinformation. Among other things, it exposes the Opposition/media narrative about the gas plants to be very wrong.

Burton's summary at the end of this piece says it all:

"To summarize: all of the political parties were against the gas plant locations.  All acknowledged there’d be a cost for cancellation."

Among the revelations in Burton’s post:

  • In August 2009, Burton meets with Premier Dalton McGuinty to protest the plans of the Ontario Power Authority/Ford Canada/TransCanada Energy to locate a gas plant in a largely residential area. McGuinty listens to Burton, and starts an inquiry into Oakville’s concerns.
  • In February 2010, the Ontario PCs also come out against the OPA/Ford/TransCanada desired location for the plant.
  • In April 2010, all three parties in the Legislature vote for a Liberal private member’s bill to keep power plants away from neighbourhoods.
  • In June 2010, McGuinty’s inquiry releases its recommendations – and it recommends against what OPA/Ford/TransCanada want. McGuinty listens – and, three months later, cancels it.
  • In September 2010, the PCs appear to reverse themselves, and start advocating for the plant to go in Ward Four, which borders the QEW, a creek, and thousands of homes. (Why? See October 2012, below.)
  • In October 2010, McGuinty cancels the plant, and shuts down OPA/Ford/TransCanada. The decision is hugely popular in Oakville, and the local paper thanks McGuinty, saying they are glad he made the right decision.
  • In September 2011, PC leader Tim Hudak says he wants to cancel the Mississauga gas plant. For the government he hopes to lead, the cost will be “one billion dollars,” quote, unquote. He says Oakville’s cancellation, which he supports, will also be a billion dollars.
  • In the same month, his Mississauga candidate says “a Tim Hudak government will cancel this plant” – which, Burton dryly notes, “matches a Liberal promise” made earlier.
  • In October 2011, McGuinty wins re-election, one seat short of a majority.
  • A year later, in October 2012, the Toronto Sun reveals – as Burton puts it – “the Hudaks get a $40,900 pay-out from TransCanada.”
  • In March 2013, Burton appears before a legislative committee to talk about the gas plants. He writes:

”I point out all three political parties promise to kill the power plant during the fight and ask them how their cancellation costs would be different.”

At the end of his timeline, Burton places the blame for the gas plant mess – and the price tag – squarely on the OPA: “[they are] responsible for this costly mistake.” They were “reckless,” he writes.

To summarize: All of the political parties were against the gas plant locations. All acknowledged there’d be a cost for cancellation.

About The Author


I am getting really tired of all the harping about the "gas plants". The fact is both opposition parties were ready to jump all over the Liberals if the plants had gone ahead and both of them would likely have cancelled the plants, at the same or greater cost to the taxpayers, had they formed a government. While one could criticize the original location decision for these plants, I think the Liberals deserve some kudos for listening to their constituents and doing the right thing by cancelling the plants.

It is refreshing to see a government changing course in response to public concerns, because we see far too many examples of projects that are pushed through regardless of public concerns - the Northern Gateway Pipeline in British Columbia being just one of the most recent examples. If Harper were to do the right thing and cancel the pipeline, would there be the same reaction as there has been in Ontario to McGuinty cancelling the gas plants?

I think not. It's all about politics and not about what is in the public interest.

John Newell

The gas plant cancellation is only a small part of the real issue. There are billions more in crimes that dwarf the gas plants. Not all of them reported by the media because they are so big no one wants to publish. McGuinty, in my opinion belongs in jail.

John Newell

The difference between how the Conservatives and the NDP would have cancelled the gas plants and how McGuinty cancelled the gas plants lies in the way it was done. As McGuinty so famously said on TV, he was reckless. The language to cancel the gas plants without penalty was there for the using. But McGuinty was too hasty to take the time to discover that.

That sort of recklessness by a person with public responsibilities is covered under the Criminal Code by the section on Breach of Trust. It comes with jail time - for him and at least two others.

The gas plant cancellation is not the big crime. It's just a small part of something much bigger that the OPP haven't gotten to yet. But they will.

Let us not forget how the Harris Tories gave away the store when they sold the 407 ETR to a private Spanish consortium for 99 years without maintaining any ability for the Ontario Government to regulate tolls in any way. This only became public years later when tolls were increasing dramatically and the new Liberal government tried to step in but found they couldn't because of an imprudent agreement. The sale benefited someone but it sure wasn't the drivers in the GTA.

Sandra Rumfeldt

I was so relieved that the government listened to the protesters and cancelled the gas plants.