Ontario PCs claim cancelled Oakville plant could cost $1B
Published Monday, July 30, 2012 12:16PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, July 30, 2012 1:28PM EDT
The Ontario Progressive Conservatives continued to attack the Liberal government Monday over its decision to cancel gas power plants, claiming a canned plant once destined for Oakville could result in a $1 billion lawsuit.
Tory energy critic Vic Fedeli said on Monday that the cost of cancelling an Oakville generating station two years ago has not been made public, but government figures make a price tag of at least $300 million likely.
He added that a potential $1 billion lawsuit could be filed in connection with the Oakville closure, citing a Toronto Star report from Oct. 7, 2010.
“We could be looking at a bill to the taxpayers of up to $1 billion,” Fedeli told reporters Monday. “The fact is we have waited nearly two years for the government to release the information on the terms of the Oakville cancellation. We are still waiting.”
The claim comes as opposition parties attack the government’s decision to cancel a Mississauga gas plant just before last year’s Ontario election.
Finance Minister Dwight Duncan has admitted the decision to cancel the unpopular plant came at a time when the Liberals were behind in the polls.
The cancelled Mississauga plant cost the province $180 million: $85 million in construction costs and $95 million in cancellation fees and incidentals.
Construction of the 300-megawatt plant has since been moved to Sarnia, Ont.
Fedeli said the Oakville plant, cancelled in October 2010 because of local opposition, was three-times larger than its Mississauga counterpart.
He said using the government numbers on the Mississauga plant $95 million cancellation cost and multiplying by three led the Ontario PCs their price tag for the Oakville cancellation.
“In the wake of the Mississauga scandal, the need for disclosure on the Oakville ‘seat saver’ is now more urgent,” he said.
Duncan has already warned opposition parties not to “inflate” their cost estimates of the Oakville plant, saying claims that the plant closure cost $1 billion were “reckless.”