QUEEN'S PARK — After ripping up contracts for low-cost renewable energy, Premier Doug Ford is replacing it with extremely high-cost, greenhouse gas-spewing gas plants. NDP interim Leader Peter Tabuns said the move will lead to a hotter planet, and higher electricity costs.
On Thursday, Ford's government signed an Order in Council that expands gas-fired power until April 2040. That's despite Canada's 2035 end date for GHG-emitting power — although Ford’s Order says Ontario will pay for-profit power generators for nothing if emissions laws shut them down.
“With Doug Ford dragging us backward, Ontarians will definitely see higher energy costs and higher emissions," said Tabuns, who is also the Official Opposition critic for Energy and the Climate Crisis.
“Families are already hemorrhaging money because of the skyrocketing cost of everything. It boggles the mind that Conservatives are planning to orchestrate another surge in prices by relying even more on the most expensive kind of power. Doug Ford gave big promises to making energy bills more affordable than they were under Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals, but have pushed prices up again and again."
Tabuns added that more clean and renewable power is necessary to stem the climate crisis — not new gas plants that will make it worse. The NDP is calling for a comprehensive and transparent energy plan designed to bring down costs and emissions, as well as more immediate help for families.
“If we shift now to cheaper renewable energy, it will avoid much higher costs and reduce emissions. It's a win-win when we can't afford to lose," said Tabuns. "We should and could also be funding aggressive energy conservation programs that will help cut back substantially on use and people's energy bills.
"Doug Ford has put Ontario into a bind by cancelling energy conservation programs that would have stopped thousands of megawatts from being used; and by cancelling and tearing down the renewable energy generation we needed. If we act now, and act aggressively, we can undo the damage, and fill Ontario's energy needs with affordable, clean power."