QUEEN’S PARK – A media investigation recently brought to light what had been suspected: that many of Ontario’s gas plants, which were supposed to run only during peak consumption periods, were in fact running nearly 24 hours a day.
The Toronto Portlands gas plant, which was heavily opposed by residents and Ontario NDP critic for Energy and Climate Action Peter Tabuns (Toronto—Danforth), has been running 21 hours a day, having demonstrably negative impact on air quality and potentially long-term health risks for residents in the area.
“Ontario is falling behind on its promises to deliver a clean grid with over-reliance on gas plants while the entire world moves towards greener energy sources,” said Tabuns.
“Ford’s shortsighted policies, like canceling electricity conservation programs ahead of an expected shortage of generation capacity, have kept Ontario’s gas-fired power plants running for longer hours, with more gas plants on the way. It all means more air pollution and a hotter future.
This government’s energy strategy is incredibly short-sighted; it fails to deliver cost savings for Ontarians and relies heavily on an unsustainable source that is going to have negative health impacts on residents.
The capacity crunch that our grid is facing is nothing new; Ontario’s risk of brown-outs came with years of warnings. Consecutive governments chose to waste time neglecting the need for energy conservation and have left our province relying heavily on unsustainable energy sources that will leave Ontarians paying for decades to come – not only monetarily, but with lasting health and environmental impacts.
There are cleaner, cheaper alternatives. Unfortunately, this government’s tunnel-visioned war on the environment continues.”
- Earlier this year, IESO announced that they are increasing reliance on gas and expanding facilities
- Natural gas-fired power plants provide costly power and may have to potentially shut down in the future as the climate impacts get worse, leaving Ontarians on the hook to pay for them until the contract end dates of 2040
- Ontarians would be stuck paying for these decisions long after the plants have been shut down
- An RBC report from June confirms what the Ontario NDP has been proposing: Ontario’s focus needs to shift to conservation and demand management to not only end costly over-reliance on gas, but also deliver savings for Ontarians who are already struggling to make ends meet
- Shifting focus to conservation and demand management can save Ontario’s ratepayers at least $500 million annually