February 6th, 2020

Doug Ford’s war on the environment will take Ontario emissions back to the coal-burning era

QUEEN’S PARK — Peter Tabuns, Official Opposition NDP critic for Energy and the Climate Crisis, says a new report shows that under the Doug Ford Conservatives, the climate gains made by eliminating coal-fired power plants will be wiped out.

By 2023, Ontario will have a shortfall in energy generation, according to the newest report from the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO). The shortfall will be covered by ramping up gas-fired power production. By 2038, the province will be right back to 2011 emissions levels from energy production.

“Years hard work and commitment by Ontarians is being wiped out before our eyes,” said Tabuns.

Doug Ford cancelled hundreds of green energy projects in Ontario that could have mitigated the shortfall and produced clean energy, including the massive Nation Rise and White Pines wind projects.

Adding pain to the new pollution, families will pay more.

The cost of power from gas-fired plants is more than double the price of power from new wind projects. Recent wind power projects in Alberta and Saskatchewan are producing power for under four cents per kilowatt-hour, compared to over 10 cents per kilowatt-hour from gas-fired plants in Ontario.

“Families are already struggling with skyrocketing hydro bills, thanks to the Liberal government privatizing the electricity system,” said Tabuns. “Now we discover that Ford’s obsession with tearing down wind turbines will hike up bills even higher.”

In 2019, the Auditor General’s report revealed that Doug Ford wasted $231 million of taxpayers’ money to rip up 750 renewable energy contracts. The government then spent even more millions of dollars scrapping the Nation Rise wind energy project that would have provided up to 100 megawatts of power to Ontario’s electricity grid. Ford’s government has also dismantled essential energy conservation and efficiency programs that would have reduced demand and lowered electricity bills.

“What the IESO has revealed is that Ford’s plan for our electricity system will hit the environment, and families’ bank accounts hard,” said Tabuns. “We need to invest in new renewable energy projects to produce cheaper, green power — not go back to the bad old days.”