Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: The Gas Plants' Stench Remains

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: The Gas Plants' Stench Remains

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: The gas plants' stench remains

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An editorial from the Waterloo Region Record, published Oct. 9:

The voters of Ontario must never forget the gas plant scandal and the Liberal government that created it in all its reeking, maddening infamy.

Whenever the next provincial election is held, whatever pretty things the politicians in the governing party promise them, the people of this province must remember the cynical, underhanded and, for the public, ruinously expensive tactics employed by the Liberals to win the last vote in 2011.

Thanks to Tuesday's report from the provincial auditor general, Ontarians now know that it will cost them up to $1.1 billion to scrap two gas plants in Oakville and Mississauga so the Liberals could hold onto five seats in the general election two years ago. It is now up to these same taxpayers to decide if this self-serving political move should cost the Liberals the next election.

The bill to the public for the Liberals' power hunger is staggering. It comes at a time of massive government deficits. It's roughly equivalent to what all-day kindergarten will cost in a year when that program is fully in place.

It's more than what the government spends yearly on its Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing or on its Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment. It's more than double the Environment Ministry's annual budget.

And while this government will sanctimoniously proclaim its solidarity with Ontario's aboriginal community, the $64.7 million it will spend on the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs this year is a drop in the bucket compared to what it threw away killing two gas plants. What good might all this money have done for Ontario?

That the primary motivation for the gas plant decision was political is incontrovertible and shameful. While the Oakville plant was axed in 2010, the plug was pulled on the Mississauga plant just days before the 2011 vote. When the auditor's report on that plant was released in April, Premier Kathleen Wynne admitted the decision to cancel the Mississauga plant was "politically motivated" to save Liberal seats.

The two plants were unpopular in the communities where they were to be built. …

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