TORONTO – Oakville Mayor Rob Burton told a legislative committee, Tuesday, he was very pleased that the Ontario government cancelled the planned gas plant in his town.
He also told the committee it didn’t make any sense to put a gas plant within 1,500 metres of 3,000 homes, nine schools, a hospital, a long-term care home and the Queen Elizabeth Way.
The government has said it cost $40-million to cancel the Oakville project, while an energy expert told the committee the real cost was likely 15 times that amount.
But energy minister Bob Chiarelli now admits the $40-million Oakville estimate could be wrong.
However, Burton said no matter the final price, it’s still worth it.
“We believe that the costs to cancel the proposed power plant are far less than the health safety and environmental costs it would have caused our community,” Burton said.
Burton told the committee the process of location selection is flawed.
“The problem here is a bad process, and every community in the province is at risk from this process until and unless the legislature changes it,” he warned.
“If anyone else ever faces this, we’ve at least lit a beacon for a path that could allow your community to prevail.”
Burton said the Ontario Power Authority ignored the community’s concerns about the health and environmental impacts.
Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion will be speaking at the committee on Thursday. The plant in her city was cancelled even though construction on it had already begun. The Liberals have estimated the cost of that to be $190-million.