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Auditor’s report puts gas plant cancellation costs up to $1.1 billion

October 8, 2013

(Queen’s Park) – The cost of cancelling the Oakville gas plant will be at least $675 million, according to a report released today by Ontario’s auditor general. That puts the total cost of cancelling the Oakville and Mississauga gas plants between $950 million and $1.1 billion.

“It’s probably the most appalling waste of taxpayers’ money in our province’s history,” said Perth-Wellington MPP Randy Pettapiece, reacting to the news. “They spent a billion dollars of public money for crass political purposes, just to save five Liberal seats in the GTA.”

“This is a billion-dollar boondoggle, and they’ve stuck all of us with the bill,” he added.

Costs could rise an additional $140 million, reported Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk, to transmit power from the new plant site near Kingston to where power is needed in the Toronto area.

Compounding the Liberals’ political problem, the auditor general also reported that much of the cost to cancel the Oakville plant could have been avoided. That cost was “significantly more than may have been necessary,” said Lysyk, because of a number of “questionable decisions” by the premier’s office.

“It suggests the government could still have cancelled the plant without dinging taxpayers if they had just had some patience,” Pettapiece observed. “But they had an election to fight, and no amount of public money was too much to blow.”

Pettapiece believes the Liberal Party of Ontario should pick up even a small part of the cost, but he’s not counting on that.

“No one has even been fired over this mess,” Pettapiece said. “In the end, the ballot box may be the only way for the people of Ontario to see any accountability whatsoever.”

“The Liberals have done nothing but stonewall to prevent the truth from getting out,” he added.

In a scathing June report from Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian, Liberal staff members were found to have broken the law by intentionally deleting evidence on the cancelled gas plants in Oakville and Mississauga.

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Randy Pettapiece, MPP  |  519-272-0660  |  www.pettapiece.ca