TORONTO — Liar, liar. Gas plants on fire. OK, the gas plants aren’t actually ablaze. They’re being “moved.” We discovered Wednesday that the cost of moving the Oakville plant is nowhere near the lowball $40 million estimate the Liberals have suggested.
Energy expert Bruce Sharp told the legislature’s justice committee probing the cancellation of two gas-fired generating plants in Oakville and Mississauga that costs have been grossly under-reported by the government.
“When we talk about Oakville, my current view is that the total cost of moving that plant is $638 million,” he told the committee.
While there’ll be small savings in some areas, Sharp said increased costs of gas delivery and management will be $313 million and there will be additional transmission costs of $359 million.
Sharp concurred with the $190 million the government said it will cost to move the Mississauga plant, but said the government should have negotiated “at least $28 million lower” for the new gas delivery costs, since they’re moving the plant closer to the Sarnia gas storage facility.
So the government not only botched the placement of the plants — Oakville alone cost almost $700 million — they couldn’t even get the best deal for the move.
Shockingly, Mississauga-Streetsville Liberal MPP Bob Delaney spent the better part of his question time attempting to discredit Sharp — asking him if he’d ever worked for Enbridge or other energy companies involved in the deals.
“Sharp proved without a shadow of doubt that the cost of both power plant cancellations is close to $1 billion, and the Liberals have spent considerable efforts trying to discredit him and cover up the truth,” Tory energy critic Vic Fedeli said.
Just as the committee was hearing Sharp’s testimony, Premier Kathleen Wynne held a news conference at one of the worst organized events I’ve attended.
Reporters were hauled to a muddy field in Vaughan to hear a progress report on tunnel boring for the new Vaughan subway.
It’s as if the Liberals didn’t want us at the gas plant committee at Queen’s Park.
For the rest of this column, please go to the Toronto Sun website: http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/archives/sunnews/straighttalk/2013/03/20130313-191334.html