Archive | Mining Power Issues

Ontario’s Power Trip: Dalton McGuinty, power puppeteer – by Parker Gallant (National Post – November 2, 2012)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.

 Premier’s Office overwhelmed bureaucrats on gas-plant scandal

The 56,000 pages of documents associated with the Ontario government’s decision to kill two gas plants originally planned for Mississauga and Oakville show clearly the top-down role of politicians, both in the decisions made and in the attempts to hide the costs. They show, in numerous instances, how Premier Dalton McGuinty was in absolute control through his cabinet ministers to the officials he had appointed to the agencies involved.

As I read the documents so far, including board briefings and emails among the many players, it’s the Liberal strategists attached to the Premier’s Office and Ministry offices who are invested in hiding the mess the gas plants created. As energy consultant Tom Adams suggests in his review of the documents, the evidence suggests the total cost of plant cancellations is likely greater than $1.3-billion, the burden to be borne by electricity consumers.

The documents show that McGuinty strategists managed the gas files to benefit the Liberal party rather than taxpayers and ratepayers. Once the plants were cancelled, in October 2010 and September 2011, the top-down political influence is very noticeable. Post-cancellation negotiations to cover the costs of breaking contracts fell to Liberal party officials who tried to cover up the mess, not to energy experts. Continue Reading →

Superstorm vs. teacup tempest – by Peter Foster(National Post – November 2, 2012)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.

TransCanada issue is ­nothing compared with Sandy-sized McGuinty scandal

The commentaries in this paper on Wednesday by Terence Corcoran and Tom Adams about the horrendous waste, foot-dragging and dodgy political meddling attached to the cancellation of two Ontario gas plants, and to Ontario energy policy in general, make for infuriating reading. The cancellation of the plants, in Oakville and Mississauga, could cost $1.3-billion or more. The costs of the Green Energy Act will be multiples of that amount.

Those commentaries provide ample support for suspicions that Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty prorogued the legislature in an attempt to stonewall further investigation, even if the price was throwing himself out of office.

This case meanwhile throws up the issue of the enormously different standards to which the public and private sectors adhere, and are held.

The final figure for which Queen’s Park had to settle with ­TransCanada Energy, the company with the contract to build the Oakville plant, is not known, but could be up to $900-million. This sum is outrageous if you are an Ontario taxpayer, but certainly cannot be blamed on TransCanada, which has come under vicious — and unjustified — attack from other directions. Continue Reading →

McGuinty’s dark secrets on cancelled power plants revealed – by Terence Corcoran (National Post – November 1, 2012)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.

Documents show cancelling Oakville plant alone will cost $1-billion

As Premier Dalton McGuinty prorogued the Ontario legislature and announced his retirement last month, he would have known that some of the darker secrets of his government’s handling of energy policy would soon come to light. Today, those secrets — until now buried in 56,000 pages of released but unreadable documents — are appearing in the open.

In sordid and alarming detail, the documents show that the McGuinty government’s cancellation of gas plants in Oakville and Mississauga are likely to cost as much as $1.3-billion, possibly more. Killing the Oakville plant and moving it to Bath will alone burden Ontario ratepayers and taxpayers with costs that exceed $1-billion.

These numbers — openly discussed in documents as part of the government’s legal negotiations with TransCanada Energy and other companies — are a far cry from the $40-million Energy Minister Chris Bentley recently announced as the cost of killing the 900-megawatt Oakville Generating Station.

More than the numbers, the documents — analyzed by Toronto energy consultant Tom Adams in a posting to his website Tuesday and in FP Comment Thursday — also show that the premier’s office played a role in the gas-plant debacle. Under instruction, bureaucrats and government agency staff, especially at the Ontario Power Authority (OPA), were also dragged into litigation negotiations aimed at containing the major liabilities the government had created. Continue Reading →