June 29, 2006
Before leaving for his summer holidays last week, Premier Dalton McGuinty again spent time trying to wiggle out of his commitment to fully consult Ontarians on his blast-from-the-past plan to rely on coal and nuclear to meet Ontario’s future energy needs.
On the last day of legislative debate, there were a number of good suggestions offered by opposition members on how the Premier could subject his dubious “double-double” coal and nuclear power plan to real independent scrutiny. The Premier, not surprisingly, was uninterested and continued to insist that superficial federal assessments of individual projects would suffice.
However, Opposition Leader John Tory had, in our view, a much more productive suggestion. He called for the government to submit its full plan to review by a select committee of the Legislature or by the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario with full public hearings. After all, Premier McGuinty wants to throw $40 billion of public money at high-risk nuclear power (with no plans for radioactive plant decommissioning or waste storage included), while keeping dirty coal alive without any careful independent scrutiny of his plan’s viability or alternatives. (Note to the Premier: Asking the same bureaucrats who have always favoured nuclear power in the past if they still favour it today does not represent consultation.)
We think that Mr. Tory’s suggestions make good sense and would be an excellent way of setting the stage for a full environmental assessment of the McGuinty dirty energy plan. In fact, we suspect that a full credible independent review by either of the means suggested by Mr. Tory may well make a full environmental assessment unnecessary by quickly revealing that the government’s nuke-and-coal plan has more holes than a leaky CANDU reactor.
If you agree, contact Premier McGuinty through his “feedback” website at www.premier.gov.on.ca/feedback/feedback.asp and ask him to submit his whole plan to a credible independent review as a precursor to a full environmental assessment. You should also express your concerns to your MPP (contact information can be found at http://olaap.ontla.on.ca/mpp/daCurRdg.do?locale=en&ord=RDG_NAME).
Click here to read the Hansard of last week’s Legislative debate on this issue
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