Huge majority of Scarborough-Rouge River residents oppose keeping Pickering operating beyond 2018

Residents in the Scarborough Rouge River riding oppose keeping the Pickering Nuclear Station operating beyond 2018 by a wide margin. Informed about Pickering’s high costs and large surrounding population – including all the homes in this riding — close to 70% of voters said the plant should be shut down in 2018 when its current licence expires. (Click here for full polling results.)

Voters in Scarborough-Rouge River will head to the polls on Sept. 1st to elect a new MPP in a provincial by-election. Currently, it is a race between PC candidate Raymond Cho (49%) and Liberal candidate Piragal Thiru (43%). Liberal supporters overwhelmingly support closing the plant, as do a strong majority of PC voters concerned about costs. NDP and Green supporters support closure in even greater numbers.

Living as little as 10 kilometers from Canada’s oldest nuclear plant – which is also the 4th oldest nuclear plant in North America – residents also felt they had been poorly informed about emergency measures in case of an accident at the aging plant. Fifty-nine percent rated safety-related communications poor or very poor.

Riding residents overwhelmingly supported closing Pickering when told that the province has a large surplus of electricity and lower cost options for keeping the lights on. We hope local candidates — and party leaders — will listen to Scarborough voters and promise to direct Ontario Power Generation to drop its plan to apply for a ten-year licence extension for the old and trouble-prone Pickering station.

We hope to hear from the parties on their positions on this issue by next week. Stay tuned.

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Angela Bischoff
Outreach Director