Struggling to address a multi-billion dollar deficit, the provincial government is tightening the purse strings on everything from health care to education. In his recent report for the government, economist Don Drummond recommended the province adopt a "value for money" approach to all programs and services. He also made a number of recommendations for making our electricity system more cost effective, including ending the Clean Energy Benefit that subsidizes wasteful electricity use at a cost to taxpayers in the billions. But Mr. Drummond missed a couple of key changes that could also save the province billions:
1.Stop paying Ontario Power Generation $367 million per year to keep its money-losing Nanticoke and Lambton coal plants running until 2014. We have enough clean power to phase-out dirty coal now – what are we waiting for?
2. Develop a new long-term electricity plan that will reduce investments in high-cost nuclear power, relying instead on low-cost energy efficiency, water power imports from Quebec and natural gas-fired combined heat and power plants (a true "value for money" plan). The McGuinty Government’s arbitrary decision that nuclear power should meet 50% of our future electricity needs makes no sense given that we have safer, cleaner and much lower cost options to keep our lights on. Opting for safer, lower cost options could save us up to $9 billion.
What you can do:
- Order our new "Cut some real waste" pamphlets to distribute to your group or community.
- Send a message to NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and encourage her to make these changes a condition of her support for the Liberal budget.