Rumina Velshi, President of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has dismissed the concerns raised by the Ontario Clean Air Alliance (OCAA) and the Globe and Mail about the safety of the Pickering Nuclear Station’s critically important pressure tube system with the observation that the OCAA has brought forward “no new evidence.”
The irony, of course, is that this is exactly our point: we need new evidence to determine if Pickering’s pressure tubes are still fit for service.
Rumina Velshi, President and Chief Executive Officer of the CNSC
The CNSC signed off on a 10-year licence extension despite knowing that Ontario Power Generation (OPG) was working with deeply flawed data about one of the plant’s most important safety concerns – the fitness of the pressure tubes. To obtain “new” evidence about whether Pickering’s tubes are safe or not, Ms. Velshi must insist that OPG temporarily shut down the Pickering Nuclear Station to allow it to obtain proper samples. After all, a failure of one of these tubes could have critical consequences, including a cascading failure similar to what happened at Fukushima.
While the CNSC tries to split hairs about new vs. old evidence, Pickering continues to operate despite there actually being no evidence that its pressure tube system has not become dangerously brittle and prone to ruptures.
That the CNSC thought It would be a good idea to continue operating antiquated nuclear reactors without a full tube replacement is rolling the dice once; doing so without good data on the state of these tubes, is rolling them blindfolded.
Enough is enough. We deserve much better from our nuclear regulator. It’s time for the CNSC to show some backbone and demand real answers from OPG. And that can only happen by shutting down Pickering now for a proper safety assessment.
Read our April 7th letter to Ms. Velshi here.
What you can do
Please click here to ask Ms. Velshi to direct OPG to present accurate information obtained from proper samples taken from Pickering’s pressure tubes. Until this happens, Ms. Velshi must put a moratorium on the continued operation of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station.
Please pass this message on to your friends.
The Ontario Clean Air Alliance is asking Ms. Rumina Velshi, President of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, to impose an interim moratorium on the operation of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station (PNGS) until Ontario Power Generation (OPG) has demonstrated that the risk to public safety from its continued operation is acceptable.
Rumina Velshi, President and Chief Executive Officer of the CNSC
According to Dr. Frank Greening, a former OPG research scientist, OPG has failed to demonstrate that the PNGS’s pressure tubes are fit for service. According to Dr. Greening, OPG has failed to secure accurate data on the state of Pickering’s extensive and critical tubing and must rectify this problem immediately, declaring “I think they’re playing Russian Roulette with the Canadian public.”
According to Dr. Sunil Nijhawan, a nuclear engineer and consultant who once worked for OPG and specializes in accident and safety assessments, in a worse-case scenario, a ruptured pressure tube could lead to a series of “cascading failures not unlike what happened at Fukushima”.
To determine if the pressure tubes are fit for service the PNGS must be temporarily shut down to permit OPG to scrape samples from the pressure tubes to obtain accurate data for an evidence-based, scientific safety analysis. This is no time to be guessing about the operational fitness of one of the world’s oldest nuclear stations.
Fortunately, an interim shutdown of Pickering Nuclear doesn’t have to lead to an increase in gas-fired generation. That’s because currently much of Pickering’s nuclear generation is surplus to Ontario’s needs and is exported to the U.S. For example, in 2020, Ontario’s total electricity exports were virtually equal to Pickering’s generation. As a consequence, Pickering’s generation that is currently consumed in Ontario can be replaced by purchasing safer and lower-cost Quebec waterpower and by eliminating the need to spill water at the Sir Adam Beck Generating Station at Niagara Falls and curtail Ontario wind and solar generation.
What you can do
Please click here to ask Ms. Velshi to put a moratorium on the continued operation of the PNGS until OPG has demonstrated, at a public hearing, that the risk to public safety from its continued operation is acceptable.
Please pass this message on to your friends.
Ontario Municipalities that have endorsed gas power phase-out:
1. Kitchener – Oct.26, 2020
2. Halton Hills – Oct. 26, 2020
3. Hamilton – Nov. 11, 2020
4. Burlington – Nov. 23, 2020
5. Windsor – Nov. 23, 2020
6. Township of Selwyn – Nov. 24, 2020
7. Township of Woolwich – Nov. 24, 2020
8. Township of King – Nov. 30, 2020
9. St. Catharines – Nov. 30, 2020
10. Town of Cobourg – Dec. 14, 2020
11. Guelph – Dec. 14, 2020
12. City of Temiskaming Shores – Jan. 5, 2021
13. Waterloo – Jan. 18, 2021
14. Kingston – Jan. 19, 2021
15. City of Niagara Falls – Jan. 19, 2021
16. Orangeville – Feb. 8, 2021
17. Ajax – Feb. 22, 2021
18. Mississauga – March 3, 2021
19. Brampton – March 3, 2021
20. County of Peterborough – March 3, 2021
21. Toronto – March 10, 2021
22. Barrie – March 22, 2021
The Globe and Mail has published stunning revelations about the safety of the Pickering Nuclear Station and how the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) signed off on a 10-year licence extension despite knowing that Ontario Power Generation (OPG) was working with deeply flawed data about one of the plant’s most important safety concerns.
Pickering Nuclear Station, 8 reactors in the GTA, 50 years old
CANDU reactors are filled with literally miles of pressure tubing that carries heavy water to and from the reactor core. These tubes are a real Achilles heel for these plants because they become brittle over time, leading to the possibility of ruptures and leaks. That can mean anything from a heavy water spill to a full meltdown if the core cannot be properly cooled.
Now, thanks to the Globe acquiring documents through a Freedom of Information request, we know that OPG has submitted deeply flawed data on the state of these tubes to the CNSC. This is especially alarming because Pickering is already operating well past its design life and the vulnerability of the tubes increases every year.
OPG wants to continue operating one of the world’s oldest nuclear stations without undertaking a costly replacement of pressure tubes, which is standard practice in refurbishing aging CANDU reactors. The Pickering Nuclear Station was originally due to be shut down in 2018. This was extended to 2024 after what has been revealed to be a highly flawed licence hearing. OPG has indicated it now wants to operate the plant until 2025.
Enough is enough. The Pickering Nuclear Station is surrounded by more people, within 30 km, than any other nuclear station in North America. Its continued operation is a huge hazard and unnecessary risk for the millions of people living in the Golden Horseshoe and beyond. As pressure tube expert Dr. Frank Greening told the Globe: “They [OPG] don’t want to give up and they want to keep pushing this CANDU to the absolute limit. And my concern is that one of these days, they’ll exceed that limit, and we will have a potentially very nasty accident at one of these stations. I think they’re playing Russian Roulette with the Canadian public.”
Please send a message to Energy Minister Greg Rickford (plus ON opposition leaders and your MPP) and tell him to order OPG to shutdown the Pickering Station ASAP.
With our existing transmission lines we can triple our imports of clean, safe and low-cost Quebec water power to replace the output of the Pickering Nuclear Station. There is no excuse for leaving this ticking time bomb operating for another four years in the Greater Golden Horseshoe which is home to 9 million people, and right beside the source of drinking water for millions of people.
Steven Del Duca and the Ontario Liberal Party are asking for ideas on how to improve life in Ontario. As part of their efforts to develop a compelling platform for the next election they are calling on the people of Ontario to weigh in on what their priorities should be. A look at some of the statements on the party’s consultation website makes it clear that the Liberals need to hear from you, especially on two subjects:
Climate change: The Liberals are suggesting a plan to reach net zero greenhouse gas pollution “within a generation.” It is vague targets like this that have led to Canada missing pollution reduction target after target. The Liberal Party should be encouraged to adopt much more specific language with hard targets and full accountability measures. For example, Steven Del Duca should match Andrea Horwath’s (NDP) and Mike Schreiner’s (GPO) promise to phase-out Ontario’s gas-fired power plants by 2030.
Steven Del Duca, Leader, Liberal Party of Ontario
Small nuclear reactors: Amazingly, the Liberals cling to the idea that small nuclear reactors are an acceptable way to fight climate change despite the fact that solar and wind power can keep our lights on at less than half the cost of OPG’s proposed new GTA nuclear reactor without producing toxic radioactive wastes.
According to the International Energy Agency, renewables will account for 95% of the growth in global power capacity during the next five years. It’s time for the Ontario Liberal Party to move on from its love affair with nuclear energy and recognize that the future (and the present) belongs to renewables. By integrating our wind and solar energy with Quebec’s hydro-electric reservoirs, which can act like a giant battery, we can convert intermittent wind and solar energy into a firm 24/7 source of baseload renewable electricity supply for Ontario.
Last night Mayor John Tory and Toronto City Council passed a resolution requesting the Government of Ontario to develop and implement a plan to phase-out all gas-fired electricity generation as soon as possible.
The resolution, which was approved by a vote of 21 to 2, was moved by Councillor Jennifer McKelvie and seconded by Councillor Mike Layton.
The motion was opposed by Councillors Denzil Minnan-Wong and Stephen Holyday.
The following 21 municipalities have now passed resolutions requesting the Government of Ontario to phase-out our province’s gas-fired power plants: Toronto, County of Peterborough, Mississauga, Brampton, Niagara Falls, Temiskaming Shores, Ajax, Orangeville, Kingston, Waterloo, Guelph, Cobourg, St. Catharines, King, Woolwich, Selwyn, Windsor, Burlington, Hamilton, Halton Hills and Kitchener.
Please tell Ontario’s political leaders and your MPP that it’s time for Ontario to phase-out its gas-fired power plants by 2030 and move to a climate-friendly renewable future.
Please pass this message on to your friends.
The Ontario NDP just released a bold green plan for the province – the Green New Democratic Deal – that promises that an NDP government would phase-out Ontario’s gas-fired power plants by 2030.
The plan promises to “explore all options to ensure electricity is affordable, including expanding our hydro capacity, increasing intermittent renewables including wind and solar power, creating more grid scale storage, rooftop solar capacity on buildings, and major grid interconnection with Quebec and Manitoba to enable electricity imports.”
Andrea Horwath, Leader, New Democratic Party of Ontario
They also promise to put energy conservation and efficiency first in electricity planning, noting that it is the least expensive electricity resource.
Finally, the NDP promised to stop the longstanding government practice of turning a blind eye to the problems of nuclear energy, saying “We won’t expand Ontario’s nuclear capacity unless cost and waste storage issues are resolved.”
Mississauga and Brampton are the latest municipalities to endorse the need to phase-out gas-fired electricity generation. These two major municipalities join a list of 19 Ontario municipalities* that are calling on the Ford Government to eliminate gas-fired electricity generation to combat climate change.
As Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie noted, the province’s plan to increase gas plant use is a move in the completely wrong direction. “The increased use of gas-fired power plants by the Government of Ontario is discouraging. It is a major set-back and contradicts what many Ontario municipalities, like Mississauga, are trying to avoid – increasing greenhouse gas emissions,” the Mayor said.
“If the Province continues with their plan, there will be a 500 per cent or more increase in greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector by 2040,” added Ward 8 Councillor Matt Mahoney, who moved the phase-out motion, which was seconded by Councillor Ron Starr.
The Mississauga resolution was opposed by Dave Butters, President of the Association of Power Producers of Ontario.
To read the City of Mississauga news release please click here.
What you can do
A motion to endorse the phase-out of gas generation will be coming to Toronto City Council on March 10th. We are hopeful that Mayor John Tory and Toronto Councillors will follow the principled lead of their GTA counterparts. If you are a Toronto resident, please contact your councillor and tell them that Toronto needs to join GTA leaders like Mississauga and Brampton on this issue.
If you live outside of the City of Toronto please sign our online petition requesting Premier Ford to phase-out our gas plants by 2030.
Angela Bischoff, Director
* The 19 Ontario municipalities that have called for the phase-out of gas-fired electricity generation are Mississauga, Brampton, Niagara Falls, Ajax, Temiskaming Shores, Orangeville, Kingston, Waterloo, Guelph, Cobourg, St. Catharines, King, Woolwich, Selwyn, Windsor, Burlington, Hamilton, Halton Hills and Kitchener.
Ontario Power Generation (OPG), Enbridge and the Association of Power Producers of Ontario (APPRO) are vigorously opposing the McKelvie/Layton motion to phase out Ontario’s gas-fired electricity generation.
We responded to the gas giants by spelling out for councillors why Ontario does not need to ramp up gas plant use and can instead transition to energy sources that will be better for our climate and our health.
John Stephenson, former Manager of Generation Projects for Toronto Hydro, has written an excellent response to APPRO’s submission.
According to the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), the greenhouse gas pollution from Ontario’s gas plants will increase by more than 300% by 2030 and by 500% or more by 2040 under current provincial plans. If this occurs, we will lose roughly 40% of the pollution reduction benefits that we achieved by phasing-out OPG’s dirty coal-fired power plants.
US President Joe Biden
In one of his first acts as President, Joe Biden promised to “lead a clean energy revolution that achieves a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035.” If we want to keep pace with our largest trading partner, Ontario has to make the shift to green as well rather than ramping up gas.
What you can do
Councillors Jennifer McKelvie’s and Mike Layton’s motion asking the province to phase-out gas-fired electricity generation will be debated at Toronto City Council on March 10th.
1. If you live in Toronto, please send a message to Mayor Tory and your local councillor asking them to stand for a green electricity future and support the McKelvie/Layton gas plant phase-out motion.
2. Please sign our petition requesting Premier Ford to phase-out gas-fired electricity generation by 2030 and share it with your friends.
Toronto City Councillors Jennifer McKelvie and Mike Layton are following in the footsteps of their colleagues in 13 other Ontario municipalities* and urging Toronto City Council to adopt a motion calling for the phase-out of gas-fired electricity in Ontario “as soon as possible.”
The Councillors point out in their motion that “the City of Toronto cannot reach its climate goal of net zero” emissions by 2050 if the province ramps up gas-fired electricity generation. Currently, Ontario’s electricity planners are forecasting a more than 300% increase in gas plant pollution by 2030.
Councillors Jennifer McKelvie and Mike Layton
Acknowledging that this has been a challenging year for the city, the Councillors point out that it is also a critical moment for the City to walk its talk on climate: ”As we move towards restart and recovery from COVID-19, we need to do what we can now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in order to meet our net zero goals and build back better, greener and more resilient.”
What you can do
If you are a resident of the City of Toronto, please urge your Councillor and Mayor John Tory to support this important motion. Send them a message telling them to support the gas plant phase-out motion now!
Angela Bischoff, Director
* Kitchener, Windsor, St. Catharines, Burlington, Hamilton, Guelph, Cobourg, Halton Hills, King, Woolwich, Selwyn, Kingston and Waterloo.
The Canadian government has made a number of disastrous bets on nuclear energy in the past, wasting hundreds of millions of dollars on reactors that don’t work (the infamous Maple nuclear project) and ones that no one wants (Advanced Candu).
Now the government is under pressure from the nuclear industry to fund “small” nuclear reactors that they think can help them deal with the rapidly declining global interest in nuclear power. The problem is that these “small” reactors are just paper concepts, they have all the same waste and security risks of large reactors (and fact, could make the waste problem even worse), and they promise to produce power that will cost 2 to 5 timesmore than power from renewable sources like solar and wind.
They’ve found a booster in federal Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan who has also been keen to spend money on oil pipelines and other energy albatross projects.
We’re hoping that Federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland will bring a clearer eye to the risks of wasting money on an energy proposal that is not ready, too expensive and too slow to help us deal with our rapidly accelerating climate crisis.
With the federal budget already under enormous stress from the COVID crisis, why would the federal government want to waste more money on nuclear when renewable solutions are exploding in popularity worldwide thanks to ever better technology and lower costs? Betting on nuclear would be like, well, buying a pipeline that is about to have its construction permits cancelled.
The Trudeau government says it’s serious about meeting Canada’s obligations under the Paris Climate Accord. Wasting money on dangerous distractions won’t get us there.
Last night, after hearing a defence of Ontario’s use of gas-fired power from the president of Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator, and an explanation of why we can and should phase out gas from OCAA Chair Jack Gibbons, Kingston City Council unanimously passed a motion requesting that the Ford government phase-out Ontario’s gas-fired electric power plants as soon as possible.
The City of Kingston joins the following 12 municipalities that have also passed resolutions calling for a gas plant phase-out: Kitchener, Hamilton, Burlington, Windsor, St. Catharines, Guelph, Waterloo, Halton Hills, Selwyn, Woolwich, King and Cobourg.
Kingston joins 12 other municipalities in calling for a gas power phase out
Phasing-out Ontario’s gas-fired power plants is Premier Ford’s easiest and lowest cost option to keep his promise to reduce our province’s greenhouse gas pollution by 30% by 2030.
To learn how Ontario can phase-out its gas-fired power plants with a combination of energy efficiency, wind and solar energy and low-cost Quebec water power read our report.
Kingston was the first city in Ontario to declare a climate emergency, and phasing out gas-fired power strongly aligns with the city’s objectives, as Councillors Mary Rita Holland and Robert Kiley note in their motion which was adopted by council last night.
What you can do
Please tell Ontario’s political leaders and your MPP that you want Ontario to phase-out Ontario’s gas-fired power plants by 2030.
Ontario has many lower cost options for meeting its electricity needs than rebuilding old nuclear reactors. Our revised factsheet demonstrates that the decision to rebuild 10 aging reactors and to continue operating the Pickering Nuclear Plant well past its design life makes little sense. It is time for Ontario to take all available off ramps for nuclear power and start shifting away from our overwhelming dependence on outdated and costly nuclear power.
Now Minister of Natural Resources Seamus O’Regan is touting another pie-in-the-sky nuclear technology: small nuclear reactors. There are no working prototypes of this technology in Canada and, small or large, these units will come with all the security and radioactive waste headaches of existing nuclear technology. The power they produce, according to the industry’s own studies, will also cost two to five times more than power from solar and wind.
The last thing we need in the face of our current climate crisis is to waste money and time on slow and costly solutions when renewable energy is rapidly gaining momentum worldwide.
Our new pamphlet calls on federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland to do the smart thing and not waste any further tax dollars on the steadily declining nuclear industry. The federal government must focus on renewable energy as a real and ready climate solution, not empty promises from a nuclear industry that never delivers.
Ontario’s new Minister of Finance, Peter Bethlenfalvy, can create 16,000 person-years of employment in Pickering by directing Ontario Power Generation (OPG) to immediately dismantle the Pickering Nuclear Station after its operating licence expires in December 2024.
According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, immediate dismantling is “the preferred decommissioning strategy” for nuclear plants.In fact, dismantling is the one area of employment growth in the nuclear industry.
Immediate dismantling will permit most of the 600-acre site to be returned to the local community by 2034 for parkland, recreational facilities, dining, entertainment, housing and other employment uses. That is among the reasons why Pickering City Council unanimously supports having the plant dismantled as “expeditiously as possible” after it is shut down.
Unfortunately, OPG wants to delay dismantling until 2054 to put off its dismantling costs for 30 years despite the fact that it already has more than $7.5 billion in its decommissioning and dismantling fund.
This is not right. The people of Pickering don’t want a giant grey ghost sitting on their waterfront for another 40 years or more. It is time to set a new course for Pickering by capturing the huge community and economic benefits that can be obtained by revitalizing this massive waterfront site.
To learn more please read our short report on the many benefits of immediate dismantling: Making the Right Choice for Pickering’s Waterfront.
What you can do
Please contact Ontario’s Minister of Finance, Peter Bethlenfalvy, and your MPP and tell them that you want OPG to create 16,000 person-years of employment in Pickering by immediately dismantling the Pickering Nuclear Station after it is shut down.
P.S. If you live near Pickering, please consider distributing these leaflets to your friends and neighbours to help us get the word out about the value of immediately dismantling the Pickering nuclear station after its licence expires in 2024. High school students can gain volunteer hours. Contact email@example.com – thanks.
Ontario Power Generation is planning to build a new nuclear reactor in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) despite the fact that the forecast cost of power from such a reactor would be two to five times higher than the cost of power from wind and solar energy.
The proposed new GTA nuclear reactor would produce highly toxic radioactive waste that would remain dangerous for hundreds of thousands of years. Despite decades of searching, Canada has still not even identified a location for a long-term high-level waste storage site. In the interim, the proposed reactor’s wastes would have to be stored in the GTA, at the Darlington Nuclear Station site on the shore of Lake Ontario.
OPG’s plan is to use technology that is currently still at the “concept” stage and for which there is no working prototype. This means there are a tremendous number of unknowns about the safety and reliability of this still largely theoretical technology.
Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency projects that readily available renewable technology will account for 95% of the growth in global power capacity over the next five years. Why would we spend money on unproven, higher-cost nuclear technology when we have safer and less costly solutions at our fingertips?
Since the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine, wind and solar must be combined with a storage system if they are to displace nuclear generation during every hour of the year.
According to an MIT study, Quebec’s hydro-electric reservoirs are the lowest cost storage system for wind and solar energy. By integrating our wind and solar generation with Hydro Quebec’s reservoirs, Ontario can convert its intermittent wind and solar into a firm 24/7 source of baseload electricity supply.
It doesn’t make sense to build a new nuclear reactor in the GTA when wind and solar energy can keep our lights on at less than half the cost without producing toxic radioactive wastes.
To learn more please click here to read our new fact sheet: A New GTA Nuclear Reactor vs. Wind and Solar.
What you can do
Please click here to tell our political leaders that you want Ontario to invest in wind and solar energy, not a new GTA nuclear reactor. It’s time to lower our energy bills by going green.
This short report explains why solar and wind energy are a much better way to meet our energy needs than building a new nuclear reactor in the Greater Toronto Area. Ontario Power Generation says it wants to build a new reactor at its Darlington Nuclear Station on the eastern end of the GTA. But power from such a reactor would be two to five times more expensive than power from solar and wind. And it will still produce highly dangerous radioactive waste.
Ontario’s publicly owned power utility, Ontario Power Generation (OPG), is in no hurry to reduce its greenhouse gas pollution. Its newly released climate plan contains no steps to phase out the use of its polluting gas-fired power plants before 2040 when the last of its contracts with the Independent Electricity System Operator expire.
As always, OPG has chosen the most difficult and most costly path toward its stated goal of being “carbon neutral” by 2040. Instead of joining the rest of the world in embracing low-cost renewable energy and energy efficiency, OPG is banking on high cost and unproven technologies like carbon capture and storage and small nuclear reactors to reduce its growing pollution footprint.
This strategy will be costly for both our pocketbooks and our climate. With pollution from gas plants set to rise by more than 300% by 2025 and by more than 400% by 2040, Ontario will blow past its already weak climate targets.
For the people of Ontario, OPG’s plan is a slap in the face. Our public utility is rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic while we witness the growing costs of a rapidly warming climate. Instead of getting serious about reducing pollution, OPG spins out pipedreams.
OPG’s climate plan claims that its gas-fired power plants are needed to back-up Ontario’s intermittent wind and solar energy. This is simply not true. According to a recent Massachusetts Institute of Technology study, Quebec’s hydroelectric reservoirs, which can act like a giant green battery, are the best back-up option available for wind and solar energy.
A gas plant phase-out is the easiest and lowest-cost option for Ontario to achieve its 2030 climate target and is entirely doable with readily available (and cost effective) technology.
The cities of Burlington, Kitchener and Hamilton, the Town of Halton Hills and the Township of Woolwich are all calling for the phase-out of OPG’s gas-fired power plants, as are more than 50 non-government organizations including the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, the Canadian Environmental Law Association and the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario.
It’s time for Ontario’s political leaders to tell OPG to get serious about reducing gas plant pollution instead of daydreaming about expensive and unworkable solutions that are a recipe for failure.
What you can do
Please sign our petition calling for the phase-out of all of Ontario’s gas-fired power plants by 2030 (and share it with your friends). When you sign the petition an email message will be sent to Doug Ford, Andrea Horwath, Steven Del Duca and Mike Schreiner.
Angela Bischoff, Director
Jack Gibbons and Angela Bischoff
Please make a donation today to support our campaign to move Ontario to a 100% fossil-fuel free electricity system by 2030.
It’s been a tough year all ‘round. While our attention has been on the immediate impacts of Covid, the climate crisis has only worsened. Meteorologists started using the Greek alphabet to name hurricanes this year. Doctors are suggesting naming heatwaves to draw attention to how deadly these have become. Our far north is warming two to three times quicker than any other place on earth. And we’ve all seen the raging fires ravaging the west coast.
That’s why it is so alarming that Ontario is planning to increase climate pollution from gas-fired electricity plants by more than 300% by 2025. What’s deeply frustrating is that there is no real justification for this approach. We have plenty of better and low-cost options that don’t involve adding to our climate problems.
Take energy efficiency. Doug Ford has cut funding for efficiency efforts by more than 60% while requiring families to subsidize the hydro bills of commercial and industrial corporations.
And while renewable energy is taking off around the world with prices that are now lower than even coal-fired electricity in many places, our government continues to insist that solar and wind are not for Ontario. Why are we turning our back on zero emission power and ramping up gas-fired generation?
Finally there is the huge surplus of clean water power our neighbours in Quebec are literally dumping on the U.S. spot market for pennies a kWh while we continue to spend tens of billions to re-build old and outdated nuclear reactors.
We need to change direction and we need to do it fast.
The Ontario Clean Air Alliance led the first big pivot for energy policy in Ontario by driving its world-leading coal-power phase out. Now we need your support to get to our next target – phasing out gas-fired power generation and moving to a 100% renewable energy future. Going renewable will be great for business in a province that was once a leader in renewable energy technology and efficiency, for consumers currently saddled with rising rates due to high-cost nuclear power, and for our climate.
This year with your help and that of community groups on the ground, we successfully stopped Enbridge Gas’ plan to build a large new gas pipeline through Hamilton to feed a ramp up of gas-fired power in Ontario and to send fracked gas to the northeastern U.S. But this plan could well be resurrected if Ontario does not quickly start down the path toward phasing out our gas-fired power plants by 2030.
We are small, nimble and effective organization that has tremendous track record of achievement. Your support will allow us to deepen our efforts to encourage Ontario to once again lead on climate by phasing out gas-fired power. Our campaign is picking up terrific momentum with more than 50 organizations endorsing our call for a gas plant phase out and the municipalities of Burlington, Halton Hills, Kitchener and Hamilton being the first of what we are sure will be many cities and towns echoing the call.
Please donate $50, $100, $500 or $1,000 to help us make Ontario a climate leader once again. Your support helped us phase out dirty coal and now it’s time to take the next step by moving our great province to a 100% fossil-fuel-free electricity system by 2030.
Angela Bischoff, Director and Jack Gibbons, Chair
Today, Hamilton City Council unanimously passed a resolution calling on the Government of Ontario to phase-out the province’s gas-fired power plants by 2030.
According to the City of Hamilton resolution, a fossil-free provincial electricity system is critically important for the City to achieve its climate goals in part by replacing fossil fuels with electric vehicles, electric buses and electric heat pumps.
The Hamilton resolution was moved by Councilor Brad Clark and seconded by Councilor Brenda Johnson.
Mr. Clark was a provincial cabinet minister in the Harris and Eves Governments which ordered the phase-out of coal burning at the Lakeview Generating Station in Mississauga and committed Ontario to a complete coal phase-out by 2015.
The Hamilton City Council resolution is in response to Premier Ford’s plan to increase the greenhouse gas pollution from Ontario’s gas-fired power plants by more than 300% by 2025. If this occurs, we will lose 35% of the pollution reduction benefits that we achieved by phasing out our dirty coal-fired power plants.
Last month, the City of Kitchener and the Town of Halton Hills also passed resolutions requesting Premier Ford to phase-out gas-fired electricity generation.
The good news is that Ontario can phase-out its gas-fired power plants and lower its electricity bills with an integrated combination of energy efficiency investments, wind and solar energy and Quebec water power.
What you can do
Please contact Andrea Horwath, Ontario’s Leader of the Opposition and MPP for Hamilton-Centre, and ask her and your MPP to call on Doug Ford to phase-out our gas-fired power plants by 2030.
P.S. A big thank you to Don McLean and Hamilton 350 for leading a very successful campaign in Hamilton to stop Enbridge’s proposed fracked gas pipeline and building public and municipal support for phasing-out Ontario’s gas-fired power plants.