Da Legal Stuff...

All commentaries published on Web Talk are the opinions of the contributor(s) only and do not necessarily represent the position of any other individuals, groups or organizations.

Now, with that out of the way...Let's Web Talk.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Ontario Government Lies to Public About Energy Development

Below is a snippet from the Government of Ontario’s Energy Plan released about a month ago. To most people in Ontario the following may look like a fairly mundane set of announcements and numbers but they aren’t. In fact, one statement in the plan is an out and out lie and an obvious one to the people of Newfoundlander and Labrador.

Read on:

(Excerpts from Ontario’s Energy Plan)

  • “…the province is also maximizing Ontario's existing electricity assets by: Investing almost $1 billion in a new tunnel from Niagara Falls to the Adam Beck generating complex...”

  • “Reaching an… agreement will see Bruce Power invest $4.25 billion inOntario's economy and the creation of as many as 1,500 jobs”

  • “Signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Manitoba to purchase 200 megawatts of electricity...”

  • “Working with Quebec to develop a major hydroelectric generation project at the Lower Churchill River in Labrador, from which670 megawatts would come to Ontario.”

Does anyone in Ontario recognize the problem with the last statement? (I bet everyone in Newfoundland and Labrador does.)

Here it is.

In the first two bullets the Ontario government speaks of two projects inside their own province. No problem. In the third bullet they speak of a potential deal with Manitoba to purchase electricity, still no problem. The issue is the last bullet that says Ontario is working with Quebec to develop a project in Labrador that will provide 670 megawatts of power to the Province.

The truth is that neither Ontario nor Quebec owns or is working on development of that resource. Newfoundland and Labrador, which is not even mentioned in the statement, is the actual owner. The reality is that nobody is currently working on that development in Labrador and nobody has been given any kind of permission to do so as of yet. Quebec and Ontario have simply been short listed along with 3 other proposals for the development. Those proposals are being reviewed by the government of Newfoundland and Labrador, nothing more and nothing less.

The reality is a far cry from the official statement in their energy plan, “Working with Quebec to develop a major hydroelectric generation project at the Lower Churchill River…” especially when you consider that one of the possible developers of the project still in contention, along with two others beside Ontario and Quebec, is the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador itself. In fact the Premier Williams has stated in the past months that there will be no development at all if the results of the request for proposals does not deliver a deal that is acceptable to the Province.

For the Government of Ontario to have the audacity to make the claim that they are working on development of the project, a resource they don’t own and have not even been approved to develop, is not only an affront to the owners of the resource, the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, but an out and out lie to the people of Ontario.

The statement could easily lead anyone reading Ontario’s energy plan to conclude that the Province is already involved in the development of 670 megawatts of new power when in reality they are not even in the front door and may never get there. A review of the energy plan by potential investors who are looking at new locations to setup shop (read factories, plants, etc.) would lead them to believe that the Ontario government has project underway that will help ensure stable energy capacity going forward. The reality is that at least 670 megawatts included in their plan, enough to power to supply over 150,000 homes, is simply on their wish list at this point and no project exists.

I’m not sure about the ethics or impacts of this sort of out and out lie to the Ontario public, including the business community, but I do know one thing, it sure isn’t playing well in Newfoundland and Labrador.

No comments: