Sped-up coal generation closure hits Haldimand-Norfolk

For Immediate Release
January 10, 2013

Simcoe – The Ontario Government decision to accelerate the closure of Nanticoke Generating Station is only the latest in a long line of questionable decision-making alienating the very people the province counts on to produce our energy.

That according to MPP Toby Barrett who says despite his concern for those whose jobs may end a year earlier, he is not surprised.

“The fact is that Mr. McGuinty has mishandled the energy sector since he first announced plans for coal closure in 2003,” charged Barrett.  “Since then we’ve seen the closure date juggled like a hot potato while we watch our electricity bills double.”

Barrett continues to call on government to ensure continued power production on the Lake Erie shoreline through conversion to a natural gas-fired energy facility.

“The plant remains, the wires are there, the people and their expertise are ready to be put to use,” Barrett noted. “And yet while we await news to put our people back to work, we see government permitting high-cost, low-return wind turbines – recklessly throwing money at energy experiments.”

In the weeks before the Premier’s decision to prorogue parliament, Opposition revealed evidence of more than a billion dollars in taxpayer’s money squandered on two cancelled gas plants. Barrett consistently advocated that the natural gas generation slated for Oakville and Mississauga could be transferred to Nanticoke.

Historically, Nanticoke Generating Station has provided up to 25 percent of the province’s electricity. In 2009 the plant employed around 650 people, and currently has a workforce of about 250.