It's official! McGuinty government goes nuclear
Queen's Park: March 7, 2008
The McGuinty government's worst kept secret is now official.
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"Fresh on the heels of a massive $300-million cost overrun for the refurbishment of two nuclear reactors at Bruce Power, the McGuinty Liberals have finally announced they are seeking vendors to build two new nuclear reactors in Ontario. McGuinty's expensive nuclear genie is now out of the bottle," said NDP Leader, Howard Hampton.
Last month, Bruce Power announced it was already $300-million over its projected costs for refurbishing two reactors that, under the terms of a sweetheart deal with the McGuinty government, leaves Ontario taxpayers on the hook for $150 million. The refurbishment is ongoing. Two years ago, taxpayers were promised the refurbishment would be done on time and on budget.
"Ontarians should be startled. The message today is clear - the McGuinty government prefers unreliable, expensive and dirty nuclear power to conservation and energy-efficiency," said Hampton.
"Instead of announcing conservation and energy-efficiency initiatives on the scale required to drive down electricity demand, this government is ensuring Ontarians get a future of cost-overruns and expensive hydro bills," he added.
Hampton and the NDP would rather see the nuclear money be used on energy conservation initiatives, such as retrofits of older slab apartment buildings that are big, inefficient energy consumers.
"The McGuinty government's energy plan is a squandered opportunity. Instead of grabbing big energy savings for Ontario residents and businesses by amending energy-efficiency regulations to require Energy Star standards, they are going nuclear," said Hampton.
"After four years of tinkering at the margins of energy conservation, energy-efficiency, and renewable energy development, the truth is finally clear. Dalton McGuinty's energy plan is all about building new unreliable, expensive and dirty nuclear power."