Excerpt: Questions continue to arise regarding the process by which TransCanada Energy Ltd. was awarded the contract by the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) to build and operate a 900-megawatt plant on a small site in Oakville. Click here to read more.
Excerpt: MPP Kevin Flynn continued his efforts to stop the proposed TransCanada power plant by delivering petitions signed by a number of physicians, nurses, surgeons and other health specialists to the Legislative Assembly. Click here to read more.
Mayors from Oakville and Halimand County gathered at Queen's Park on June 1st to ask the province to consider moving the gas-fired power plant planned for the Mississauga/Oakville border out of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and into Nanticoke. Click on the link to view the story.
Oakville Beaver: Mayors pitch Nanticoke as better site
The Toronto Star: Nanticoke offers to host Oakville’s power plant
Simcoe Reformer: Haldimand pushes for gas plant
Mississauga.com: Gas plant finds willing host
The Nanticoke Solution is a win-win for residents of the Clarkson-Oakville Airshed and Haldimand County, Ontario ... Why NOT Nanticoke?
(May 29, 2010)
THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR
Re: Power plant
Let me get this straight: three large communities bring a simple, plausible solution to the table for our politicians to consider.
Haldimand wants a power plant to replace its coal-fired plant. Oakville and Mississagua suffer from an already overtaxed airshed. Energy Minister Brad Duguid and his cronies can't seem to see their way clear to a cheaper, easier, safer and healthier solution for taxpayers.
How quickly fallen brother and Hamiltonian Roy Rushton, killed when a gas-fired energy plant exploded, is forgotten by our elected officials. I can't wait for the next election.
Click here to read the article on thespec.com.
(May 27, 2010)
Open letter to the Premier
Open letter to Premier McGuinty: Re: Development of the Oakville Generating Station
If one were to read the facts, there would be probably at least 50 good and valid reasons why you should not be considering proceeding with the development of the Oakville Generating Station. You have already read/heard/been briefed about the facts relating to a very flawed process, the safety issues, the environmental issues, the health issues and the effect this particular power project will have on our public finances for years to come which has a lot to do with a hefty after tax return on a very expensive plant we don’t actually need.
Your own government knows how over-taxed this airshed is since they have studied it.
You have seen the detail and the pictures of the recent explosion in Middletown or know a little about the Sunrise Propane explosion. So the question really is why are you intent on putting an entire community of families at risk? I’m not sure why Ford is willing to put our community, its own community of workers and its own very profitable Canadian manufacturing facility at risk by enabling the development of this plant, but it doesn’t actually work for us….you and your government do work for us. So we have the right to know. Or do we?
I’m also struggling with some other questions that I feel the need to ask you:
• Do you know how many volunteer hours and after tax dollars are being spent on opposing such a flawed decision making process? TransCanada has apparently set aside $2 million to fight opposition to this plant. That seems like a lot of money to spend for a proponent the OPA said had community support. Those volunteering are giving up time away from their families and jobs to fight this plant. Others are helping to fund a group set up specifically for the sole purpose of opposing the proposed plant.
• Do you know how many other well deserving non-profit organizations and charities are suffering each day that you continue to fight to move ahead with this project? Time and money is being diverted away from these groups because we have no choice but to safeguard our families and neighbourhoods. You, on the other hand, have a choice to shut down this project, seek out an alternative or tell your environment minister to do an Individual Environmental Assessment on this plant.
• Why do we have to work this hard on opposing our own government when the facts are the facts? Why do we have to work so hard to safeguard our families from potential disasters, when the government should have our best interests and that of my family’s at heart?
• How do I explain this kind of decision making and opposition to the government to my children and …finally...
• How do I explain to my sons that the government is planning on building a massive gas fired power plant within 600 metres of their school and then tell them not to be scared?
Clearly, our community has no choice but to fight your decision to build because simply, we are being put at a health and safety risk and there is nothing that is more important to most of us in this community than the health and safety of our families. Should it be any other way?
So we will continue to oppose. That’s why momentum is increasing and not decreasing every day in opposing this plant, both locally but also across the Province….because building massive gas fired power plants next to homes and schools makes no sense to anyone except your government. Actually, you will be pleased to know that a representative from TransCanada told me and my young son at their open house that the proposed location was not their first choice either…they were told “to put it there”. So the decision is really all yours….do you really think it makes sense to build such massive plants next to homes and schools?
We have approximately 16 schools and 6,000 kids within three kilometres of the proposed plant location.
It would be the largest gas-fired power plant in all of Canada and it would be sited on the smallest parcel of land of any other plant.
Will you really be able to sleep at night if the plant proceeds and then explodes like the plant in Middletown that was 1/3 smaller and sited many miles away from a residential neighbourhood?
Accidents happen. You are setting a really dangerous precedent and a very bad personal legacy for years to come in Ontario if this plant is allowed to proceed.
The Premier who cares so much about kids…appears not to care so much after all…
Brenda Potter Phelan, Oakville
Click here to read the letter at insidehalton.com.
May 27, 2010
Harold N. Kisvle
President and C.E.O.
450 - 1 Street SW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
An Open Letter to TransCanada
Dear Mr. Kisvle,
Since the announcement by the Ontario Power Authority in September 2009 that
TransCanada had been selected to build an over 900 megawatt natural gas plant on Ford
of Canada property in Oakville community groups and concerned citizens from Oakville
and Mississauga and politicians from all levels of government have expressed their
outrage at such an offensive choice and have come together to ensure this plant is not
Your proposed plant would be located on an inadequately sized site, 320 meters from the
nearest school, less than 400 meters from residential homes and dangerously adjacent to
one of the busiest rail corridors in North America. Despite having these concerns bought
to your attention and the considerable health and safety concerns associated with natural
gas power plants your company continues to pursue approvals for this illogical site.
Even employees of your own company agree the proximity to sensitive land uses makes
the Ford of Canada site unsuitable.
I remain committed to representing my constituents and ensuring that the Ford of Canada
site is not used for this purpose by TransCanada.
Over the past months I have noted TransCanada’s repeated assurances that the safety
concerns of the Oakville community are not justified because TransCanada uses a
different process than the purging process which led to the deaths of 6 workers at a
similar facility in Middletown, Connecticut. While your commitment to employee safety
is sound corporate policy it does nothing to allay the concerns of Oakville residents that
proper mitigation is possible on such a small site in very close proximity to residential
land uses. The occurrence in Middletown and the current situation in the Gulf of Mexico
further reinforce the fact that despite best efforts, accidents do continue to occur and
could happen at the facility you propose to build.
Recently, my Private Members Bill 8, (An Act to establish separation distances for
natural gas power plants) received near unanimous second reading in the Ontario
Legislative Assembly. The bill identified an obvious gap and makes it illegal to locate a
natural gas power plant within 1500 meters of sensitive land uses such as homes, schools,
day care and hospitals. Your proposed Oakville plant would be illegal under Bill 8. The
fact that the bill received unanimous support from all 3 parties is an indication of the will
of the people of Ontario in this matter and should be instructive for future corporate
We are aware and know that TransCanada is aware of a number of other alternatives that
exist. We know that other power corporations are interested in joint ventures and other
far more suitable locations are available in communities that appear to be willing hosts.
Nanticoke for example is expressing very strong interest in continuing to be a power
generating community once the coal plant is closed and has sites available that are far
safer than the Ford of Canada site in Oakville. Experts say that the transmission of energy
between Nanticoke and consuming markets is not an issue and transmission upgrades
need to take place in any event.
I would ask TransCanada to consider the ethical implications of continuing to seek
approvals for the Oakville location. The reputation of your company and the leadership
you show in this regard will portray to Canadians whether TransCanada is merely taking
the reactive token response route to dealing with environmental, land use and safety
concerns or is seriously interested in a comprehensive and sustainable means of
conducting its business operations.
Considering other alternatives provides a number of positive effects for all stakeholders:
TransCanada could continue to operate in a profitable manner without the negative
stigma that infects and will continue to infect the Oakville location.
Ford will be able to reinforce their commitment to being a good corporate neighbour and
their reputation as an industry leader will continue.
The health, safety and environmental concerns of Oakville and Mississauga will be
The Ontario Power Authority will continue to provide a reliable source of electricity in a
manner that is cleaner than coal.
Willing host communities like Nanticoke with safe and suitable sites will realise the
economic benefits of your operation within their municipal boundaries.
TransCanada’s vision statement states the company is “committed to achieving win-win
solutions with external stakeholders”. Canadians are disillusioned with many recent
examples of corporate greenwashing and questionable ethics. Ending this illogical
proposal provides a perfect opportunity for TransCanada to illustrate its commitment to
execute your company’s vision and do the right thing.
Kevin Flynn, MPP, Oakville
cc. Finn Greflund, Vice-President, Power Development, TransCanada
Coco Calderhead, Aboriginal and Community Relations, TransCanada
Chris Breen, Public Sector Relations, TransCanada