Excerpt: "TransCanada Energy has launched a court challenge of an Oakville bylaw it claims is vague, unreasonable and “enacted in bad faith for the improper purpose of preventing, delaying or frustrating the construction and operation of the Oakville Generating Station.” Click here to read more.

Doug MacKenzie's essay on why Ontario needs buffer zones between people and gas-fired power plants was published in the National Post on May 11, 2010.

Excerpt: "The Province of Ontario recently announced $8-billion in wind and solar power projects, proclaiming Ontario a "global green energy leader." But as we clamour to replace dirty coal with renewable sources of clean energy, let's not lose sight of the fact that large natural gas-fired power plants are being built across the GTA to provide electricity when the wind doesn't blow or the sun doesn't shine."

Read more:

Thursday, April 23, 2010 – Oakville, ON – Citizens for Clean Air applauds all Ontario political parties for voting in favour of Bill 8, which would prohibit the construction of a natural gas power plant within 1,500 metres of land zoned residential or for a school, day nursery or health care facility.

The Separation Distances for Natural Gas Power Plants Act, 2010, a Private Members Bill introduced by Oakville MPP Kevin Flynn, passed second reading 28 votes to 1 yesterday afternoon with support from MPPs from all parties, including 15 Liberal MPPs.

“People living near major gas-fired generating stations need the protection only a buffer zone can bring,” says C4CA Board Chair Frank Clegg. “Only two months ago, a natural gas power plant exploded in Middletown, CT killing six people and blowing out windows five kilometres away. If that were to happen at the proposed Oakville site, such an accident could be catastrophic. MPPs from all parties showed yesterday that they understand only a buffer zone can protect people.”

The Middletown gas plant site was 137 acres and located across the river from a densely populated area. The proposed Oakville gas-fired generating station is 50 per cent larger and the site is only 13.5 acres, with 1,000 homes within one kilometre. Based on current Ontario legislation, a 1.5 megawatt wind turbine would not be permitted at this location.

Examples of comments made in the legislature in support of Bill 8 include:

Kevin Flynn, MPP Oakville (Liberal): “The sad fact of the matter is that currently, surprisingly, Ontario does not have any legislation that mandates the separation distances for natural gas power plants from those sensitive uses I've just outlined.”

David Caplan, MPP Don Valley East (Liberal): “This is about safety. It's about appropriate setbacks and minimizing the safety risks that residents not simply in Oakville but residents in any part of the province of Ontario would ordinarily expect. That's why I am quite in support of the measures contained here.”

Mike Colle, MPP Egllinton-Lawrence (Liberal): “It [Bill 8] sends a strong message to our government and to the Ontario Power Authority and to corporate Canada that we need to have a very strong second look at this. The 1,500-metre zone, the separation that has been proposed in this bill, is a very solid proposal that deserves our support.”

Donna Cansfield, MPP Etobicoke Centre (Liberal): “We need to be able to recognize that we have a problem. It has been identified. We need to work with the community, we need to find a resolution and this is the beginning of how we can manage to do that.”

Ted Chudleigh, MPP Halton Hills (Conservative): “ [Bill 8] would go a long way to protect the people of Oakville, particularly the people who live in that precise area so close to this plant. That's why I will be supporting this bill, as will the members of the PC caucus. It's for the safety, the lifestyles and the health of the people of Oakville and the people of Ontario.”

Frank Klees, MPP Newmarket-Auroroa (Conservative): “I'm going to support this bill because it is the right thing to do.”

Michael Prue, MPP Beaches-East York (NDP): “...I will be voting yes to this bill.”

The site for the proposed 975 megawatt gas-fired power plant in Oakville is only 320 metres from the nearest school and 400 metres to homes in a mature neighbourhood. The narrow piece of land on which the gas plant, with 60 metre stacks, would sit, is adjacent to some of the busiest commuter rail and roadways in the Province. There is widespread opposition to the plant at this location, including representatives at every level of government and the Chief Medical Officers of Health for Halton and Peel regions.

Citizens for Clean Air is a coalition thousands-strong of volunteer citizens concerned with the Ontario Government’s plan to construct a 975-megawatt gas-fired power plant on the border of Oakville and Mississauga.

Click here to view the PDF version of this article.

C4CA CommentCitizens for Clean Air applauds all Ontario political parties for voting in favour of Bill 8, which would prohibit the construction of a natural gas power plant within 1,500 metres of land zoned residential or for a school, day nursery or health care facility.

The Separation Distances for Natural Gas Power Plants Act, 2010, a Private Members Bill introduced by Oakville MPP Kevin Flynn, passed “second reading” on April 22, 28 votes to 1 with support from MPPs from all parties, including 15 Liberal MPPs.

While this was an important step in the legislative process, it does not mean the Bill will now become law. The next step is for the Bill to be studied by one of the legislature’s committees. Only after study by a committee, which will not take place until fall 2010 at the earliest, would the Bill return to the full legislature for a final vote and potentially become law.

While it is extremely rare for Private Member’s Bills to become law, this legislation has given C4CA an ideal platform to draw the attention of MPPs and the news media to the potential danger of siting a power plant so close to homes and schools. C4CA will continue to take advantage of every opportunity to highlight why the proposed Oakville Generating Station should not be built.

{yootooltip title=[Help Build Awareness Regarding the Power Plant. Purchase a Lawn Sign] sticky=[1] width=[300] }C4CA Power Plan Sign
Help Build Awareness Regarding the Power Plant. Purchase Your Sign Today! {/yootooltip}!

C4CA has printed lawn signs for area residents to use as a means of expressing their opposition to the Power Plant to be built in Oakville near homes and schools. Our goal is to build awareness of the issues surrounding the Power Plant and the impact it will have on Oakville and Mississauga residents. The cost to purchase a lawn sign is $20 which covers the printing cost with the balance being used toward other awareness activities.

To order a lawn sign, please click here.

 Power Plants and Homes Don't Mix

Proposed Gas Power Plant:


The Stakes Are Too High To Ignore 


Who is the C4CA?

Citizens for Clean Air (C4CA) is a coalition of concerned citizens in Oakville and Mississauga that are very concerned about the impacts that will come from the proposed gas-fired power plant near houses and schools in Oakville and Clarkson Airshed.  C4CA is a non-profit organization.



A 900 megawatt power plant, which would run on non-renewable fossil fuel, natural gas, is being proposed for a strip of land between Cornwall Rd and Royal Windsor Dr, east of Morrison and west of Maple Grove

  • The power plant would be the same size as the largest gas plant in Ontario
  • The plant would only be approximately 320 metres from the nearest school and 400 metres from the nearest home, with 16 schools and approximately 5000 homes within 2 km, and approximately 11000 homes within 3 km
  • The proposed gas plant is being "fast-tracked" without any justification, other than the creation of a false sense of urgency that this massive project, which is expected to cost approximately $1.2 billion, is needed
  • In fact, claims that more fossil fuel plants are needed are not supported by independent data, including from Ontario's own official electricity operator, the IESO.  Ontario is generating more electricity than is needed, and will be able to meet its needs for many years, without adding this plant. 
  • There are very significant issues that need to be dealt with, but which will not be properly considered if TransCanada is able to proceed with simply a screening level environmental assessment, which allows them to determine whether there are any issues, without oversight by any independent tribunal or even government official

What must be done?

It does not make sense to build a gas plant so close to schools and houses.  This gas plant should not be built.  If you want to ensure the impacts of the proposed gas plant are properly assessed, you must act now and get involved.  This is the only way the concerned citizens and experts will have any hope of being heard.  TransCanada is moving quickly to eliminate any obstacles in its way, including the interim control by-law that Oakville imposed to allow sufficient time to review and assess the use of the land on which the plant would be built and operated for many decades.  They are doing this even though its own literature states that it is "committed to meeting the highest regulatory standards", "impact to people and the environment will be vigorously studied as part of the environmental review process" and "community input is a key component of the development" of the project. 

How can any of this be true if TransCanada is going to proceed to simply conduct a self-assessment of the project?  We must ensure TransCanada meets its own publicly-stated standards by ensuring a proper process is followed to properly assess potential impacts, as well as alternatives. 

The process is available and is well known - there must be an individual environmental assessment of the gas plant, with involvement by the provincial and federal governments.

The project, and the stakes, are too high to allow this massive project to proceed, which would endure for many decades to come.  The assessment would consider important effects, such as:

  • Health and safety- consider that a leading reason that children are admitted to hospitals in Halton is respiratory disease
  • The gas plant would discharge hundreds of tonnes of toxic substances into the air, including ultra fine particulate matter that is inhaled by people deep into their respiratory systems
  • The toxic substances would be going into an Airshed that Ontario's Ministry of the Environment has acknowledged is overly-polluted and taxed, which is being further stressed by other power plants in the GTA
  • The gas plant would emit noise and vibrations that will have negative effects on the environment, including people in Oakville
  • The gas plant would use and discharge huge volumes of water, and create significant fogging and icing conditions that will be unsafe and have negative effects on the environment, including the discharge of a vapour cloud (water plume) that would be visible for kilometres
  • The gas plant and gas lines would be very close to railway lines, which creates the potential for safety issue, including in the event of a derailment. Fogging and icing also raise serious safety issues for the railways lines, as well as the nearby QEW and other roads.

How you can help

  1. Join Citizens for Clean Air at We will keep you updated on current developments.
  2. Make a contribution on our website to help fund our legal, health, envi­ronmental expertise. Your donation is the single most important way you can help!
  3. A lead person is needed for each street in Oakville to help communicate and coordinate our actions with your neighbors. Volunteer to be a street captain by e-mailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your name and address.
  4. Be visible in your support of our cause. Purchase a lawn sign.
  5. Attend meetings and rallies. Rally your friends and neighbors to join in.
  6. Volunteer. Expertise is needed in the following areas - Legal, Health, En­vironmental, Engineering, Fundraising, Marketing, Public Relations, Youth and Administration.

We are counting on each and every household to join us in our fight to ensure a healthy environment for our families, homes and schools.


The time is now to get involved, get engaged, and make a donation.


No Power Plants Near Homes and Schools

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