A letter from Andrea Horwath to Ontario's Auditor concerning power plant cancellations

TORONTO, Sept. 29, 2011 /CNW/ - New Democrat Leader Andrea Horwath sent a letter to Ontario's Auditor General this morning concerning decisions around gas-fired electricity plants in Mississauga and Oakville.

The text is as follows:

Office of the Auditor General of Ontario
20 Dundas Street West, 15th Floor
Box 105
Toronto, Ontario
M5G 2C2

To the Auditor General,

During the election campaign a debate has erupted over Liberal Leader Dalton McGuinty's plans to cancel construction of a gas fired electricity plant in Mississauga.

This commitment comes after the government cancelled a similar contract in Oakville.

Clearly, both decisions carry fiscal risks with potential impacts on ratepayers and/or the fiscal position of the province. The lack of disclosure has left the public in the dark on the possible costs associated with these decisions.

Estimates in some reports have indicated that cancellation costs could reach $1 billion ("Killing gas-fired power plants could cost $1B", Toronto Star, September 26, 2011).

In 2004, the Legislature passed the Fiscal Transparency and Accountability Act with the aim of ensuring all parties, and all Ontarians, would have a full sense of the province's fiscal challenges. The Minister of Finance stated at the time, "We owe a duty to our shareholders, the 12.5 million people who rely on us for quality public services. We have a duty to them to report honestly, thoroughly and completely what the circumstances of their government are." (Hansard, October 27, 2004).

Given the potential costs of the cancellation or re-location of these projects, and the current Premier's unwillingness to share any information about these potential costs which could affect the province's finances or electricity ratepayers, I'm calling on your office to review the contract and these risks, and I urge Mr. McGuinty and Mr. Hudak to support this independent review.

Sincerely,

(originally signed)

Andrea Horwath
Leader, Ontario New Democrats

SOURCE New Democratic Party of Ontario

For further information:

Media inquiries: Marion Nader 647-459-8851

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New Democratic Party of Ontario

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ONTARIO ELECTION 2011

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