Power Workers' Union welcomes Canada's ecoTrust investment and urges Ontario to immediately use funds to reduce air pollution from coal fuelled plants

    TORONTO, March 7 /CNW/ - Ontario's largest electricity workers' union
welcomes the Government of Canada's ecoTrust investment in projects that
produce real reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution in
    But, the Power Workers' Union (PWU) says that the current plan to close
Ontario's coal fuelled stations by 2014 is unrealistic and risky. Given this
reality the PWU urges the Province to use some of the ecoTrust money to
immediately clean up air pollution coming from the coal fuelled plants while
new energy projects are developed.
    As Jan Carr, head of the Ontario Power Authority noted in a recent
speech, Ontario has to build almost as much generating capacity over the next
twenty years as presently exists in British Columbia and Alberta combined.
    "The reality of developing new electricity generating capacity and
transmission lines is that it takes longer than planned. In the meantime,
Ontario needs affordable electricity for its growing needs and existing coal
fuelled plants are a necessary part of the mix. The technology to dramatically
reduce air pollution from these plants is readily available, and the PWU
believes it should be installed. We have already wasted three years doing
nothing," said Mr. Don MacKinnon, President of the Power Workers' Union.
    The PWU believes that the best way to avoid putting Ontarians'
electricity supply at risk and reducing pollution is to move forward on new
and refurbished nuclear capacity and to invest in proven, readily-available,
clean coal technology at existing plants. This is an affordable way to
immediately reduce air pollution, while the Province makes investments in
conservation and demand management, viable new energy sources and new
transmission lines.
    The Power Workers' Union believes that Ontarians require an energy supply
that derives electricity from a number of sources, including clean coal,
hydroelectric and nuclear, along with other economical renewable options. The
PWU's better plan - (www.abetterenergyplan.ca) - also includes a review of the
province's natural gas strategy, investment in green power and the promotion
of energy efficiency.

    The Power Workers' Union is the largest electricity union in Ontario,
representing employees in electricity generation, transmission, distribution,
regulations, and research and development.

For further information:

For further information: contact the Power Workers' Union, Tel. (416)
322-2460, Email: pwu@pwu.ca

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