GUELPH – Ontario Greens leader and Guelph MPP Mike Schreiner is looking on the federal government to stop construction of gas-fired power plants in Ontario.
In a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Schreiner calls on the federal government to maneuver immediately to establish federal clean electricity regulations that ban latest gas plants and require Ontario to maneuver to a net-zero carbon electricity grid by 2030.
“Doug Ford has badly mismanaged the province’s electricity supply,” Schreiner said today. “Recklessly cancelling a whole bunch of renewable energy contracts and successful energy efficiency programs has undermined climate solutions and price Ontarians thousands and thousands.
“Now we face an energy crunch and Ford’s solution is to ramp up expensive, polluting fossil gas plants.”
In his letter to the Prime Minister, Schreiner said that emissions from the proposed latest gas plants will cancel out half of the emissions reductions achieved by phasing out the province’s dirty coal-fired power plants and threaten Canada’s ability to fulfill its Paris climate targets.
“Doug Ford has demonstrated repeatedly that he’ll obstruct, oppose and delay any meaningful motion to handle the climate crisis,” said Schreiner.
“I’m calling on the federal government to fill Ontario’s leadership vacuum with decisive motion to dam a large step backwards to fossil gas generation.
“Low-cost renewable energy projects and impressive efficiency programs will drive progress on climate and help people and businesses lower your expenses by saving energy.
“A clean grid will attract latest industries, create tens of 1000’s of recent jobs and provides Ontario a powerful foothold within the booming climate economy.”
Text of Letter Attached Below
The Rt Hon Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
House of Commons
Ottawa K1A 0A6
via Email: Justin.Trudeau@parl.gc.ca
January 25, 2023
Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,
Your March 22, 2022 Supply and Confidence Agreement with NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh pledged to “achieve significant emissions reductions by 2030 in comparison with 2005 levels.” Canadians view this pact as proof of your commitment to climate motion they usually trust you and Mr. Singh to deliver on this promise.
Nevertheless, Ontario Premier Doug Ford has announced plans that threaten your ability to follow through in your agreement. Premier Ford’s government has announced that it is going to construct latest gas-fired power plants while increasing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the province’s existing gas plants by 375 per cent by 2030 and greater than 600 per cent by 2040.
This latest plan threatens Canada’s ability to fulfill its Paris Agreement climate targets. It can cancel out half the pollution reduction advantages Ontario achieved by phasing out its dirty coal-fired power plants. And it imperils the flexibility of you and Mr. Singh to deliver on the commitment you made to Canadians.
Fortunately, Ontario has realistic, achievable alternatives to the Ford Government’s ill-advised initiatives. Ontario can have a clean electricity future and lower energy costs by 2030 by investing in energy conservation and efficiency, wind and solar energy, and by increasing its electricity cooperation with Quebec, including using its neighbour’s reservoirs as giant storage batteries for Ontario’s wind and solar energy.
In keeping with a report released by Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator last September, Ontario can avoid the necessity for latest gas plants and lower its electricity costs by as much as $290 billion by investing in zero-carbon options to maintain our lights on, including solar energy, energy storage and smart efficiency programs.
Ontario is well positioned to guide the approach to a net zero electricity system. This may help grow the provincial economy by attracting businesses searching for clean energy. It can also create vast latest economic opportunities in renewable energy development, district energy, load control technologies, cold climate air-source heat pumps, and bi-directional chargers allowing electric vehicles’ batteries to place power back into the grid during peak demand periods.
Now’s the time to act.
I urge you to please establish federal Clean Electricity Regulations that may:
- prohibit the constructing of recent gas plants in Ontario effective immediately; and
- require Ontario to maneuver to a net zero-carbon electricity grid by 2030.
With strong leadership and continued climate motion out of your government, we will create a cleaner, safer, and more prosperous future for Canadians and the world. I’m open to and welcome the chance to work with the federal government to make sure we meet our climate obligations.
Mike Schreiner Leader, Green Party of Ontario MPP, Guelph