Ontario should hit pause button on nuclear rebuild with Quebec Power deal

(Queen’s Park): Ontario’s new deal to purchase water power from Quebec is a step in the right direction according to Green Party of Ontario leader Mike Schreiner.

But if the Liberals are serious about reducing the increase in electricity prices, the government should:

  • increase low cost electricity imports from Quebec, 
  • close the 45 year old Pickering Nuclear Station in 2018 when its licence expires, and 
  • halt the multi-billion dollar rebuild of Darlington. 

“Today’s power deal is a victory for those of us pushing for Ontario to buy low cost water power from Quebec,” says Mike Schreiner. “But to seriously reduce electricity rate increases, the Liberals should hit the stop button on the multi-billion dollar Darlington Nuclear rebuild.”

Studies indicate that Ontario can save $700 million to $2.6 billion per year – or $14 to 52 billion over 20 years – by cancelling the rebuild of the Darlington nuclear plant and replacing the electricity with low cost water power from Quebec.

“Does the Premier have the courage to say no to the nuclear lobby?” asks Schreiner. “The Liberals made the right decision to import low cost water power from Quebec. Now they need to save billions by closing Pickering on schedule and canceling the Darlington rebuild project.”

Ontario Power Generation has applied to the Ontario Energy Board for a 180 percent increase in the price of nuclear power over the next decade. Since no nuclear project in Ontario’s history has delivered on time or on budget, the price increase could be even higher. 

The Liberal government has refused to conduct an independent public review of the costs and alternatives to nuclear power. 

“Why do the Liberals refuse to conduct an independent public review of nuclear costs?” asks Schreiner. “We need the facts so that Ontario can make the best decision on how to generate clean, affordable electricity.” 

The GPO is on a mission to bring honesty, integrity and good public policy to Queen’s Park.