Politicians with local links have come out swinging against the ruling Liberals in the wake of Tuesday’s special report by the Auditor General about the cost of cancelling two gas plants.
“This waste of money can only be described as outrageous,” Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott, a Progressive Conservative, said in a news release. “And the Liberals’ attempts to conceal the true cost can only be described as devious.”
Green Party of Ontario leader Mike Schreiner, who will run against Liberal MPP Liz Sandals in Guelph in the next provincial election, was similarly critical.
“The Liberal government’s short-term thinking and self-interested political games have cost us a billion dollars and made a mess of Ontario’s energy future,” Schreiner said in a news release.
“The Liberals’ gas plant scandal is politics at its worst,” he said. “Self-interested quick fixes and a third-rate cover up have produced enormous financial costs, paralyzed the legislature and undermined public trust in democracy. The Liberals have put their party before the public.”
Arnott said the Auditor General has shown the cost of the Liberal government’s cancelling of the two gas plants in Oakville and Mississauga will fall between $950 million and $1.09 billion.
“The Liberals made a conscious decision to put their own political survival ahead of the interest of the people of Ontario,” Arnott said. He also said Premier Kathleen Wynne “will not be able to evade responsibility for her role in this scandalous waste of money.”
Schreiner questioned the credibility of Liberal spending plans on nuclear power, in light of the gas-plant controversy.
“Ontario needs a long-term energy plan. Instead, the Liberals lurch from one quick fix to another. They are more interested in buying votes than securing our children’s future,” Schreiner said.
Local MPP Liz Sandals provided this statement on the Auditor General’s report Wednesday, after the deadline for the Tribune’s Oct. 10 print edition.
“Our government listened to the concerns of two communities and made the decision to relocate two gas plants – all parties agreed with that decision,” she said.
“Premier Wynne asked for this report because Ontarians deserve to have a full understanding about the cost to relocate the Oakville facility.
“As a result, we will introduce new rules to improve the siting process. Those new rules include improving the siting of large energy infrastructure projects by implementing the recommendations of the Ontario Power Authority and the Independent Electricity System Operator.
“We need to ensure that we get the siting decisions right the first time and give communities a voice in this process.”