TORONTO – The NDP’s irrational, ideological plan to permanently close the Pickering power plant in the dead-heat of summer will risk Ontario’s ability to supply invaluable medical isotopes around the world and could force the purchase of dirty coal-powered energy from the United States to keep the province up and running.
These risks are in addition to the certain loss of 4,500 local jobs and the unplanned, near-immediate elimination of 15% of the province’s entire power supply – a jolt that, coming in the middle of the hottest season of the year, could risk brown outs, cause higher emissions and lead to increased electricity prices – to the tune of $600 million.
Clearly, the NDP energy plan is unrealistic and puts ideology ahead of the public interest. But yesterday when pressed by reporters, Horwath chose to stick to her position, in order to please NDP stakeholder interests. When asked if her plan to shut down Pickering was a mistake the NDP Leader replied, “No, not at all.”
Although Ontario enjoys an agreement with Quebec to purchase power in times of distress, this arrangement was never contemplated to assume such an enormous spike in demand. In addition, the province’s Long Term Energy Plan (LTEP) warns that with the Darlington refurbishment underway and a similar shutdown at Bruce in 2020, the Pickering plant is needed to meet the province’s needs until at least 2024.
Pickering Generating Station supplies approximately 20% of the world’s Cobalt-60, which is used to safely sterilize medical equipment and food products. The loss of Pickering would create a dangerous global shortfall for which the NDP have no plan.
The NDP have presented an energy plan that contradicts the public interest. It’s too ideological. It’s too unrealistic. And it’s too risky.