Last week I visited the grade 5 civics class at Munn’s Private School. When I mentioned the power plant would not be coming to Oakville, spontaneous applause erupted in the classroom.
Seeing young people celebrating a provincial government decision and democracy at work reveals just how important the decision to stop the power plant was for our community.
Unfortunately there are cynics who are trying to cast a shadow on Oakville’s shining moment with fear mongering myths. It was particularly disappointing to witness Tory Leader Tim Hudak rise in the Legislature last Monday and attempt to discredit or overturn this tremendous victory that Oakville residents, C4CA, Mayor Burton, Council, and my staff and I had worked so hard for. It begs the question, where was Tim Hudak for the last 24 months?
Having served Oakville constituents for over 25 years I understand how monumental this victory truly was. Once a project moves as far along as the proposed Oakville gas plant, it is very unusual to see such a project stopped. It takes unique resident determination and organizational strategy and political fortitude to earn this type of victory
It is also a fact that our government stopped the Tim Hudak and Tory approved 800 MW power plant on Oakville’s boarder with Mississauga with no penalty or cost to taxpayers.
I would like to confirm that not only will the Oakville plant be stopped, but neither will it be built anywhere in the SWGTA including Mississauga.
It was also recently suggested by an executive member of the local Progressive Conservative riding association that the 900 MW be built in north Oakville. I do not support this suggestion, nor does my government, and the Minister of Energy’s recent welcome announcement makes this impossible.
Working through the Integrity Commissioners office, the Minister of Energy and the Premier’s office, I was able to bring our community’s message directly to Queen’s Park and the right decision was made. Further Bill 8, my Private Member’s Bill would implement separation distances for gas fired power plants so no other community in Ontario will have to go through what Oakville did.
Some misguided individuals even when so far as to site my vocal support of the Green Energy Act as a reason for the choice of the Oakville site. Ironically the exact opposite is true. The Green Energy Act has allowed for the creation of 8000 MW of new energy and increased conservation and actually allowed our government to stop this plant.
I would like to extend my sincere thanks for your emails, letters and words of support throughout the process. Special thanks are due to the current people at C4CA and to Mayor Burton and all members of council who supported him by taking the right legal action at the right time.
Oakville has faced many challenges in the past and no doubt will face others in the future. The cancellation of this proposed gas plant will go down as a major victory for local democracy in Oakville. And as your Member of Provincial Parliament I am very proud to be associated with those responsible.
- Kevin Flynn, MPP Oakville