Posts Tagged ‘Power Plant’

TransCanada withdraws applications in Oakville

Friday, January 7th, 2011

TransCanada Energy Ltd. today requested that the town close all of its planning and development applications related to its proposal to build the Oakville Generating Station in the Town of Oakville. This action follows TransCanada and Ford Motor Company of Canada’s decision to withdraw all of their appeals to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) in connection with the Oakville site and allows the town to formally close the book on this proposal.

TransCanada had a number of appeals before the OMB in connection with the proposed power plant, including appeals of the town’s interim control by-law, official plan policies and zoning by-laws regarding power generation in the town, and planning applications associated with the project. Ford had an appeal before the OMB regarding its application to create a separate lot on Royal Windsor Drive to accommodate the proposed plant.

“While we were fully prepared to defend our policies and decisions at the OMB, Council, staff and our residents are very happy to finally be able to put this issue to rest,” Mayor Rob Burton said. “The town remains committed to protecting the health of our residents and we will continue to move forward with the implementation of our innovative health protection air quality by-law.”

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Kevin Flynn: United Front was key to Oakville Power Plant Victory

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

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

How Town Council stopped the Power Plant

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Council began defending the town’s health and safety almost two years ago — nine months before Citizens for Clean Air organized. Town Council and all citizen groups worked together cooperatively to protect Oakville’s health and safety throughout until the successful resolution on Oct. 7, 2010.

When we on Council saw the start of the OPA power plant process almost two years ago, we carefully considered our options. We realized we would never be able to protest louder than Mississauga. It has four times as many people as Oakville and six times as many members of the government. So we decided unanimously that if we can’t out-shout them, we would out-think the problem instead.

It’s illegal to ban a land user or a land use. What the Planning Act does let you do is regulate or prevent negative impacts. So we chose to use our legal powers to block adverse impacts from power plants.

And we unanimously acted in February 2009 to highlight the issue with public Council meeting resolutions.

  • In early March 2009, staff reported our old Official Plan “could be interpreted to mean that power generating facilities are permitted throughout Oakville.” We knew we had to act, and we did, to protect against negative impacts from power plants. Note at this time no contract winner was known and would not be known until September 30, 2009.
  • In late March 2009, we passed our Interim Control By-law – unanimously, as reported in the newspapers.
  • Also in March 2009, I became aware Ford officials were aggressively promoting their location for a power plant to all the OPA’s qualified bidders. I called Ford on this. And three times, they denied it to me. I like and support Ford, but if you want to know why TransCanada was here, it was Ford that went out and recruited TransCanada’s power plant.
  • In July 2009, I called the leaders of all the residents groups in Oakville and began a community leaders roundtable at the end of every month.
  • In August 2009, I met with the Premier and he promised subsequently what became the Balsillie Task Force on the Oakville-Clarkson Air Shed.
  • On September 30, 2009, the OPA chose the Oakville site.
  • In October 2009, C4CA organized to focus the efforts of several residents’ groups on this issue and give it a higher media profile.
  • In December 2009, Dr. Balsillie was appointed. The Town and the citizen groups had representatives on Dr. Balsillie’s advisory panel.
  • In March 2010, Mrs. Mulvale showed up for the first time in this battle, to write a letter to the editor defending Ford for having brought TransCanada to Oakville by selling Ford land to TransCanada for the power plant. Click here to read it for yourself.
  • In May 2010, Council unanimously passed a ground-breaking new bylaw regulating the emission of deadly fine particulate matter. TransCanada Energy launched several lawsuits against the Town – not against citizens’ groups – to try to quash the Town’s protective bylaws.
  • On June 24, 2010, Dr. Balsillie recommended no new sources of pollution in our air shed.
  • In September 2010, Council unanimously passed ground-breaking new Official Plan amendments and Zoning By-law amendments that I call the “do-no-harm” clauses. These protect against the negative impacts of power plant operations anywhere in Oakville.

Council and I did not miss any opportunity to address this issue effectively. We used the tools at our disposal – consultation with the parties involved and science- and evidence-based by-laws – to the extent of the law. We worked with grassroots groups and our MPP Kevin Flynn to address this issue from every angle. C4CA put a human face on the issue. MPP Flynn worked the corridors at Queen’s Park. Council and I protected against harmful effects and denied TransCanada the permits they expected but were not entitled to. Council and I are very pleased that this multi-level strategy has succeeded in getting a result that will protect the health and safety of residents. We have proved Oakville works best when we work together.

Some critics have now warned that cancelling the contract with TransCanada could cost provincial taxpayers millions of dollars. This, too, is a myth. The contract between the province and TCE required the company to get municipal approvals, which it had not.

- Mayor Rob Burton

Jeff Knoll – Power plant cancelled, Politicians take credit

Saturday, October 16th, 2010

What a great way to start a Thanksgiving Weekend! The dreaded Oakville power plant has been cancelled! In a week where my life has been turned upside down by a cowardly break-in at my business, this has brightened my mood and put a bounce back in my step.

So, why did this happen? If you were at the press conference today, you would have to think it was the politicians that stopped the plant. Kevin Flynn’s own Twitter account stated “Kevin Flynn Stops Power Plant”, the Town just sent out a press release stating “Town wins long battle against power plant”. Based on the showmanship on the front porch of Otellos’ (the location of the press conference this afternoon) where some Members of Council hoisted the Mayor on their shoulders like a conquering hero, some might think the Mayor or maybe Council did it. I watched a very different fight unfold.

I think you stopped it!

By you, I mean the average citizens of Oakville, led by Citizens for Clean Air (C4CA). You and they are the true heroes here.

Let’s be clear, it was provincial politicians and their pals who got us into the mess in the first place and it took the force of well organized public opinion and electoral threat to make them change their minds.

Sure, as a Councillor, I am proud that Town Council rallied behind the community to do what we could to kill the plant and our staff and Council deserve recognition for its role, but, as an active Councillor, I can clearly say – we did not make this happen.

Do not get me wrong, I am overjoyed at the news. I did everything I could as a Councillor and as a private citizen to help in the anti-power plant cause; I just hate to see victory being bestowed upon the wrong people.

I know that Doug MacKenzie, Frank Clegg and the rest of the C4CA leadership did not do this for glory and public praise, but they need to be recognized as the community leaders who simply said “no way” and backed that up with their time, money and talents.

At risk of being a “glass half empty” kind of person, which I am not, as we take down our “Stop the Power plant” signs, we have to ask ourselves how on earth did this happen in the first place and why did it take so long for Queen’s Park to actually get the message that we were NOT willing hosts. Most troubling to me today was in listening to Minister Duguid at the announcement; I heard the message amidst the grand speech that we didn’t need the plant anyway. What! Reporters pressed him on what the cost is going to be for cancelling the plant and he did not respond, but we can only assume that it will be a number with lots of zeros. After being asked twice about the role the public played in the decision, he side-stepped it each time and would NOT give credit where it was due… to the unprecedented uprising amongst Oakville residents to fight this stupid project.

Like most of you, I am going celebrate this wonderful news for our community and revel in the Capraesque notion that people can and do make a big difference!

- Ward 5 Councillor Jeff Knoll

Doug MacKenzie: Power Plant wasn’t needed

Monday, October 11th, 2010
Doug MacKenzie power plant

After over four years of debate and protest, the plan to construct a power plant in Oakville has been scrapped.

A year ago, Doug MacKenzie, who is running for Ward 6 Regional Councillor, drafted a paper for the premier that outlined material shifts in demand as well as “combination of a number of things,” that proved that there was “plenty of power on hand, and that the plant wasn’t needed in Oakville.”

Rob Burton, Kevin Flynn, and Citizens For Clean Air, all played a crucial role and showed a will to re-evaluate the power plant plan.  “I stepped down about a month ago from the head of C4CA to run for council,” says MacKenzie.  He says that, “C4CA formed an organization with technical expertise, and great volunteers who did an exceptional job.”

The power plant will not be constructed as cleaner energy has become more available in the past year as wind mills will begin to come online, as well as plenty of power that from sources that will be outlined in an upcoming fall report.

As for the future of the power plant issue in Oakville, MacKenzie says that until cleaner air can be promised it is recommended that no plant be placed.  “There are other solutions for reliability of supply, and transmission alternatives,” he said, “there were issues with the reliability of transmission and transformer, there’s a lot to be done still, and a lot has been done.”

MacKenzie said, “in Ward 6, the power plant was a larger issue than I had perceived it to be.”

Currently, there is no plan to construct a power plant in any part of the GTA.