Ontario’s Liberal government admits its estimated $40-million cost of cancelling a gas-fired electrical generating station in Oakville could be wrong.
The opposition parties were on the attack in question period after an energy expert testified that the cost of cancelling the Oakville gas plant could be 15 times higher than the government admits.
Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli says it was the Ontario Power Authority that negotiated the contracts for the energy project and its cancellation, and that gave the government the $40-million figure.
Outside the legislature, Chiarelli admitted the OPA’s figure may not be correct, something the Progressive Conservatives and New Democrats have been claiming for months.
The Minister cautioned the opposition to wait for an auditor general’s report into the cost of cancelling the Oakville gas plant and another one in neighbouring Mississauga just days before the 2011 election.
The Tories and NDP say the plants were cancelled to save Liberal seats in the suburbs west of Toronto, leaving taxpayers on the hook for the politically motivated decisions.
The Liberals say it cost $190-million to scrap the Mississauga gas plant, which was halted in mid-construction by the party’s campaign team.