Liberal Party’s decision to cancel Mississauga gas plant costs Ontario residents $180M

Andy Radia
Politics Reporter
Canada Politics

Dalton McGuinty has given Canadians yet another reason not to trust or respect their politicians.

According to a Canadian Press report, it's going to cost Ontarians $180-million to fulfill a desperate last-minute campaign promise made by the McGuinty Liberals last Fall.

Less than two weeks before Ontario residents went to the polls in October, the Liberals issued a surprise announcement cancelling their Mississauga natural gas power plant, that locals were against and that was already under construction.

At the time, the announcement was seen as an act of crass politics to help save some Mississauga-area seats in what was a very tight election.  The Liberals want on to easily win the riding, coming in with 6,000 more votes than the second-place Conservative, and capturing a slim majority of overall votes cast.

On Tuesday, Energy Minister Chris Bentley made this statement, in which he said the cost of cancelling the deal was $180 million.

The fees include $85-million already spent on building, designing and obtaining permits for the Mississauga location. Another $88-million will be paid to EIG, the financier of the Greenfield South Project, in an early termination settlement, plus $7-million in site-specific costs.

[ Related: Bentley won't say who cancelled Mississauga gas plant ]

That's $180 million down the drain -- it appears -- because McGuinty's Liberals wanted to win an election.

And people wonder why so many Canadians don't bother voting?

What $180 million could have bought:

- 60 MRI machines for Ontario's hospitals

- One year worth of salaries for 3,000 Registered Nurses

- One year worth of salaries for 2,220 police officers

- 1,400 social housing units

- One year worth of salaries for 3,600 teachers

- A $36 tax cut for every household in Ontario

- Three 5,000 seat hockey arenas

- The NHL's Phoenix Coyotes, the New York Islanders, the Columbus Blue Jackets or the St. Louis Blues