Canadian Manufacturing

Ontario PCs demanding Liberals pay $950M cost of axing gas plants

Conservative Jane McKenna's motion calls for Liberal Party of Ontario to pay back cost over time

TORONTO—The Progressive Conservatives are trying to force Ontario’s governing Liberal Party to pay back $950-million for cancelling two gas plants prior to the 2011 election.

Conservative Jane McKenna’s motion demands the Liberal Party of Ontario repay the cost of killing the gas plants in Oakville and Mississauga, Ont., which the auditor puts at $950-million to $1.1-billion.

McKenna says the Liberals killed the gas plants just to save five Liberal seats in suburban ridings west of Toronto, not because of government energy policy.

The Liberals have said they made a mistake when deciding to locate the two plants close to homes and schools so they had to be cancelled.

But McKenna says they were purely political decisions and the costs should not have to be borne by Ontario taxpayers.

McKenna says she’s not worried about setting a dangerous precedent of trying to hold political parties financially accountable for their actions in government.

She says people want the Liberals to own up to what they’ve done and pay back the money they’ve wasted.

No Canadian political party has hundreds of millions of dollars in the bank, but McKenna says the Liberals should pay off the $950-million tab over time.

Both the Tories and New Democrats have warned electricity rates in Ontario will have to rise to cover the cost of the Liberals’ decisions to kill the two gas plants.

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