Ontario Premier Ernie Eves intentionally misled the public last night. On Sunday, Eves stated "My goal is to make Ontario self-reliant in electricity", and explained that his plan includes increasing the supply of electricity. When later asked to reconcile his plan to make Ontario self-reliant with his claim that Ontario is already self-sufficient, Eves told the CBC (and Ontarians) that "Well, we are self-sufficient but you should have a reserve . We have probably, depending on the day, maybe from about a ten to about a twenty to twenty-five percent reserve capacity now. But, because you have units, as I said earlier, down for maintenance, you have unexpected maintenance problems from time to time, you have extra demand from time to time, you really should have a bigger reserve. And we are working on that."
"He's either fooling himself, or he's trying to fool Ontarians. Either way, he's a damn fool", claims Freedom Party of Ontario leader Paul McKeever. "After frightening off generation companies by imposing price controls, Eves is trying to minimize the electricity supply crisis by pretending it is merely a question of having too little reserve. That is unconscionably misleading. We are strained up to and beyond the limits of what Ontario can supply on a regular basis during the summer months. This isn't merely a case of too little reserve: it's a case of barely meeting the every-day demands of Ontario in the summer, and Eves knows it. You can't just pretend that 30 degree days are freak occurrences. Any intellectually-honest definition of "self-reliant" must encompass an ability to handle summer heat without almost daily purchases of expensive, imported electricity."
McKeever is outraged by the Premier's downplaying of the crisis. "This is little different than locking us common folk below decks on the Titanic while telling us we have nothing to worry about. Well, we're going down fast and all of the price controls Eves and McGuinty can think of won't change that. What we need is a Premier who will defend the operation of the free market and ease the fears of power generation investors. More than anything else, investor's need a reason to be confident. I'll give them a reason."
In its 10-year Outlook published on March 31, 2003, Ontario's Independent Electricity Market Operator ("IMO") warned that Ontario is already in immediate need of additional power generation:
Media are advised to view figure 3.1 of the IMO's report, located at:
The IMO report added that,
"It's no secret among those who follow electricity developments", says McKeever "that Ontario is on the brink of chronic, rolling black-outs. If and when the Lakeview plant closes in April of 2005, Ontario may very well find itself unable to avoid rolling black-outs even if it imports as much electricity as it is capable of importing. The Eves-McGuinty tag-team has to go, or we'll be looking at a crippling situation over the next four to five years."
The Freedom Party of Ontario is the only registered political party in Ontario that supports the elimination of the 4.3 cent price cap, the sell-off of OPG generation facilities to numerous competing companies, and the facilitation of net-metering. Its electricity proposals can be found in Freedom Party's election platform, The Right Direction:
https://freedomparty.on.ca/platform.pdf (Adobe .pdf format)
https://freedomparty.on.ca/platform/html/cover.htm (HTML format)
Paul McKeever (who will be running in the riding of Oshawa, against Sid Ryan and Jerry Ouellette) is available to discuss this matter. You can contact him directly at:
Freedom Party is expected to run candidates in approximately half of Ontario's ridings in the coming election.
further information: Paul McKeever, Leader, Freedom Party of Ontario.