Monthly Archives: July 2010
Energy Minister Brad Duguid: “The cost of electricity is going up and it will be for some time to come”
One-on-one with Ontario Energy Minister Brad Duguid
By RANDY RICHMOND, The London Free Press
July 30th, 2010
Brace yourself, Ontario.
Hikes to monthly electricity bills have just begun, Ontario Energy Minister Brad Duguid warns.
As anger rises in London and across the province over the double whammy of higher power prices and the HST, Duguid — the McGuinty government’s point man on electricity — answered questions about the Liberals’ decisions in an exclusive Free Press interview.
Questions and answers:
Q In London, power bills are 17% higher than they were in May. Two reasons, the hydro rate increase and the HST. There’s a lot of anger over it and people want to know how you’re justifying this?
The cost of electricity is going up and it will be for some time to come because we’ve had to make necessary investments to ensure we have a stable supply of energy across the province. Seven years ago, we didn’t have enough supply to meet the demand. We were at great risk of blackouts. As a result, we’ve had to make some extensive investments in generation.
At the same time, we’ve also moved away from dirty sources of power, such as coal, to cleaner sources of energy. There are costs to that.
Q There seems to be anger about green power. It seems people would rather choose lower rates for, as you call it, dirty power than clean power and higher rates.
I think the reality is, if we would have kept to the same course as the previous government we would today be at great risk of not having enough power to run our economy or run our homes. That is why we have had to make some very extensive investments in generation.
Q Where are the extensive investments?
We are in the process of retrofitting our nuclear fleet, and we are in the process of building new gas plants. Many of them are up and running now and that’s what’s starting to come on the bills. We are in the process of actioning the Green Energy Act which is bringing in new sources of energy. Read the rest of this entry
Yakabuski blamed the increase in power costs on the Liberal government’s reliance on “sweetheart deals” with higher-cost energy producers, such as wind power companies, instead of lower-cost ones such as nuclear power.
As Londoners brace for a 17% jump in their power bill, critics say conservation only goes so far
By RANDY RICHMOND, The London Free Press
July 29th, 2010
Londoner Arnold Hull won’t be helping the city keep a walkway beside his house safe and clean anymore.
A 17% hike in his power bill has persuaded the fixed-income retiree to turn out the spotlights he shines on the public walkway to keep vandals away.
“It just seems to me there is one thing after another after another,” he said. “With the attitude of city hall, and now the massive hike in hydro rates, as fixed-income seniors we have shut off the walkway light.”
Hull isn’t alone in his anger over the recent jump in power rates, coming just days after city council refused to consider giving residential water users a long-urged break on their bills.
Politicians, advocates for the poor and ordinary Londoners are all expressing concern about the latest hit to the pocketbook.
“It’s a real mess the province has created — the hydro bill is becoming an increasingly challenging part of the family budget,” said MPP John Yakabuski, the Progressive Conservative energy critic at Queen’s Park.
People are already doing a lot to conserve energy, he said.
But Yakabuski said people keep getting hit with increases. “Now they are wondering, where is the payback?” Read the rest of this entry
LONDON HYDRO: Get ready for a 17% hike next month, and that’s just the minimum due to an increase in the cost of electricity and, of course, the HST
By RANDY RICHMOND, The London Free Press
July 27, 2010
London residents are going to get whacked with another jump in their electrical bills Aug. 1, one of the many changes coming their way over the next two years.
The good news: Londoners may be soon able to stop fights about the air conditioner by letting London Hydro — not mom, dad or the kids — control the thermostat.
“There is a lot of change coming,” Vinay Sharma, chief executive of London Hydro, said Monday.
“We are going to have to hold the hands of our customers.” Read the rest of this entry
In 1992 Dr. Robert McMurtry became Dean of Medicine at the University of Western Ontario and subsequently Dean of Medicine and Dentistry, a post he held until 1999. In 1999, he became the first Cameron Visiting Chair at Health Canada – a post carrying the responsibility for providing policy advice to the Deputy Minister and Minister of Health for Canada. More info here
**(July 20, 2010 – Update)**
(Also see: Ontario Government: Fighting You – North Gower)
Tuesday July 13th saw our legal team assembled for another very important hearing in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice located at Osgoode Hall, in Toronto.
Convened for 10:00 AM in front of Madame Justice Swinton, three parties were represented at a Motion to Strike the evidence of Dr. Robert McMurtry, brought by the Attorney General of Ontario (AGO).
The AGO was represented by their attorney, The Canadian Wind Energy Association, as intervenors, were represented by their attorney and we were skillfully represented by our attorneys, Eric Gillespie and Julia Croome.
The Attorney General filed this motion to strike the affidavits provided by Dr. McMurtry on the basis that they were “irrelevant and inadmissible in a challenge to the validity of a regulation; they contain material that post-dates the public consultation process; Dr. McMurtry is not qualified to give expert advice; and the affidavits contain hearsay evidence.”
The outcome of this hearing was obviously extremely important to our case as a large part of it is built on evidence provided by Dr. Robert McMurtry. Eric Gillespie handled the arguments masterfully, citing a long list of case law in support of our positions in each of the arguments put forward by the Attorney General.
As requested by our team, Madame Justice Swinton declined to rule Dr. McMurtry’s evidence irrelevant or inadmissible. She declined to rule Dr. McMurtry unqualified as an expert witness and she also declined to strike any evidence due to hearsay considerations. Read the rest of this entry
Suncor has a couple of projects in the works: Adelaide Wind Power Project and Camlachie – Cedar Point Wind Project. Both developments applied for an OPA permit, but have not received one yet.
Besides the application to the OPA. there has been no activity on the Adelaide Wind Power Project. Suncor does not respond to any requests for information on this project. Maybe they are trying to sell it, the usual flip flip flip way.
This project has a Nameplate Capacity of 40MW Which would equal ~26, 1.5MW Wind Turbines. It appears that the proposal is located north of Strathroy, and West of Adelaide Village.
As for the Camlachie – Cedar Point Wind Project, there has been a ‘Public Meeting’ where the draft was available to view, but Suncor does not have a website where you can see any of their information on their projects. So here is a link to the draft that was sent to me by e-mail :
Camlachie – Cedar PointWind Project Description Report. This report says that there will be up to 28, 2.5MW– the really really big wind turbines (135m tall) with a Nameplate Capacity of 70MW.
Of course this doesn’t match up to what is on the OPA website. The OPA suggests this project actually has 2 phases, and it’s no surprise that the second phase is bigger than the first. Phase I is 50MW and Phase II is 100MW which is about 100 1.5MW or 60 2.5MW wind turbines for this company. Keep in mind there are other companies overlapping project space (NextEra, TCI Renewables…)
As usual, these project numbers are made up on the fly, and the last people informed are the soon to be ‘receptors’- the people on the receiving end.
How many times have you heard the following:
“They (victims of wind turbines) are just upset because they didn’t get a turbine on their property.”
“Those who are making an income off of wind turbines don’t seem to have any problems. We should encourage ‘community projects'”.
“People are making themselves sick worrying about wind turbines. It’s all psychosomatic.”
- None of these explain why children are being affected. Toddlers can’t understand low-frequency noise. They can’t understand income from a wind company.
- None of these explain why those who were looking forward to having wind turbines, thought they were a good idea, watched them get turned on…and then became horribly sick.
- None of these explain why farmer’s like the ones in the movies below, are speaking out against the wind turbines that are on THEIR property and ruining THEIR life. Kudos to those who speak up and ignore the ‘gag clauses’.
Lawyer Eric Gillespie was one of the speakers in Alvinston last night. Please take a moment and watch the movie of him below- he clearly describes what the Ian Hanna lawsuit is, how it is progressing and what you can do to help.
Download the Ian Hanna Lawsuit- donation form