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LETTER: Halton Hills Council should vote no to power plant expansion

The health of local residents and the environment need to be prioritized, say two environmental groups
Atura Power's Halton Hills generating station.

HaltonHillsToday received the following from Environmental Defence Canada and the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment regarding Atura's power plant expansion plans.

The residents and the Town Council of Halton Hills have a very important decision to make Monday, December 11. Will they cave into pressure from Atura Power and the Independent Electricity Service Operator (IESO) or will they make the health and welfare of their citizens a priority and vote no to the proposed gas plant expansion?

In our opinion, this proposed gas plant expansion is misguided and unnecessary. In an era when much of Canada and the world is experiencing climate change, and when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recommends that we stop the use and the expansion of fossil fuels in order to limit our global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius before 2030, we believe that expanding the use of gas when other cheaper and less polluting alternatives exist, is nonsensical and irresponsible to say the least.

In our opinion, not only will the expanded use of gas be harmful to the environment and to citizens in the surrounding communities, but we also feel this gas plant expansion is an expensive proposal that is currently at odds with federal policies intended to limit emissions for energy generation. We believe this expansion risks becoming a stranded asset and risks saddling ratepayers to pay out contracts on a gas plant that we feel never should have been built.

Right now at COP28, there are thousands of activists and government leaders in Dubai debating the need and the method of how to curtail the use of oil and gas in the near future. They are working hard to find a framework where the use of fossil fuels can be reduced in light of the growing consensus that climate change is wreaking havoc everywhere on the planet, and will only get worse in the future.

The fact that the Ontario government is expanding the use of fossil fuels by seeking to increase electricity generation through gas plants in municipalities across the province speaks to their refusal to acknowledge the science and to plan accordingly for a transition to renewable energy, in our opinion.

Halton Hills Town Council has a crucial decision to make. They can either succumb to pressure from Atura Power and the IESO or they can listen to the experts and to their citizens and put the long-term health of their constituents and the environment first and vote no to the proposed gas plant expansion.

Adrian Currie
Ontario Climate Program Manager
Environmental Defence Canada

Michael Adamson
Ontario Regional Committee Coordinator
Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment