TORONTO - It’s a $1-billion-plus boondoggle.
Ontarians will lose as much as $812 million to cancel the Oakville gas plant, Ontario auditor general Bonnie Lysyk has concluded.
Lysyk’s report released Tuesday says the total bill of cancelling the plant could reach $1.112 billion, offset by future savings of $437 million, for a net cost to taxpayers and ratepayers of $675 million.
Auditors found that an additional $140 million could be blown on the extra cost of delivering gas to Napanee, where the Oakville plant was re-located.
The hefty price tag, on top of the $275 million lost through the relocation of the Mississauga gas plant, means Ontarians will spend almost $1.1 billion to not build two electricity plants in the Greater Toronto Area.
And in a damning aside, the auditor noted that Ontarians didn’t have to pay this much for the provincial Liberal government’s decision.
“On cancelling the Oakville plant, the premier’s office assured TCE (TransCanada Energy) that it would be compensated for the full financial value of its contract for the Oakville plant instead of relying on protects in that contract that could have minimized the damages paid to the builder following cancellation,” the auditor’s report says.