At the beginning of September, you heard from Lake Ontario Waterkeeper about Ontario’s energy “plan”. From the process to its conclusions, everything about Ontario’s long-term energy plan is flawed. We outlined our concerns in a paper submitted to the Ministry of Energy on September 16. Here are the highlights:
Large-scale energy development in the early to mid 20th Century dramatically altered our natural environment. There were enormous, costly consequences for the swimmability, drinkability, and fishability of the Great Lakes (and Lake Ontario in particular). Many of these impacts have been documented on pages 9-26 of our paper.
The significance of these impacts and the vastly compromised environment in which we now live must inform future energy plans. Further mistakes could compromise the drinking water and food supply for more than 7-million people and jeopardize the economic security of Ontario residents and businesses.
The current process for determining the appropriate mix of electricity in Ontario is deeply flawed. Many of these shortcomings can be attributed to the inadequacies of the process, including the fact that the process is not evidence-based, there are no opportunities for meaningful public participation, and the process itself is heavily politicized. We describe these concerns in more detail in pages 27-34.
The way forward is through a rigorous, comprehensive, independent energy policy review process. Diversions such as the LTEP should be set aside. The IPSP and a related environmental assessment process should be re-started. Every form of energy generation and distribution should be scrutinized; no technology should be sacred.