Ontario's Lieutenant-Governor David Onley opened the new
session of the provincial legislature on February 19th
with a Speech from the Throne containing important emphasis on
energy and infrastructure. The newly-minted government of Kathleen
Wynne re-iterated support for energy conservation calling it
"the cheapest source of energy available" and promising
that Ontario will continue to be a leader in smart-grid
technology. The government commits to ongoing support for
"the creation of new-economy jobs through the deployment of
leading energy efficiency technologies in our homes and
Urban gridlock attracted much attention in the Speech from the
Throne. "Ontario cannot evolve if it cannot move"
intoned the Lieutenant-Governor. Premier Wynne seems intent on
addressing the growing pressure on transportation infrastructure in
the Greater Toronto Area saying that "Ontarians are ready to
have a serious conversation" about the state of urban and
suburban transit. The new Premier indicated that she is willing to
consider new revenue sources to support the necessary investment in
In another area of infrastructure policy, the Speech from Throne
specifically addressed the issue of community involvement in the
siting of such developments as power plants, quarries and casinos.
"Local populations" must be involved from the beginning
in the development of these projects and the Wynne government
served notice that it is much more likely to support "willing
hosts" than mandated sites.
And speaking of gas plants, the never-ending debate about those
highly controversial gas plants in Mississauga and Oakville has
returned to centre stage at Queen's Park. Almost immediately
after the new session of Legislature opened, the matter of the
tendering, planning, commissioning, cancellation and
relocation of those two gas plants was referred to the Justice
Committee of the Legislature for review. The Justice Committee
has also been authorized "to consider any report prepared by
the Auditor General with respect to the cancellation and relocation
of the Mississauga and Oakville gas
plants". Ontario's Auditor General is expected to
report on these two power plant cancellations later this year.
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