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Opening comments:  More at the end.

Mississauga News - Mar. 21, 2007 - Letter to Editor, by John Tory, Leader, Ontario Progressive Conservative Party

Dear Editor:

Sensitive issue

The future of the Lakeview Power Plant site has been in the news lately as a result of Ontario Power Generation's statement exploring the potential development of a gas-fuelled electricity generation station at its Lakeview site.  The debate over the future of this site must take place in an open, consultative manner and any action taken must proceed with caution.

According to the Ontario Power Authority, Mississauga will need more electricity by 2011; many point to the Lakeview site as logical because of its position on our existing power grid.

Given the genuine concern on the part of local residents, many of whom would prefer there not be a new power plant on the Lakeview site at all, this makes it all the more imperative that any move toward a power plant on this site must happen with the utmost care in order to minimize the impact on neighbours, the surrounding community, and the environment.

Any such process must involve requirements that mandate the absolute best in new technologies to ensure emissions from the plant are as low as possible.  Similarly, we must insist that if a power plant is to be constructed on the Lakeview site, it must be done in a way that minimizes the footprint and impact of that plant.  There must be mandated minimum requirements for green space and other environmentally and community friendly features and amenities.

Such a plan must ensure as much public accessibility as possible in order to ensure the best available technology as well as environmental and community compatibility.  This would suggest a competitive bidding process is a necessity.

There is an opportunity here to embark on a process that can be a model for the rest of the province.  Instead of taking the scrambled approach we've seen on many of these projects by the McGuinty Liberals, I want to see this process move forward with full participation of the community and the ideas of as many people as possible.  There can and must be a much more innovative and greener process this time than we've seen in the past.

Our energy sector needs some real leadership and a long-term plan that will keep the lights on and give the economy the reliable, affordable electricity it needs, but achieved in a community-sensitive and environmentally-friendly way.

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