Before McGuinty denies one more accusation, maybe he should read his own e mails before saying people are “LYING”!

Posted: November 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

Talk about the frying pan calling the kettle black!

Dalton McGuinty is fighting like a mad man to deny his cancellation of the Oakville gas plant will ONLY cost the tax payers $230,000,000.00 (million)  instead of the $1,300,000,000.00 (billion) that the 56,000 released documents apparently tell us about the real cost of this cancellation.

Anyone who wants to spend a few days or weeks reading these documents can do so at: DOCUMENTS SHOWING HOW MUCH THE OAKVILLE GAS PLANT CANCELLATION WILL COST YOU!

Before Dalton McGuinty opens his “pie hole” one more time disputing what is there for one and all to see for themselves, he just might want to read them first!

Of course that would mean he is guilty of “mismanagement of public funds” wouldn’t it?

McGuinty gobbles Gobbels

Joseph Gobbels was the Reich, Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany and is attributed with the quote; “If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.”  From outward appearances it would appear that the mantra of the Ontario Liberal Party is not dissimilar to that of the Third Reich when one looks at the Liberal Party’s defence of the cost of the gas plant moves.Randy Richmond of the London Free Press on November 2, 2012 had a Q. & A. with Dalton McGuinty and posed this question;

“The prorogation means this gas-plant investigation is over. What do you say to Ontarians who still want answers? The Conservatives say the cost of moving plants is up to $1 billion.

The Premier’s answer was;

“I am waiting for the day when somebody says, ‘Actually it’s $400 trillion,’ because, as I say, ‘If Elvis says it, I’ve got to print it.’ What was the latest number? $1.3 billion? Do I hear 1.7? When are we going to get to 2.8? It’s kind of an interesting game . . . In total we are talking a $230-­million cost.”

Yet another, CBC story of November 1, 2012 on the costs of the gas plant moves reported as follows;

“Energy industry watchdog Tom Adams told the National Post he poured through thousands of documents on the gas plants in Oakville and Mississauga and determined the total cost of cancelling the two projects was at least $1 billion higher than the $230 million the government claims.”Speaking in Peterborough, McGuinty said he “knows Tom Adams” but dismissed the energy consultant’s calculations out of hand.

“Of course I fully reject that calculation,” McGuinty told reporters.

“We’re very confident that the costs are in total $230 million. We’ve released all of the documentation.”

“McGuinty also said he hasn’t seen anything in all the documents on the gas plants to back up Adams’ suggestion that the premier’s office made promises to the developer of the Oakville project that hurt the Ontario Power Authority’s negotiating position on behalf of taxpayers.

“You might ask yourself — we’ve had 56,000 pages of documents available for a month now — what has come of this,” McGuinty challenged reporters.

“Remember all the uproar about the documents?”

Also quick off the mark to claim the costs were limited to $230 million was the Ontario Energy Minister, Chris Bentley, who wrote a letter to the National Post which appeared in the November 3, 2012 edition. In that letter Minister Bentley had this to say:

“The McGuinty government has always been clear about the total cost of relocation of both the Mississauga gas plant and the Oakville gas plant. And that number is $230-million. It is misleading and inaccurate to suggest the cost is more than $1-billion.”

In the latter instance Minister Bentley was criticizing an article by Terence Corcoran. That article supported the arguments put forth by Tom Adams.

Well as someone who has so far poured through only 9,000 of the 56,000 documents I would suggest that Messrs. McGuinty and Bentley also do so before making any more claims. There are numerous facts that can be found that point to much higher costs. Here are just a few;

From an e-mail dated April 19, 2011:

“What might not be obvious to those not involved directly in the discussions is that acceptance of TCE’s original proposal to settle is the worst possible outcome for the ratepayer. It appears that our second counter-proposal is the next worst outcome for the ratepayer.”.   NB: The second counter-proposal referenced in this e-mail was consistently referred to as a “government-ordered” proposal.

The “outcome” appearing on an internal OPA chart had the costs shown as $950 million for TCE’s original proposal and $712 million for the 2nd counter-proposal.  NB: TCE rejected the latter as another e-mail of April 29, 2011 to Colin Andersen from an OPA staff member states;

“Hi Colin,
The rejection has come … Michael L is suggesting a short meeting later this afternoon to discuss … might you be available to participate? Also, you will note, I have copied folks here, but wonder about broader distribution to the DMO, MO, other? Your thoughts?”

A March 2010 “Briefing Paper” in a PowerPoint presentation (presumably prepared by OPA staff) and related to the Oakville gas plant had, amongst others, the following point.

“There’s an additional requirement for $200 million transmission system work at the GTA to ensure near-term reliability, as well as $20-30 million to transmit electricity over longer distances.”

As is obvious in reading either Premier McGuinty’s or Minister Bentley’s quotes these transmission costs are not included in the $230 million that they keep insisting is the true cost.

Yet another OPA staff prepared presentation dated September 2010 titled “Alternatives for SWGTA” under the heading; “Rationale for building gas-fired generation in Southwest GTA” has listed as 2. “Complement wind”.  What that effectively means is that in order to back up the intermittent generation of electricity from those industrial wind sites, requires fossil-fuel generation, in the form of gas plants. So to be accurate the Liberals should really include the subsidies to wind developers if they wish to accurately state what the true cost of the gas plants and their subsequent moves are.

As noted in an earlier article the OPA had executed an agreement with the Crown (taxpayers) that limited their liability for settlement of the TransCanada (TC) contract termination announced on October 7, 2010 by Brad Duguid, the former Minister of Energy.  The OPA also sought a “directive” from the Minister that would clearly direct them to offer TC an alternate contract for the peaker gas plant that was to be located in Cambridge and protect them (the OPA) in the event of future litigation by TC.   Here is an excerpt from a January 21, 2011 e-mail;

“As some additional colour, I note that I have been told that the MO [Ministry Office] does not even want the following language in the directive, “In negotiating this contract, it is anticipated that the OPA will have regard to a reasonable balance of risk and reward for TransCanada … ” When I was drafting I wasn’t feeling creative enough to do without this but if someone can figure out a way to eliminate it (while still giving us appropriate negotiating parameters), I’d welcome the suggestion.”

Another interesting e-mail that Premier McGuinty should have seen if he really looked at the documents as he claimed above is one from Ben Chin, a former member of his staff . The following is a November 24, 2010 e-mail of Mr. Chin to OPA staff when he headed up the OPA’s communications group;

“Looks good Deb … one suggestion, some wording changes on slide 7 (even though there’s no hand-outs):
Government advised TCE that Ontario has other needs for gas-fired generation
OPA staff is informing Government
OPA staff advised of Province’s priorities:
Negotiated solution does not exceed $1.2 B
No cheque issued to TCE
Good location for replacement facility (i.e. rural and meets setback requirements of Bill 8)
Per unit cost close to that of similar generation technology
Capacity of replacement facility similar to that.identified in IPSP and LTEP

The suggestions of Mr. Chin were incorporated in a OPA Board presentation that “Deb” was responsible for preparing and was noted in Terence Corcoran’s article on Dalton McGuinty titled Dodging a $1.2 billion bullet.

Yet another e-mail of November 30, 2011 related to an “Arbitration Agreement” being negotiated between the OPA, the Crown and TC by Infrastructure Ontario (IO) contained the following.

“This allows TCE to only put forward the assessment that favours their position and shield any internal documents that might indicate that their numbers are inflated. 10 will likely take the view that OPA should not care about this given that the DM [Deputy Minister] of Energy has stated the Government’s intention to cover these costs. However, note that there is no right of document discovery with respect to the sunk costs which the OPA is responsible to pay.  Section 6.3{2) only gives us a right to a “brief description” of the amount TCE is claiming and a breakdown of these amounts by category. This is obviously unacceptable. We will no doubt have other concerns as we go through this in more detail. Dermot Muir, 10 General Counsel, is trying to get a response out of me on this. I assume that 10 will want to move it quickly. It will need to be approved by our Board. I intend to call him after 4 today. If anyone has additional comments before then, please let me know.”

The foregoing are only a few the damning examples found in just 15% of the 56,000 pages that have been released showing that the costs of $230 million claimed by both the Premier and his Minister of Energy only scratch the surface. Why they would continue to deny the existence of the evidence on display is an affront to democracy and to Ontarians of all political stripes.

Telling lies about what is available for all to see is not going to convince any of us that Premier McGuinty and Minister Bentley speak the truth.  Ontario is not the Third Reich!

Parker Gallant,
November 9, 2012

Documents referenced in the above article can be found at http://www.tomadamsenergy.com/

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