McCallion blasts all three provincial parties over gas plants
Mississauga mayor testifies before committee looking into plant cancellations
Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion has blasted all three provincial parties over the scandal surrounding the costly cancellation of gas-plants in her city and in Oakville, Ont.
Testifying at a legislative committee hearing into the plants Thursday, McCallion criticized the Liberal government for approving a plant in her city in the first place, but also rebuked opposition parties for continuing to pursue the scandal.
"In Toronto there's three zoos. There's the real one. And right now at City Hall there's another one, and then there's one at Queen's Park," she said.
The NDP and Conservatives have accused the Liberals of relocating the Oakville gas plant and then the Mississauga plant during the tail end of the 2011 election campaign to save Liberal seats in the face of local opposition to the projects.
The Liberals have said the cancellation of the plants would cost taxpayers roughly $230 million, but an energy expert recently told the committee the cost was closer to $828 million.
McCallion said Thursday there was huge opposition to the site of the gas plant in Mississauga.
She said the Ontario Power Authority made a bad decision to locate the plant in her city, when there was no need for the extra power.
"We did everything we could to try to prevent it from happening …They didn't listen to the people until they decided that maybe it was to their advantage to listen to the people."
Hearings a waste of time, McCallion says
However, she also heaped scorn on the NDP and Progressive Conservatives for continuing to pursue the issue, saying the hearings were a waste of time.
"Don't hold up the operation of the legislature of this province as we have thousands of people unemployed that need a job," she said.
McCallion, the longest-serving big-city mayor in Canada, also told the legislative committee that it doesn't matter who made the decision to cancel the plant.
McCallion says all that matters is that the permit was granted and taxpayer money was wasted.
She says the government should also look at its other bodies like Ornge and eHealth which have caused embarrassment "second to none."
With files from the CBC's Mike Crawley and The Canadian Press