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Premier Dalton McGuinty told reporters the coal plant issue has been a painful learning process and admitted the government was 'too ambitious' in its closing dates. ((File photo))

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty accepted full responsibility for the government's broken promise to close coal-fired generatingplants, in a speech made Thursday.

"I made the call, just as I made the more recent calls to delay the closure," said McGuinty.

A day earlier, McGuinty laid blame squarely on unidentified advisers, telling reporters, "Be careful about the advice you get from experts."

But in his latest speech, McGuinty took responsibility— though with a caveat.

"It's my job to distil the competing advice that I get and to try to draw some wisdom from that," said McGuinty.

"I get a lot of competing advice in this area. Electricity policy is very sophisticated."

In the 2003 election campaign, McGuinty repeatedly vowed to put an end to coal-fired plants in the province by 2007. When he came into office, the government extended the deadline by two years, but recently pushed it back further to 2014.

McGuinty admits the entire process has been a "painful learning experience" and that the government was "too ambitious"in setting the original closure for 2007.

The move is an effort to diminish the continuing criticism of the McGuinty government over the broken election promise.

Opposition parties attacked the Liberals on the issue in the legislature, accusing the government of harming the public's health by delaying the closures of the polluting plants without any plans to install pollution scrubbers.

McGuinty has said the government will look into anti-pollution measures, if they are deemed economically viable.