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Less than two weeks before the Ontario election, the Liberals have announced they are halting construction of a controversial gas-fired power plant in Mississauga.
Liberal candidates Charles Sousa, Donna Cansfield, Laurel Broten and Dipika Damerla gathered in the Toronto suburb on Saturday to announce that the Eastern Power Ltd. plant would not go forward at its current location on the Toronto-Mississauga border.
Residents had vigourously opposed the plant.
"Since the plant was proposed in 2005, our neighbourhoods have grown considerably and I know folks in the community are concerned," said Sousa. "Ontario Liberals will make sure we have enough electricity in the right places, and ensure the rules for power-generating facilities will put Ontario families first."
The Liberals said in a release that they would work with the developer to find a new location for the 280-megawatt plant, but they did not say where that would be, other than it wouldn't be built in west end Toronto or Mississauga. The Liberals also said they would work with community groups and the energy sector to develop a more rigorous way to determine where gas-fired plants would be located.
"As our neighbourhoods change, we have to be mindful of how our energy system impacts local communities," said Damerla. "I’m pleased that by working together with the people of Mississauga we’re moving the location of this gas plant."
"I’m delighted that the Ontario Liberals will put more rigour into site selection to protect homes, schools and hospitals," said Cansfield. "I’m also delighted that the views of our community have been listened to."Andrea Mandel-Campbell, the Conservative candidate in Don Valley West, said Saturday's announcement shows the Liberals are "desperate, panicked and on the run. "This is simply the latest in a long-list of seat savers for the McGuinty Liberals."