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MPP says Ontario not preparing for electricity shortages

By Randy Thoms Jun 8, 2023 | 2:56 AM

Photo courtesy Rodolfo Belloli/Freeimages.com

A Liberal MPP is sounding the alarm over the potential of electricity shortages this summer.

Ted Hsu points to an analyst’s report that identifies only Ontario as being at risk of brown and blackouts.

The report from the North American Electricity Reliability Corporation is attracting the attention of opposition MPPs at Queen’s Park.

Hsu says the Energy Ministry is dismissing any such suggestion.

“When the Energy minister publicly dismisses worries about reliability, and that’s something we heard in the Ontario Legislature in the last week or so, and asserts that our electricity system rates an A plus, he undermines the ability to motivate the public to act in an emergency action that may be needed to protect the lives of the elderly or the sick,” says Hsu.

Hsu says Environment Canada’s summer forecast projects summer temperatures to be higher than normal across the country.

But it is not just the hotter weather that is concerning to Hsu.

He notes before the Ford government came to power, Ontario had a small power surplus but predicted a gap between supply and demand by the mid-2020s.

“The risk of shortages was increased by the Ford government’s decision at the time to cut conservation programs, cancel renewable energy projects, and not invest in storage,” says Hsu.

The Liberal MPP notes there has been no update to the long-term energy plan since 2017.

He says it should reflect other strategies such as housing, transportation and industry.

“These should be coordinated with planning for the electricity system. And that’s why it’s so important to have a whole of government long-term energy plan. But this has not been done by the current government.”

Hsu feels the government is overconfident in the reliability of Ontario’s grid, in the face of extreme weather, and in the face of what we will likely be a hot summer this year.”


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