Opinion Editorials

 

Posted on November 17, 2015

Extending the Operation of Pickering GS

Greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from Ontario’s electricity sector are expected to more than double from 2014 levels, and could negate the reductions already achieved by closing the province’s coal stations. Ontario’s growing dependence upon carbon-emitting natural gas-fired generation in the next decade is particularly concerning as more and more of this fuel comes from environmentally-questionable shale gas. Carbon pricing, likely in the form of a Cap and Trade program with Quebec and California, will bring new cost pressures for residential, commercial and industrial electricity consumers if Ontario’s carbon emissions rise.

In the coming months, as the province’s 2013 Long-Term Energy Plan is being updated, Ontario’s decision makers will need to address these and some other critical challenges. Besides meeting the province’s GHG targets and ensuring system reliability, Ontarians will expect to see rising electricity prices kept in check and a healthy and expanding economy that sustains existing jobs and creates new ones.... read more

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Posted on October 14, 2015

Nuclear energy: Ontario’s greenhouse gas reducing advantage

Following re-election, Premier Wynne signalled her intention to aggressively tackle climate change. In a Mandate letter, Minister Murray, of the newly named Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, was directed to see climate change was incorporated into government decision-making, and to work with other ministries to develop a long-term provincial climate change strategy and a Canadian Energy Strategy.

Ontario’s plan to refurbish its low-carbon nuclear electricity generation fleet is an essential step in ensuring that Ontario’s electricity system remains one of the lowest cost, lowest greenhouse gas (GHG) emitting electricity systems in the world while creating good jobs and growing the economy.... read more

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Posted on May 7, 2015

Workplace Fatalities Should be Unacceptable in Modern Society

According to the Workplace Safety Insurance Board (WSIB) statistics, every year in Ontario, 250 to 300 workers lose their lives as a result of traumatic workplace accidents and occupational illnesses. In 2013, 194,393 accident claims were filed with the Ontario WSIB.

All of those killed and injured were ordinary people working to make a living — mothers, fathers, daughters and sons. With the passage of Ontario’s Occupational
Health and Safety Act (the Act) in 1979, workplace fatalities dropped significantly over the following years. Unfortunately, since this initial decrease, the number of workers killed in the province’s workplaces has remained at almost one per day.... read more

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Posted on February 25, 2015

Nuclear Power Offers Ontario the Most Benefits

Today’s decision-makers are faced with the challenges of sustaining and creating jobs while tackling climate change.  Concurrently, energy security has assumed greater importance as developing economies compete for non-renewable, carbon-emitting fossil fuels.  A cacophony of special interests advocating the merits and benefits of their preferred energy solution(s) add another layer of complexity. 
 
In Ontario’s case, independent analyses continue to show that nuclear power is our province’s best option for delivering low-carbon, affordable, reliable electricity while generating high-value jobs and economic wealth.... read more

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Posted on October 14, 2014

Making Ontario-Quebec energy co-operation work

In August, political discussions about the need for a national energy strategy resurfaced.  The Premiers of Ontario and Quebec ― motivated by the desire to increase trade and cooperation, address climate change and build new infrastructure ― talked about energy trade including the possibility of more electricity imports from “La belle province”. Eight days later the Council of the Federation announced that Canada’s provincial and territorial leaders had reached a provisional Canadian Energy Strategy.

On the surface, increased reliance on hydro imports from Quebec may appear to make sense.  Advocates claim this is a cheaper, more environmentally friendly option compared to refurbishing Ontario’s nuclear fleet, building new nuclear units and investing in the province’s vast biomass resources.  However, closer scrutiny reveals the importance of integrating Ontario’s nuclear advantage into any deal or strategy. ... read more

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Posted on August 29, 2014

What Have Trade Unions Done For You Lately?

Sometimes we get so used to our institutions we forget how important they are to us. We take democracy for granted in Canada, but a moment’s thought about life in countries without it should be enough to convince you of the importance of a democratic political system. Absent democracy, “might makes right” – tyranny and inequality prevail. If our democratic institutions aren’t preserved, we risk falling back into a state of affairs where people live politically impoverished lives. 

Trade unions have been around longer than representative democracy in this country. It’s easy to take them for granted and, particularly, as currently, when they are under persistent public attack, to forget why they are important for all of us. Here’s a reminder. 
... read more

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Posted on June 16, 2014

A Secure Energy Future for Ontario Requires More Investment in Nuclear and Biomass Today

This year’s long, cold winter underscores the risks of Ontario’s increasing dependence on natural gas to meet our energy needs. Prolonged periods of frigid weather across North America increased natural gas consumption for both home heating and electricity generation. In turn, this drove the cost of natural gas higher, as evidenced by the 40 percent increase in the price Ontarians will pay for this commodity effective April 1, 2014. Ontario imports 99 percent of its natural gas supply. Limiting price volatile gas generation to peak needs makes sense for Ontario’s electricity prices, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy security.

... read more

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Posted on February 27, 2014

Nuclear Energy Remains Ontario's Best Option For the Long-Term

Ontario’s energy policy makers share a common challenge: ensuring that our homes, businesses and industries continue to have clean, reliable and affordable electricity into the future. How do we best achieve this outcome?... read more

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Posted on February 20, 2014

Constant Vigilance - A Prerequisite For An Accident Free Workplace

The December 2013 ice storm that impacted 600,000 electrical utility customers in Ontario reinforced two key axioms about our electricity supply. First, we were all reminded of the indispensable role that electricity plays in everyday life. Second, we can rely on the skills and commitment of the men and women who... read more

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Posted on February 14, 2014

An Environmental Centrepiece for Ontario’s Economic Action Plan

Manufacturing is a major contributor to Ontario’s economy. Of the 1.7 million Canadians employed in this sector, nearly 800,000 live in Ontario. In 2011, Ontario’s manufacturers shipped more than $258 billion in goods. The output from the Ontario production facilities for five of the world’s largest automotive companies accounts for 15.2 percent of our province’s total gross domestic product.... read more

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