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Press Releases 2008

For Immediate Release                                                                               June 10, 2008


Klees Secures Power Plant Consultations


(Queen’s Park) Newmarket-Aurora MPP Frank Klees today secured a commitment from the Minister of Energy that the members of the original Working Group would be invited to participate in meetings to be arranged by the Ontario Power Authority to discuss the rationale for the gas-fired power plant proposed for Northern York Region.

Klees has expressed concern at how the process was handled by the Ontario Power Authority, and has called for clarification of the rationale behind the OPA's proposal for a 350 MW gas-fired power plant.

While he supports the need for additional generating capacity, Klees wants the OPA to explain how they got to the 350 MW size plant from the 60 to 100 MW plant endorsed by the Working Group that was formed in 2005. That Group consisted of 21 municipal, industry and citizen members plus 12 consultant and power industry representatives and had reached a consensus on the region’s electricity supply requirements.

"What concerns me is the disconnect between what the Working Group had agreed is the need, and the OPA’s proposal,” said Klees.  “No one can deny the need for additional electricity generation for Northern York Region and I'm not saying that 350 MW is not warranted. I'm simply asking that the OPA give a comprehensive explanation for its recommendations and that the members of the original Working Group be included in that discussion.”

The Minister has asked the OPA to arrange for public meetings in each of the municipalities at which the OPA will outline the rationale for the procurement decisions.



May 14, 2008

MPP Enters Power Plant Debate

Newmarket-Aurora MPP Frank Klees wants the Minister of Energy to get a second opinion before committing to the construction of a 350 MW power plant in northern York Region.

“There is no doubt that we need additional generation capacity, " said Klees. 

"There is not consensus however, about the size and type of generation plant that's best to meet our needs and whether sufficient thought has been given to alternative options. Before a multi-million dollar decision is made that will affect our communities for generations to come, it just makes good sense that we should make sure that we've considered all the options available to us."

Klees believes that rather than simply forge ahead with the construction of a 350 MW gas-fired plant as proposed by the Ontario Power Authority, a broader strategy should be considered that would include incentives for numerous small-scale power plants. He points to the condominium project in his own neighbourhood in Aurora as an example of how small-scale power generation technology can relieve the demand on the central power grid, produce clean energy and reduce cost to the end user.

 “We should be encouraging and providing incentives to businesses large and small, hospitals and government buildings to make the switch to technology that's available to us and has been used with great success in other jurisdictions for years,” Klees said. “Not only is it clean, it affords a degree of self-sufficiency that is simply not possible through the central grid.”

Klees is hopeful that the Minister will respond positively to his request to re-constitute the Northern York Region Working Group for the purpose of giving full consideration to the alternatives to the current plans for a full scale gas-fired generation plant.

As for the location of the plant, Klees insists there can be no justification for locating it near existing residential development, noting that it would be irresponsible to do so given the number of potential sites available where residential development does not come into play.


Letter to Minister attached                                                                                                                       


Frank Klees, MPP


416 509 8999

Frankly Speaking: Power Plant Debate

Hansard, Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Mr. Frank Klees: We welcome that additional initiative on the part of the minister to direct those information sessions to take place. I would ask the minister to consider, however, to direct the Ontario Power Authority to invite specifically the members of that original working group, which had representatives from municipalities—they represented citizens—as well as representatives from the industry. These are individuals who have memory of the process that was in place and would also be able to ask specific questions relating to that process and the rationale. Will the minister then ensure that the members of that original working group are invited to these information sessions so that the knowledge they have can in fact be brought to bear in those information sessions?

Hon. Gerry Phillips: It seems like a reasonable suggestion and I will make the suggestion to the OPA.

I’d just say to all of us that the most effective way of dealing with these challenges is conservation, and that’s where we started up there. I would say to the member for Newmarket–Aurora, the Newmarket utility is one of our leaders in Ontario in conservation efforts, so I just wanted to salute them for the work they’re doing there. I appreciate the advice, I say, from all three of our members from the area. I’m satisfied that we have a significant demand there. I think the demand is growing at four times the average for the province up there; it’s a very dynamic community. The Ontario Power Authority’s job is to ensure that people understand the rationale and they feel comfortable with the background for that. I’m satisfied that the process will take place.



HISTORY of Tranmission of Hydro to York Region 2005

Submission to the Ontario Energy Board by the Ontario Power Authority

September 30, 2005

Executive summary

Quote from Article from the York Region News Group Click Here

August 20, 2005

"At a meeting of elected officials this week, Oak Ridges MPP Frank Klees and a number of mayors and councillors were told the best short-term solution is to build a new transformer station, probably on land owned by Hydro One in King Township, and begin "aggressive energy conservation programs" among residents and businesses.

There is a general consensus in the working group that transmission lines, especially the Hydro One plan for a line of towers from Markham to Newmarket, are no longer a priority, at least in the short term, according to Mr. Klees. "

Hydro Corridor Health Concern                                   June 9, 2005

Frank Klees, MPP, Oak Ridges asked the Premier in the legislature today to listen to the local residents' concerns for the potential health risks, specifically, the linkages of childhood leukemia to EMF exposure. "To take the concerns of hundreds of parents of thousands of children seriously before it's too late."  for details click here

Minister of Health refuses Klees request for EMF Study click here

MPP Demands Hydro One Withdraw Corridor Plans click here

Klees questions the Minister of Education on the potential health risks to the 530 children and staff at St. Monica's Catholic Elementary here

Frank Klees, MPP Letter to the Editor September 3, 2004 click here