Doug Ford Will Keep Pickering Nuclear Generating Station Open and Protect Jobs

Published on May 22, 2018

NDP plan to shut down facility will force 4,500 people in Durham and 7,500 people across Ontario out of a job

 

PICKERING — Doug Ford today visited the site of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station and committed that, under an Ontario PC Government, the station will remain open until 2024.

“Our position on Pickering is clear,” said Ford. “An Ontario PC Government will keep the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station open until 2024. Because unlike the NDP — I believe in made-in-Ontario electricity and made-in-Ontario jobs.”

Ford’s announcement follows recent revelations that the Ontario NDP has quietly committed to a Toronto lobby group to shutter the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station this summer. According to OPG, the facility is responsible for 4,500 jobs across Durham region, and contributes $600 million in savings to Ontario hydro bills. The Ontario Chamber of Commerce has further calculated that 7,500 jobs across Ontario depend on the continued operation of the Pickering station. The NDP have signalled that they intend to make up for this lost hydro capacity by buying expensive electricity from Quebec.”

“The NDP are abandoning 7,500 jobs and 7,500 families, so Ms. Horwath can curry favour with yet another special interest,” said Ford. “Worst of all, her solution is to replace the electricity generating here by buying expensive electricity from Quebec.  Exporting jobs, and importing electricity has become the new NDP plan. The people deserve better.”

“Today, I am calling on Andrea Horwath to come on down to Durham, stand in front of the thousands of workers she intends to lay-off and tell them exactly why she wants to kick them out of a job,” Ford concluded. “The curtain has been pulled back on the real NDP and it is time for Ms. Horwath to answer to all of the people who will be hurt by the NDP agenda.”

 

Backgrounder – Pickering Power Plant

  • An NDP government’s first order of business would be to shut down the Pickering Nuclear Station, which would result in 4,500 immediate job cuts in Durham Region.
  • The NDP’s response to an Ontario Clean Air Alliance questionnaire revealed that the NDP have every intention of closing the Pickering Nuclear Station by August 2018 – just months after the provincial election.[1]
  • Despite some calls to shut down the Pickering Nuclear Station prior to 2024, experts highlight that the plant has been a vital source of job creation, low cost energy, and economic growth across the province. A study conducted by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) and the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis (CANCEA), highlights the value of this station to Ontario.
  • According to the study, keeping the station operational until 2024 could also generate an average of 7,590 full time (FTEs) jobs per year. These jobs represent an average of $747 million in wages.
  • This job growth is dispersed throughout the province and consists of direct employment at the station, but also indirect employment through its large-scale supply chain and induced spending from wages earned by individuals across all industries. Job growth occurs in nearly every corner of the province with the strongest growth occurring in areas, such as Hamilton, Niagara, Toronto, Peel, and, of course, Durham – areas the NDP claims to represent.[2]
  • Many of the 7,590 FTEs require high skilled employment from those trained in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, as well as employment in the skilled trades.[3]
  • The station is anticipated to contribute to job growth in sectors ranging from, and as diverse as, accommodation and food services; arts, entertainment and recreation; finance, insurance, real estate and rental companies; and, transportation, among others.[4]
  • In addition, the station is expected to contribute $1.54 billion annually to Ontario’s GDP and a total of $290 million in taxes to the government (the provincial government receives $135 million; the federal government receives $155 million).[5]
  • The Ontario Power Generation (OPG) also provided its analysis of the Pickering Nuclear Station, which demonstrates its importance to Ontario’s energy needs. For instance, the station has a total output of 3,100 megawatts (MW), which is enough to serve daily a city of 1.5 million people and about 14% of Ontario’s overall energy needs.[6]
  • Despite criticisms from the NDP, OPG demonstrates that the station can be safely operated up to 2024, and that doing so would save Ontario electricity customers up to $600 million. In fact, in 2017, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) addressed the station’s safety issues by awarding OPG’s Pickering and Darlington stations its highest safety ratings.[7]
  • The station also provides environmental benefits. Keeping Pickering Nuclear Station online will avoid 8 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), which fits with the province’s plans to curb carbon emissions.[8]

 

What We Will Do:

  • A Doug Ford Ontario PC Government will keep the Pickering Nuclear Station open until 2024.
  • While the NDP would close this plant and kill jobs immediately after the election, the Ontario PCs understand the value of this plant to our economy, job growth, and energy security, and we commit to keeping it open.

 

[1] http://www.cleanairalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/ndp-response.pdf

[2] http://www.occ.ca/wp-content/uploads/OPG-Report-FINAL.pdf (see p. 25); https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2018/04/03/keeping-the-pickering-nuclear-plant-open-until-2024-is-good-for-economy-report-says.html

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid. (see p.24).

[5] Ibid.

[6] https://www.opg.com/generating-power/nuclear/stations/pickering-nuclear/Pages/pickering-nuclear.aspx; https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2018/04/03/keeping-the-pickering-nuclear-plant-open-until-2024-is-good-for-economy-report-says.html

[7] https://www.opg.com/generating-power/nuclear/stations/pickering-nuclear/Pages/pickering-nuclear.aspx; https://www.opg.com/news-and-media/news-releases/Documents/20170816_CNSC_Safety_Awards.pdf

[8] https://www.opg.com/generating-power/nuclear/stations/pickering-nuclear/Pages/pickering-nuclear.aspx