Statement from Lana Goldberg, Ontario Climate Program Manager

Toronto | Traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabeg, the Haudenosaunee, and the Huron-Wendat – It is generous to call this document a plan – it doesn’t include forecasts for how Ontario will meet rising electricity demand, doesn’t specify what the planned supply mix might look like, and doesn’t provide emissions projections or cost estimations. This document is little more than a belated attempt to rationalize the government’s recent announcements for new nuclear and gas facilities.

It is certainly not a plan for clean energy generation – it’s a plan to keep critics at bay while the province keeps polluting and using antiquated and dangerous technologies. No matter how many wind and solar options are promised for some point in the distant future, building new polluting gas plants and new nuclear facilities now is unacceptable.

Numerous studies have shown that Ontario can meet its growing electricity demand with wind and solar, which can easily be combined with storage technologies to deliver power when needed. They are also cheaper and quicker to build, and offer lower electricity rates for the end consumer. There really is no reason to build new gas plants or nuclear power projects when we have cleaner, cheaper, and safer alternatives.

Despite language around Ontario having a clean energy advantage, this government is making the electricity grid dirtier. It just contracted two new gas plants in Windsor and St.Clair Township and is hoping to contract more in the coming year, likely next to existing facilities across Southern Ontario. Residents and council members should be on alert.

Background information:

  • On July 10, 2023, the provincial government announced its Powering Ontario’s Growth plan.
  • On May 16, 2023, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) announced contracts for gas-fired electricity generation projects including two new facilities in Windsor and St. Clair Township as well as expansion of facilities and extension of contracts in Toronto, Brampton, Halton Hills, and Thorold.
  • On June 27th, 2023, the IESO announced capacity expansions and contract extensions for gas plants in St.Clair Township and King Township.
  • The IESO plans to offer additional contracts for new gas plants (900 megawatt goal) as part of its long-term RFP procurement process, with announcements expected in the first or second quarter of 2024.
  • The IESO projects greenhouse gas emissions from Ontario’s gas plants will increase by over 400 per cent by 2030 and almost 800 per cent by 2040 (compared to the 2017 level).
  • On December 23, 2022, the Minister of Energy sent a letter to the IESO requiring new gas projects receive municipal resolutions in support.
  • 34 Ontario municipalities have passed motions opposing the expansion of gas-fired electricity in Ontario. 
  • Wind and solar are now the cheapest form of new electricity generation and offer cheaper electricity rates than fossil gas and nuclear.
  • A recent study from Clean Energy Canada shows that electricity from wind and solar is already cost-competitive with fossil gas generation in Ontario. When the current carbon price is taken into account, wind and solar are much cheaper than fossil gas.

Find out more about Ontario’s gas problem at

ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE ( Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian environmental advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.

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For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

Carolyn Townend, Environmental Defence,