Just like in many other communities across Ontario, like Thorold and Toronto, the people of Napanee are speaking up – and they’re saying no more new gas!
Atura Power, a subsidiary of Ontario Power Generation (OPG), wants to build a new gas plant in Napanee, a community that already has two existing gas plants. But, the plant’s construction is dependent on a vote of support from Napanee Town Council and its community is urging representatives to say no.
Take action and tell Napanee Town Council that the community doesn’t need another polluting gas plant.
At a recent town council meeting on November 14, a number of Napanee residents came out to speak in opposition to the proposed Napanee Generating Station “expansion” by Atura Power. Others sent in written deputations urging council to say no to the new Napanee gas plant or risk aggravating an already worsening climate situation.
Ontario’s plan to ramp up gas
In 2022, the Ontario government mandated the Independent Electricity Service Operator (IESO) to solicit proposals for 1500 MW of new gas electricity generation by 2024. To achieve this, the IESO is offering contracts to build new gas plants and expand existing facilities. One of these new plants is being proposed for the Town of Greater Napanee.
Burning fossil fuels is a main contributor to climate change. Fossil gas (misleadingly marketed as natural gas) is one of the main contributors to global warming. It is mostly made up of methane which is even worse than carbon dioxide. It will increase the impacts of climate change for everyone in the near future, especially people with respiratory illnesses. This year we saw one of the worst wildfire seasons in Canadian history with over 15 million hectares of forest destroyed. Burning more gas is like adding more fuel to the fire.
The community is speaking up
One of the Napanee residents who spoke at the council meeting talked about the need to protect the quality of the air for their grandchildren. They also gave testimony about how their heat pump has saved them thousands of dollars in heating and cooling bills in the last year and vouched for its efficiency during extreme cold weather. The research is clear, Ontario residents do not need to rely on gas to heat their homes and keep the lights on.
Similarly, in addition to the testimony from Dr. Mili Roy of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment and Arik McBay from the Providence Centre for JPIC about the negative health effects of burning gas, local resident Mary Raddon’s correspondence shared that she experienced chest pains before the coal plant was closed. She is worried that the expansion of the Napanee gas plant would make her pain return.
At the moment, all eyes are on Napanee as this is an important decision that will affect many people in and around Kingston and Lennox & Addington County.
And Atura is feeling the pressure. The morning before the council meeting, the Toronto Star published an article detailing how Atura Power offered the Town of Napanee $4.8 million over 12-years as part of a contribution to their Community Benefit Fund. The payment certainly muddies the waters concerning Napanee’s motivations for supporting this plant, if that is what they decide to do.
The question on everybody’s mind is, will Napanee council do the right thing? Will they act to protect the environment and the health of their citizens and those in the surrounding region?
Napanee must say no to gas
The Greater Napanee Council must say no to the Napanee gas plant expansion or risk adding to Canada’s poor climate record and exacerbating an already worsening climate catastrophe.
We need to keep the pressure on!