Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ontario: Refurbishing its way to prosperity

"Ontario’s plan to pour colossal amounts of money into nuclear, wind and solar could bury the province", so says Lawrence Solomon in the Financial Post (Nov. 27). Ostensibly the McGuinty Liberals in Ontario want cleaner air and greener energy production. McGuinty has bought into the global warming alarmist's view that we must reduce our carbon emissions to save the planet and stop air pollution to eliminate the deaths of Ontarians with respiratory problems. The former is ridiculous and the latter well, lets just say a lot of our pollution comes across our southern border so we would have to persuade our American cousins to do likewise. The fact is our air quality is rather good most of the time, and certainly does not warrant mortgaging the future prosperity of Canada's once richest province.
Mr. Solomon's column describes how McGuinty has decided to refurbish the old and build new nuclear generation facilities even though our previous experience with nuclear power plants has shown them to be extraordinarily uneconomic. 
The temperamental and pricey nukes will be assisted by wind and solar energy "power-plants" (when they are working!). It boggles the mind, but Mr. Solomon offers hope. The final paragraph of the article states: "It isn’t too late to turn things around. Just bury the long-term plan, none of which passes muster, and resurrect the privatization of the power system. Power rates would drop and Ontario’s economy would soar." The emphasis on privatization is mine, and it cannot come soon enough.


  1. Allan, privatization is the real answer of course, but I have no answer of how to cut through the Marxist base of the public. All to often people side with profitless government ownership rather than look at what money comes out of their own wallets to purchase a thing. Their hatred of capitalism blinds them to exclude reality. Even when it costs them less, they're envy drives them to hate individuals who do well.

    As to nuclear power, I think it is time to consider a technology other than the Candu as the rest of the world seem to have no difficulty make their nucs profitable.

  2. I agree on the CANDU point, but opting for a non-CanCon nuke, will be as difficult as cutting through the Marxist base. The good news is that attitudes change, witness what happening in the AGW "debate". The bad news is, will we be around to see the attitudes change. I have too believe in the "trickle-up" from the grassroots process.

  3. Privatizing the energy system is a tougher sell than most privatization measures. Not only is it an "essential service", completely privatizing it will likely lead to higher energy costs in the short term, until real competition kicks in. Considering the high level of startup capital & time required to get in to the electricity generation market, it would be a painful few years until we started seeing competition in pricing.

  4. Either we privatize and shift the burden of risk to the private sector allowing competition, or we continue on the road to bankruptcy as we are going with OPG, OPA and the Ontario gov't. Construction of gas and coal power stations takes far less time than Nukes and when OPG is busted up the privateers will buy its components. Just think about food as an "essential service" Matt, its cheap, plentiful and the government has little to do with it. In fact where government is involved it distorts the price (marketing boards).


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