Ontario & Quebec flip the switch to a new electricity era

Angela Bischoff —

The Ontario and Quebec governments started a new era by agreeing to a firm electricity import-export deal. Ontario will import 2 billion kWh of water power from Quebec each year for the next seven years – enough power to keep the lights on in a city the size of North Bay.

This is an important beginning to a new, more integrated approach to meeting the needs of both provinces: Ontario gets reliable, low cost, clean renewable power while Quebec gets more value from its growing surplus of water and wind power.

Of course, this should be just the beginning of a beautiful friendship as our two systems are well matched: Ontario needs to lower costs and move away from its overwhelming reliance on nuclear power and Quebec needs to find new buyers for its growing supply of renewable energy.

I talked about how Ontario could benefit from making a deal with Quebec on TVO’s the Agenda Oct. 20. Now we have broken the ice and made the first step toward really tapping into the benefits that would come with replacing ever more expensive nuclear with low-cost water power. I am hoping our governments will quickly go further and seal a deal that would enable us to close the aging and dangerous Pickering Nuclear Station when its licence expires in 2018.

This breakthrough comes just as Ontario is reaching out and asking citizens to comment on this province’s energy future. The provincial government is launching consultations on the next version of its Long Term Energy Plan next week. I strongly encourage you to get out and participate in the in-person consultations in your area and make it clear that Ontario will thrive by committing to renewable energy, not by turning back the clock to the fading nuclear age. If you can’t get to a meeting, you can provide comments online. We need the government to hear loud and clear that the high-cost Pickering Nuclear Station must go no later than 2018.

Angela Bischoff is Outreach Director of Ontario Clean Air Alliance