Proposed TransCanada Power Plant – Cancelled by the Province
Background/chronology of events and town’s actions
In September 2009, the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) announced it had accepted TransCanada's bid to build a 900 megawatt natural gas-fired power generation facility on Ford-owned lands in southeast Oakville, near Royal Windsor and Ford Drives. This development acted as a catalyst for the town to take more direct action to address a growing concern in the Oakville community: poor air quality.
In June, 2010, an action plan for the Oakville-Clarkson Airshed was released by the Chair of the Oakville-Clarkson Airshed Task Force, Dr. David Balsillie. The report's fourth recommendation calls for all applications for provincial Certificates of Approval for new industrial activities that will increase polluting emissions within the airshed, including the proposed TransCanada power plant, to be considered in light of the current capacity of the airshed.
On October 7, 2010, the Ontario Government announced the cancellation of the proposed Oakville Generating Station.
In January 2011, TransCanada formally requested that the town close all of its planning and development applications related to its proposal to build the Oakville Generating Station. In addition, TransCanada and Ford Motor Company of Canada withdrew all of their appeals to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) in connection with the Oakville site.
The Town of Oakville is committed to improving air quality in the Oakville-Clarkson airshed. Given the concerns residents have raised regarding air quality in Oakville and the impact of the proposed 900 megawatt TransCanada power plant, the town undertook a number of initiatives to protect the health of our community:
- After a period of public review and comment, the town passed Health Protection Air Quality By-law 2010-035 on February 1, 2010. Visit the Health Protection & Air Quality page for more information.
- The town asked the Minister of the Environment (MOE), the Honourable John Gerretsen to intervene immediately to require a more comprehensive individual environmental assessment (EA) for the proposed power plant. Council also requested information from TransCanada, the OPA and the provincial and federal ministries of the environment on the approval process for the power plant, and any background or environmental studies performed.
- The town filed an application with the Ontario government under the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) asking the government to institute a new regulation under the Environmental Protection Act (EPA)––or a new air pollution act if need be––that effectively regulates the emissions of airborne fine PM to protect communities from adverse health effects. The requested regulation would establish a limit on the level of concentration of fine PM in an affected airshed, based on known health risks. For the full application and supporting documents visit the Health Protection & Air Quality page.
- Council passed an interim control by-law and official plan amendment to ensure the necessary planning work and study could take place before any power plant over a 10 megawatt capacity could be constructed in Oakville. Ford and TransCanada appealed the by-law and official plan amendment to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), and on December 4, the OMB issued a decision that upheld the town's interim control by-law, but struck down the official plan amendment.
Background, FAQ, correspondence, and supporting documents
Documents from the Town of Oakville
- Staff Report to Council (October 20, 2009, pdf)
- "Gaps in Provincial Air Quality Protection" – Presentation to Council by R. Northey, External Legal Counsel (October 20, 2009, pdf)
- Staff Report to Council and Appendices (November 2, 2009, pdf)
- Staff Report to Council and Appendices (December 7, 2009, pdf)
- Town's response to TransCanada's draft Environmental Assessment Report (March 10, 2010, pdf)
Documents from TransCanada
TransCanada produced a draft Environmental Review Report (ERR) and supporting technical documents for public review since February 9, 2010. The final ERR was released on October 7, 2010, for public review and comment for a 75-day period; however, it was withdrawn after the province made the announcement to cancel the power plant project in Oakville. Copies of the supporting documents listed on this page can be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.