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Kawartha Lakes calling on the provincial government to phase out gas-electricity plants

DAN CEARNS, The Standard

KAWARTHA LAKES: The City of Kawartha Lakes is one of many municipalities calling on the province of Ontario to look at phasing out gas-powered electricity.

At a meeting on Tuesday, August 29th, following a lengthy discussion, councillors voted to join 34 other municipalities in “requesting that the Government of Ontario develop and implement a plan to phase-out all gas-fired electricity generation as soon as possible, and instead increase support for proven renewable energy technologies and energy storage, energy efficiency and renew its contract to purchase available clean Quebec Hydro-electricity.”

Ward 2 Councillor Pat Warren moved the motion, citing the current environmental situation in the province and the country.

“Climate change is really a big deal, and we would be adding to the other municipalities, our neighbouring municipalities, that have done this already to stop gas-powered plants,” she explained. “I think this is the right thing to do. It’s just sending support for this resolution to the government.”

Ward 5 Councillor Eric Smeaton called this conversation “a hot topic” and explained why he supported the motion.

“This is time to stand up and move forward on the things that we should be moving forward [with] as a responsible government.”

A chorus of boos rang out from the crowd in attendance at the meeting following Councillor Smeaton’s comments.

Ward 6 Councillor Ron Ashmore spoke in opposition to the motion. “First of all, people want choices in their energy. They don’t want to be told they can’t have natural gas. I’m very pro-Canadian and very pro-Canadian energy,” he said. “To stop building natural gas plants or to shutter them would be detrimental to this province.”

After a recorded vote was held on the motion, the motion was approved by a count of seven to one. Councillor Ashmore was the only councillor to vote against the motion.

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