Gas expansion plan undermining provincial climate strategy?

Categories: Big picture
Published on: August 9, 2016

TVO.org / Tyler Hamilton / 09 August 2016

Blue flame of gas on a cooker
Blue flame of gas on a cooker
When media reports surfaced in early May suggesting Ontario was preparing to ban the use of natural gas for home heating, Premier Kathleen Wynne felt compelled to correct the record. Not only was her government not banning natural gas, she said, it was backing the expansion of natural gas lines into rural and northern communities.

“It’s exactly the opposite of what was reported,” said Wynne, standing beside fellow Premier Rachel Notley during a visit to Alberta in May. “Natural gas will continue to play a critical role in the energy mix of Ontario, even as our climate change plan supports people and businesses shifting away from fossil fuels.”

Despite assurances from Wynne that the two positions were “not in conflict with one another,” some onlookers saw nothing but contradiction. Deborah de Lange, an assistant professor of sustainable business strategies at Ryerson University, couldn’t believe what she was hearing. She called Wynne’s statement “problematic.”

“We shouldn’t be building more [natural gas] pipelines. The more you install the harder it is to get rid of them.”

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