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A decision on the future of the Thunder Bay Generating Station is not forthcoming.
NDP leader Andrea Horwath asked Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli about the power plant Thursday at Queen’s Park.
"When, Speaker, can the people in northwestern Ontario expect this government’s decision about the future of the Thunder Bay generating station gas conversion?" she asked.
Chiarelli said the region as a whole has energy needs, including North of Dryden. In his response, some including the Common Voice Northwest Energy Task Force thought that Chiarelli was referring to the station when he said an answer along with investments would be announced "in three to four weeks".
But MP Michael Gravelle (Lib., Thunder Bay - Superior North) said he spoke with Chiarelli in Queen's Park directly after the exchange and that the minister was referring to projects North of Dryden and not the Thunder Bay station.
"There might be a misunderstanding with that," Gravelle said Friday.
Chiarelli also told Horwath that the plant might see little use going forward.
"I would ask the leader to be a little more patient and be also mindful that any future generating plant in Thunder Bay will be used six hours per year," he said.
Gravelle said he got clarification from Chiarelli that he was actually referring to times over the past year when energy demands were low and meant days not hours.
"That's certainly how I interpreted what he said," Gravelle said.
Taskforce co-chair Iain Angus said this year alone the plant has run for 425 hours, more than 33 of those just last weekend.
(With files from Thunder Bay Television)
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