Gas Busters: Part 2 — Ministry of Energy Documents re. Mississauga

Welcome to Gas Busters, a platform to crowd source analysis of the Ontario government’s decisions to relocated two gas-fired power plants originally sited in Mississauga and Oakville.

This document, called Energy-Mississauga, appears to have been originally created September 20, 2012 at 10:25. The document was created as an image-only PDF with, some of which are blank. The document appears to have its origin within Ontario Ministry of Energy. The document was part of the disclosure on September 24 forced on the McGuinty government by the Legislature.

These documents are rough, apparently deliberately so. Digitized records have been scanned into image-only PFD making them, in their current state, unsearchable.  This first file is a 6,585 pages. Some of the pages are duplicates. Others are partly unreadable. Others blank.

There is important information buried here revealing the government’s irresponsibility. See for example on page 2362 where the Ministry officials note that as of October 11, 2011, “Alternative site options and alternative ways to supply Mississauga have not be identified.”

It is up to us to find the needles in these haystacks.  Without the support of other concerned citizens, the truth will remain buried.

Take action. Download and OCR the documents. Find ways to organize the raw information. Help us build capabilities for readers to upload searchable files. Mirror this series. Build and link wiki pages to post what you find.

We don’t have much time, if our research is to aid our MPPs.

The following document has been zipped but is otherwise in original format.

Disclosure of Ministry documents re. Mississauga gas plant move – Original Format

 

12 Comments

  1. This is a great initiative on Tom’s part.

    I’m no IT rocket surgeon but offer up the following suggestions.

    Scott Luft suggested to me that it may be possible to make the files searchable by importing them into Google Docs; also that there may be a 5 MB file size limit. It therefore might be required and/or otherwise helpful to break down the original files into chunks, using Adobe or freeware such as CutePDF. If doing so, consider file name convention such as “Original file name.pdf” and “Original file name, Subsequent, pages A to B of original.pdf”.

    I have a slow home connection but expect to get my hands on all the files by Wednesday.

    Tom, can you add a post calling for search keyword suggestions ?

    • Not sure how useful my approach is in reality.
      I tried a couple of things before realizing I could just print page ranges to .smaller .pdf files.
      The google docs import, with scanning to text, does work, imperfectly, but only on 2MB files which I’m finding to be about 40 pages.
      I grabbed 300 pages (they’d be easy enough to stitch together just downloading to word).
      The files are shared in a folder: https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B0OMoLvcg5SIMzg5OXlfQmdVYUE/edit

      People can let me know if this is useful

      • I did a Google on this type of functionality and inexpensive software exists, hopefully without the low size limits. Without searchability, a lot of the effort is wasted and it requires everyone to have a good connection. With searchability, the examination can be concentrated to a few hundred pages, rather than sifting through all of them, very slowly.

  2. New Comment received by email from Parker Gallant (In future, I’d invite folks to please post comments directly on the site rather than emailing me. I’m struggling with the volume.)

    ++++
    Having a look at the PDF file from your posting. The e-mail on page 4219/20 from Alan Jenkins, Senior Policy Specialist sent April 11, 2011 states “Greenfield South is still in the process of securing financing.” Brad Duguid had issued a directive to the OPA dated February 17, 2011 instructing them to develop the IPSP and at the top of page 4 the directive states:

    “Due to changes in demand along with the addition of approximately 8,400 MW of new supply since 2003, the outlook has changed and two of the proposed plants, including the proposed plant in Oakville, are no longer required.”

    So on April 11, 2011, two months after Duguid cancelled the two gas plants, a Senior Policy Specialist in the MEI is unaware that this has happened.

    Who the hell knew what was going on?

    Parker

    PS: Direct link to the Duguid directive here: http://www.powerauthority.ca/sites/default/files/new_files/IPSP%20directive%2020110217.pdf

  3. More from Parker:

    Page 4351 has a draft letter (undated) from Minister Bentley addressed to Mr. Hinds (presumably the current Board Chair of the OPA) which starts off; “Dear Mr. Hinds: In response to your letter, etc etc.” and goes on later with the following sentence:

    “While full recognition must be given to rate-payer value and the fair treatment of contractual counterparties, as suggested in your letter, in light of the strong and persistent opposition to the plant, the government supports the OPA’s decision to terminate the contract and any other appropriate commercial and other steps that the OPA must take in seeking to stop construction of the gas plant at its current location.

    The government is responding to unique circumstances in Mississauga.”

    Based on the draft response it would appear that the OPA Chair raised issues in respect to “rate-payer value” but the overriding considerations were those “unique circumstances in Mississauga.” What were those circumstances and why they are different then other circumstances that caused the loss of 10 Liberal seats throughout rural Ontario due to the proliferation of wind turbines.

    The Hinds draft letter Undated to Minister Bentley is on page 4355 indicating it took until October 24, 2011 (17 days after the election) before the government sent a letter to the OPA instructing them to “relocate the plant”. Page 4357 has the Energy Ministry’s legal beagles suggesting “language” consistency between the Minister and the OPA in an e-mail dated Nov. 10, 2011.

  4. And More from Parker:

    Page 4469 has an interesting e-mail dated Nov. 10, 2011 (6.06 PM) from Pernun (Energy) to Calwell (Energy) with 4 points dealing with letters; to OPA from Minister and from OPA to Minister (first two points). The 3rd point says: “Minister Bentley wants Finance/Cabinet behind him (as you heard last evening) and is still waiting for some indication from PO re Direction.” One must assume PO means Premiers Office.

    The first 4th point (please note that there are two # 4.s) has this “Eastern has asked for $500 Million line of credit to be drawn as they sought fit to stop construction” Begs the question what arm of the government was extending the line of credit and why? Was Eastern unable to arrange financing?

    The second 4th point deals with how the OPA wants to deal with Eastern Power.

  5. Parker caught a few more here:

    Page 4483 This e-mail from MacLennan (dated Nov. 11, 2011) of the Energy Ministry indicates the Minister is looking for “paper comfort” from his colleagues. Presumably this has to do with where the costs of this will be allocated. The reference to “dwight” presumably refers to the Finance Minister.

    Page 4529 An e-mail of Nov 11, 2011 from Perun to Calwell (both in Energy Ministry Legal Dept) has an interesting bon mot “what drama”. Nice to know our public servants show such concern about pissing away hundreds of millions of taxpayer/ratepayer dollars.

    Page 5323/24 Right after Minister Bentley’s scrum with the media Nov. 21, 2011 following the announcement of an agreement between the OPA and Greenfield an e-mail from Kristen Jenkins (OPA) was sent to Sylvia Kovesfalvi in which she mentioned other questions had come up and could Sylvia circulate for review and comment. (NB: One would assume that the OPA’s media people, were waiting for affirmation before responding to the questions posed). The first question was: “Is there a need for an additional power plant in the SWGTA?” The proposed answer was; “Additional electricity supply is needed in the SWGTA. The timing depends etc. “ and goes on about how transmission upgrades can solve the problem for a while as announced last year; instead of a power plant in Oakville. Guess we still have that SWGTA problem so moving the two gas generating units solved nothing.

  6. More very interesting stuff!

    Page 5409 e-mail of November 24, 2011 from Kristen Jenkins (OPA) to Paul Gerard (Energy Ministry) noting that they had been contacted by Nishi Gupta at Global who wanted background on the procurement process. Kristen goes on to say that “The Ministry of Energy led this process including selecting Greenfield-OPA did not exist-so we are referring her to you for the details.”

    Page 5423 This e-mail from Perun to several others in the Energy Ministry including Rick Jennings discloses that the OPA took it on themselves to solve the outstanding litigation between Greenfield & OEFC after the latter refused to! One would presume that OEFC had a good reason but for whatever reason the OPA decided to pay out. It almost smacks of the OPA doing what they could to settle and begs the question as to whether C. Andersen was acting in the best interests of the Ontario taxpayers or whether he wanted to satisfy his boss. It is ironic that Anderson used to be Deputy Finance Minister and Gadi Mayman was the CEO of the Ontario Finance Authority and is the CEO of OEFC.

    Page 5469 Dec. 16, 2011 e-mail from Perun to Lindsay David with cc s’ to others including Rick Jennings indicating the OPA caving and agreeing to pay more and more towards solving “break fees” etc. and equity sunk costs

    Page 5483 This e-mail from Carolyn Calwell on Dec. 22, 2011 to two people in Finance suggests that Greenfield should be put into CCAA protection and the OPA is OK with that. Once that happens the OPA would have some sort of a “joint venture”. WOW! The public servants at the Energy Ministry somehow think they are investment bankers and want to play with taxpayer money! If Greenfield were on the ropes they should have been in a much better negotiating position instead of giving away the farm!

  7. Found some more interesting e-mails indicating the Premier was all over these moves. Does anyone know what CLOC stands for?

    Gas Move Docs 2 from the 6586 pages

    Page 29
    Perun, Halyna N. (ENERGY)
    From: Perun, Halyna N. (ENERGY)
    Sent: October 7, 2011 4:05PM
    To: Rehob, James (ENERGY)
    Calwell, Carolyn (ENERGY)
    Cc:
    Subject:
    Privileaed and Confidential

    mississauga plant
    The Deputy has just relayed the following to me. The Premier called the SOC an hour ago -what he has asked is for options on the Mississauga Gas Plant. He has asked for staff to be creative: policy and legal options.

    Legal – ideas: how to stop the building of the plant: termination of contract; changing the set back rules; legislation to accomplish
    We’ve been asked to develop options for Tuesday afternoon or Wed. morning. Rick Jennings wil~ be contact Kevin French at MOE.

    The Deputy has contact Colin Anderson and I have put in a call to Mike Lyle.

    SOC has asked the Premier to caution political staff not to talk about options, make promises etc

    I’ve advised the Deputy that I will likely need to engage CLOC on some of this and also MOE legal. He’s fine with that.

    James- we’ve now spoken – so thanks for taking a crack at ideas – much appreciated.

    Page 2217
    From: Perun, Halyna N. (ENERGY)
    Sent: October 7, 2011 5:21 PM
    To: Wilson, Malliha (JUS)
    Cc: Harrison, Troy (JUS); Lung, Ken (JUS); Roszell, Rand (ENE)
    Subject: Mississauga Gas Plant
    Privi/eged and Confidential
    The Secretary of the Cabinet has conveyed to Energy a request from the Premier that Energy work with the Ontario Power Authority and Environment to develop legal and negotiating options with respect to the Mississauga Gas Plant
    You may recall that the Liberals did say that if elected they would cancel the Plant Energy is now being asked to
    brainstorm on options. The SOC has invited Energy (OM and ADM Rick Jennings), Environment (ADM Kevin French) and the OPA (CEO Colin Anderson and General Counsel Mike Lyle) to a meeting on Wed. morning to discuss this further. I have been invited to attend.
    The SOC has cautioned the Premier to caution his staff, the Ministers’ and thelr staffs not to discuss any way forward with the company building the plant.
    We’ll be meeting with the Energy clients on Tuesday morning to assist in developing the options- at this point I am not
    sure whether the SOC expects a written product or whether she’d like to simply discuss orally- but I’ll keep you posted as i learn more.
    Regards,

    Page 2671
    from: Di Ciano, Sandra (JUS)
    Sent: October 12 2011 9:06 AM
    To: Wilson, Malliha (JUS)
    Subject: FW: Transcript: 2011 Ontario Election Debate
    Note in the transcript premier says no cancellation, just relocation and he suggests the power needs and authorizations
    have changed

    Page 2995

    From: Calwell, Carolyn (ENERGY)
    Sent: October 20, 2011 12:13 PM
    To: Calwell, Carolyn (ENERGY)

    Note to file
    Confidential/Solicitor-Client Privileged
    ~ Attended debrief of OM’s Oct. 19 meeting with DAG and SOC regarding draft deck for Cabinet
    • They discussed merits of presenting a deck to cabinet for approval and potential legal (risks associated with a
    cabinet decision on point
    ~ Plan emerged to brief incoming Minister of Energy- Premier would instruct Minister to resolve the issues
    • Premier would then report on instruction to Cabinet
    • No deck, no minute

  8. And this one on “vapour lock letters”! Know your acronomys/codes!

    Page 4446

    From: Silva, Joseph (ENERGY)
    Sent: November 10, 2011 11:11 AM
    To: Perun, Halyna N. (ENERGY)
    Cc: Calwell, Carolyn (ENERGY); Dunning, Rebecca (ENERGY)
    Subject: letters
    Hi Halyna- the OM flagged that we’re getting close on the letters from M to OPA and vice versa.
    We’ll need to set time aside for a final walk-thru of letters and to get M signature today. Can you let me know when you think we can be ready to set this meeting up?

    Rebecca- we’ll need to put a hold in M calendar for a meeting, half-hour l think on vapour lock
    letters.
    Joseph Silva
    Executive Assistant (A) lo the Deputy Minister oi Energy

  9. I really like this one! NB: Pleae excuse the spelling mistakes but they come about because the 56,000 pages relaeased tp to the Legislature (when it was sitting) prevent the ability to do a “search” in the normal fashion of most documents and as Tom Adams explains in his GAS BUSTERS 6; the process to put the docs into searchable format is not an easy one and as such the software doesn’t always EXACTLY recognize the words it is copying–hence the spelling errors.

    E-mail from page 2727

    From: Perun, Halyna N. (ENERGY)
    Sent: October 12, 2011 5:27PM
    To: Wilson, Malliha (JUS)
    Cc:Calwell, Carolyn (ENERGY); Roszell, Rand (ENE); Lipman, Jay (ENE); Slater, Craig (JUS);
    Scarfone, Janet (JUS); Salim, Fateh (JUS)
    Attachments: Gas Plant Considerations final Oct 12.ppt
    Privileged & Confidential
    Malliha:
    Final slides – used at briefing

    Jay and I thought that you’d like to know how things went at the briefing this morning. (I arn re-sending to you the slides that were used at the brieftng).
    The SOC was quite familiar with this matter and it was apparent that she had been briefed on the Mississauga Gas Plant matter before the writ dropped.
    Colin Anderson (OPA CEO) provided most of the details about the plant
    I spoke to the option of proceeding with legislation. SOC asked my view as to the feasibility of this option in a minority government and I replied that while legislation would provide certainty it is a very public way of proceeding and will likely need buy-ln from other parties in opposition which could be brokered (given that the other two parties also satd that they do not support a plant in that location).
    Kevin French for MOE addressed the regulatory option (Jay was there in support). The discussion was brief on this point as it was apparent that there was not appetite on the part of the SOC for using the MOE regulatory tools.
    OPA General Counsel Mike Lyle addressed the consequences of terminating the contract without cause.
    Ultimately, the discussion centered on moving forvvard with negotiating with the Developer to stop building at the Mississauga location and moving to another location. A number of possible locations were discussed~ but it was noted that moving to another location may also have challenges- community support and various approvals would be required.
    Eastern Power has not contacted the OPA- to follow up on statem(:3nts made by the pollticians. ~~or has OPA reached out to Eastern. SOC advised that politicians and their staff have been told not to communicate with Eastern.
    Colin asked that communications lines be developed for the OPA to use (I) should Eastern call and for (2) media calls.
    Similarly, government should have media lines in place. Deputy Lindsay was going to follow up with Energy Communications director (they will fly by legal)
    Deputy Lindsay spoke of a “negotiating mandate”. SOC wanted folks to begin working on material to take to Cabinet to scope out a mandate. The materials would detail the sunk costs and lost profits. Deputy Lindsay asked what would be the back pocket “hammer”- and if It’s !egisiation- that should be addressed ln the material for Cabinet’s consideration.
    He also thought the mandate should include a “firm cap”. Direction would be sought as to who would be negotiating.
    Similarly, the OPA would seek a mandate frorn its board.
    SOC asked for more information about who the Developers are: who are thetr lenders and who is affliated with the project Apparently, Eastern Power is in litigation with the Ontario Electricity Financial Corporation and she asked for more information about that.
    Finally, the issue about a going-forward plan for the regulation of gas-fired electricity facilities was discussed. This would address future plants. The primary concern to be addressed was whethar siting (eg. set-back limitations) should be regulated by the Province and how any regulatory framework would ensure community involvement.
    I should also note thai in the pre-brief with Deputy Lindsay and ADM Rick Jennings this morning the Deputy commented on how helpful the deck was. I also want to convey my sincere thanks to the work of CLOC in support our offices {MOE and Energy LSB) in this briefing and for your support as well.
    Please let us know if you’d like anything further.

    Halyna

    Halyna N. Perun
    A/Director
    Legal Services Branch
    Ministries of Energy & Infrastructure
    777 Bay Street, 4th Floor, Suite 425
    Toronto, ON M5G 2E5
    Ph: (416) 325-6681 I Fax: (416) 325-1781
    BB: (416) 671-2607
    E-mail: Halvna.Perun2@ontario.ca

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