Toronto East Residents for Renewable Energy to host May 15 meeting on Portlands gas plant concerns

The Portlands Energy Centre is located at 470 Unwin Ave.


Toronto East Residents for Renewable Energy (TERRE) will host a meeting on the health risks related to the Portlands Energy Centre (PEC) expansion this week.

The meeting — Portlands Gas Plant Pollution Health Risks in our Community — is on Wednesday, May 15, at 7 p.m. at the Ralph Thornton Community Centre, 765 Queen St. E.

Speakers will include Dr. Mili Roy of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE); the MPP for Toronto-Danforth Peter Tabuns; Toronto-Danforth Councillor Paula Fletcher; and a TERRE member. The meeting will highlight the health risks associated with gas plants and aims to encourage people to become involved in demanding healthier energy.

According to TERRE, in the summer of 2023, the Portlands plant ran for an average of 21 hours a day as opposed to the 14-hour days it was running before. TERRE said the city had originally planned for four hours of operation a day. The plant has raised electricity-based greenhouse gas emissions by 10 per cent in a year, according to TERRE.

In an April 25 press release, TERRE rejected claims that the expansion will not pose any concern for public health and that there are “no environmental disadvantages to the project.”

Local resident Joyce McLean outlined her concerns about the plant’s expansion in the press release. “I, like many other Torontonians, have asthma. The Portlands Gas Plant literally takes my breath away,” she said.

TERRE is calling on Andrea Khanjin, Ontario’s Minister of the Environment, Conservation, and Parks, to elevate PEC’s environmental screening process to a full Environmental Review to comply with provincial requirements and address community concerns.

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