Natural gas fears drive MPP’s petition

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Sarnia Lambton MPP Bob Bailey didn’t have to convince anyone.

He sat at the Petrolia Farmers’ Market Saturday morning and people approached him with the same question “Is that your natural gas petititon,Bob?”

Bailey and other members of the Conservative caucus have been voicing concern since a leaked cabinet document by Environment Minister Glenn Murray showed the Liberals want to move the province away from the use of natural gas. The report, uncovered by The Globe and Mail, says even homeowners would be encouraged to use electricity for heat instead of natural gas.

That’s worried politicians and homeowners alike. Bailey’s petition, launched last week, has already collected 5,000 signatures online and another 400 to 500 on paper in the communities he serves.

“This is by far the biggest issue I’ve had as an MPP,” Bailey told The Independent. Bailey says people are calling his office asking for a copy of the petition to circulate at their workplace or business. Many can’t believe the Liberals would consider such a move saying “we thought it was a hoax.”

But Bailey feels the leaked document is legitimate noting the premier had written and signed an introduction to the document. Bailey thinks the leak was “deliberate…that tells me one or more of the (Liberal) MPPs doesn’t agree and the only way to deal with it is to leak it.”

Bailey says the Liberals recently announced it was trying to extend natural gas to the rural areas, a move he says is meant to change the channel on the issue.

He doesn’t think it will happen because this is an issue which crosses urban and rural boundries.

And Bailey says there are a lot of problems no one has anticipated which would be caused if the province did move away from natural gas. He’s heard from a greenhouse owner whose banker says they’re a bigger risk because heating with electricity will cost more and change their credit rating.

“And what about selling your home…people are asking what does that do to the price of my home?”

Bailey’s petition can be found on his web page.

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