Sin City: E-Buses Have Lies Of Omission: THE VOTER


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Sins of omission are just as serious as sins of commission.

There is no way that staff at the city and Hydro Ottawa did not know how the electricity for the buses would be generated and what the cost of those generators would be. Like they have done on many other occasions (for example, LRT), they deliberately chose to withhold that information.

As well, there is no possibility that it did not occur to even a single one of the 25 members of Ottawa City Council to ponder where the energy was coming from and its cost both in money and pollution. In addition, there are staff in every councillor’s office and the mayor’s office whose job it is to read staff reports, find the ‘unknowns’ in them, ask questions of the report’s authors and tell the councillors what the issues are.

And none of those people, in doing their due diligence, stumbled across the generator issues? Not a single one? That’s simply not believable.

Or were they all told either something that was not the complete truth or that was the complete truth but which they were told to keep quiet about? I suspect that the answer is likely that anyone asking awkward questions was lied to by staff. I do not believe that every person on council at the time of the initial vote was in possession of the whole truth. Or maybe they’ve never been to Brockville and think it’s a hamlet of 45 houses.

We need to know what the per-kilometer cost is of operating an electric bus versus a diesel one including the acquisition cost, interest on the loans, maintenance and energy cost. Then we need to have the comparative environmental cost of fueling the bus. When part of the supplied reasons for moving to electric buses was a reduction of the use of fossil fuels to power the buses, that should have been proven.

This whole deal stank from the beginning and many of us were suspicious of its claims. We know there were outright lies told about the financing setup and now it’s surfacing that there were lies told about the source and greenness of the energy that would propel the vehicles.

It doesn’t matter whether they were outright lies or lies made by withholding or misrepresenting information or by false statements. A lie of omission has the same effect at the end of the day as a lie of commission. I’m not naive enough to believe they will, but heads should roll over this.

The Voter is a respected community activist and long-time Bulldog commenter who prefers to keep her identity private.


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6 Responses

  1. Raymond Leury says:

    “prefers to keep her identity private” says all you need to know about this nonsense. We at EVCO have known about these generators FOR YEARS. If you didn’t know about them it’s because you were not paying attention. The e-buses have been shown to be both less expensive per km as diesel buses as well as being better environmentally. These buses will be charged mostly at night when Ontario has a surplus of clean electricity.

    This was all discussed openly and settled years ago before council’s 2021 decision to transition the OC Transpo fleet to electric. Please stop misinforming the public.

  2. John Langstone says:

    So OC Transpo is in the power generation business now – not Hydro Ottawa? Strikes me this would be something significant that Council should know about.

  3. Andrew says:

    I agree with Raymond, the previous article said: ‘However in a report to transit commission on March 8, the city said that the two generators would “provide backup power to support the charging infrastructure. ”’
    Backup power just means that, in the event of hydro Ottawa supply issues, these can be used as a supply source to have a bus fleet the next day. I would be mad as hell if there was not a backup to a hydro source for an essential service. I hope Battery storage and solar installations on all buildings will eliminate the need for these backup generators.

  4. Angela Keller-Herzog says:

    Dear Voter,
    The reason that this is all so incredible is because you have been had!
    Sin of Omission: the Bulldog failed to verify the headline info it was publishing
    Sin of Stubbornness: when challenged that the headlined information (Ottawa’s E-bus Fleet to be Charged by Gas) was wrong and needed retraction, the Bulldog editor wrote that he did read the staff report, but “I’m skeptical that it is true”.

    So: Acts of Commission
    TRUE – E-bus fleet for normal operations will be charged by electrical grid. Upgrades to charging capacity are ongoing as E-bus fleet grows.
    TRUE – City is investing in a gas-fuelled back-up power system in case the grid goes down

    I would suggest that you (and interested readers) read the staff report: and then decide if you really believe that OC Transpo would be investing all this money in electrical charging infrastructure if they did not intend to use it. Like you wrote – this makes no sense.

    So basically there is no story, except that the back-up system for our public transit (critical infrastructure) is big and expensive and fossil fuelled. The same is true for the new Ottawa Hospital by the way. It seems that is where we are at in this energy transition. With time we will be able to move to renewable-powered back-up systems. But we are not there yet.

  5. David says:

    “Then we need to have the comparative environmental cost of fueling the bus” – absolutely – was that not a key point in this exercise?

  6. Kosmo says:

    Angela Keller-Herzog: LRT phase 1 was on time and on budget… until it wasn’t.

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