Premier Dalton McGuinty assured protesters yesterday that the province will take all necessary precautions to ensure they’re not put in any danger when a gas-fired plant is built in their community but gave no indication he’d consider scrapping the plan.

About 500 people rallied at the legislature to demand that the government kill plans to build a gas-fired power plant in Oakville. Having an explosive substance so close to schools and homes isn’t safe, the protesters argued, especially in the wake of a blast in Connecticut that killed six workers as they were clearing gas lines last month.

The plant is needed to meet the province’s growing energy demands, McGuinty said, adding that he will follow all the rules and regulations required to ensure Ontario facilities are safe.

His comments did little to appease Oakville Mayor Rob Burton, who called the plan a “dumb” idea that must be scrapped.

Liberal backbencher Kevin Flynn, who represents the riding of Oakville, will introduce a private member’s bill next week asking that gas plants in Ontario be put a certain distance away from any community.