11 ways Liberals are knocking Ontario down, not ‘building up’
Eleven ways ratepayers have suffered in 2015
The June 4th announcement from the Premier’s Office bragged about the 11 “bills” passed during the Spring Sitting and how “its four-part plan” will Build Ontario Up. Missing — or intentionally omitted — are the many ways the current government has actually harmed Ontario, and socked it to electricity ratepayers.
The theme of the Premier’s announcement has been picked up by Liberal MPPs as they try to dazzle us with what they have supposedly accomplished.
Here are 11 ways the Liberals and their handling of the electricity sector have knocked Ontario down since the start of the year.
- Electricity rates increased again May 1, 2015 by multiples of the inflation rate, adding $144.00 to the average ratepayer bill.
- The Ombudsman’s report on Hydro One revealed that more than 100,000 ratepayers were affected negatively by the new billing system (no mention of the “smart meter” program mess).
- We heard via the annual budget that the Liberals will sell off up to 60% of Hydro One and use a big part of the funds to build subways for Toronto, not to pay off the “stranded debt” as the 1998 Electricity Act requires, and that the government will dole out many of those shares as “freebies” to the OPG and Hydro One workers … even though Ontario’s taxpayers are the owners.
- Ontario’s ratepayers continue to be forced to subsidize renewable energy in the form of wind and solar when it’s not needed, which has resulted in record exports of electricity to NY, Michigan and Quebec. That will cost ratepayers $2 billion for 2015, the equivalent of moving four gas plants.
- The Ontario Energy Board recently disclosed that 570,000 households in Ontario (13% of the electricity customer base) are living in “energy poverty1.”.
- Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli called for another 500 megawatts of renewable energy despite the fact Ontario is exporting almost 20% of all electricity generated in the Province.
- Hydro One is seeking an exemption for “billing accuracy” for 170,000 or 14% of its customers.
- Despite the Health Canada Study and the report from the Council of Canadian Academies, confirming health impacts from wind turbine noise and infrasound, the Ontario Liberal government refuses to respond to questions of health impacts and adjust the setbacks, at least to meet international standards.
- OPG received the blessing of the Energy Minister and the OEB to be paid for spilled hydro, increased rates for unregulated hydro and increased rates to cover pension shortfalls that have added over $500 million to the cost of electricity — this affects all ratepayers.
- Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli, in defending the sale of Hydro One, stated the power distributor will perform better if privatized, basically admitting his Ministry is not equipped to oversee it despite the direct control his Ministry holds over it.
- No charges have yet been laid by the OPP in respect to the gas plant scandal.
There are many additional affronts to ratepayers that have occurred this year but we will stop at the magic 11. Someone could just as easily look at the mess Liberals have made of several other Ministries such as: Education, Natural Resources or Health, where services have been severely cut, or the Ministry of the Environment & Climate Change which is about to launch a “cap and trade” tax in spite of criticism from various analysts.
In view of all this it is truly baffling that Premier Wynne would dare to claim the following in her June 4, 2015 Press Release: “Our plan is helping to support growth and job creation, and improve quality of life. I am proud of the substantial progress our government has made during the spring sitting to help ensure that everyone across Ontario has the opportunity and security they deserve.”
So, our Premier is proud of Ontario having the highest electricity rates in Canada, proud that we have driven our industry to other provinces and countries, and proud of high youth unemployment, among other stellar achievements.
© Parker Gallant,
June 9, 2015
1. Energy Poverty is described as utilization of 10% or more of household income to pay for the energy needs (heat and electricity) of the household.
The views expressed are those of the author and do not represent Wind Concerns Ontario policy.