11 ways Liberals are knocking Ontario down, not ‘building up’

Citizens know the truth: electricity bills are up as Ontarians pay for intermittent, expensive wind power
Citizens know the truth: electricity bills are up as Ontarians pay for intermittent, expensive wind power

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.

  1. Electricity rates increased again May 1, 2015 by multiples of the inflation rate, adding $144.00 to the average ratepayer bill.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. The Ontario Energy Board recently disclosed that 570,000 households in Ontario (13% of the electricity customer base) are living in “energy poverty1.”.
  6. 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.
  7. Hydro One is seeking an exemption for “billing accuracy” for 170,000 or 14% of its customers.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.

Comments

John Vincent
Reply

Fully agree. Too bad this couldn’t reach the LIbeal electorate.

Bob Lyman
Reply

Great post, Parker. I thought, however, that the Wynne government has proposed to sell 10 to 15% of Hydro One, and more later, while ensuring that the government always retains control of the company and that no other party holds more than 10%. While it is probable the buyers would be publicly owned distribution utilities, this is being treated legally as a “privatization” and will result in the loss of oversight now applying to government institutions. So the public loses both ways. It fails to get the higher price and the prospect of higher efficiency that true privatization would bring, and it loses the heavy oversight that is one of the few benefits of government ownership and control.

John Vincent
Reply

Because of the privacy act, we’ll never know what they sell it for , or to who. It therefore becoames a mute point as to who the winners will be.
Privatisation doesn’t , by a long shot, guarantee efficiency. Rememer back in tjhe late eighties the battle cry was, sell Ontario Hydro, we’ll get a better run system and cheaper power. Look where that got us. Can’t get it any cheaper than power at cost and owned by the customers, but the Ontario people didn’t accept that. So don’t think the sale of Hydro One is going to improve a bad situation that is fully orchestrated by the Wynne government.

Barbara
Reply

When you give employees shares of stock they likely will sell the stock unless restrictions are placed on the sale of these shares. They cash in!

So someone else will end up owing these shares.

If the deal is to restrict ownership to no more than 10% for individual investors, then private placement blocks of stock could be sold with ownership unknown.

John Vincent
Reply

Of course they’ll cash in, unless the dividends are such the value would preclude a sale. the way its going, it doesn’t sound like the stocks are going to be much value as the years go by.

Barbara
Reply

My experience in dealing with peoples’ income taxes it that they will cash in even if a company’s prospects are good.

They want the money for down-payments on houses, cars, etc. Or just to buy what they want.

LaserGuy
Reply

Liberalism is a disease, and Ontario is dying from it!

Ed Edwards
Reply

Using these funds to not pay off the debt, expand the center of the universe (Toronto), offer shares to H1 employees and OPG is insanity. they’ve already been feeding at the trough for far too long. They are not the shareholders, we the taxpayers are. This just cannot be true.

“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.”

Palladini
Reply

It boils down down to, we have an Election in 2018, if at that time we throw the liberals under the bus, it would take trowing them under the bus 25 elections,or 100 years, for us to fix the mess they have made to this Province in the 15 years they have been in power.

Palladini
Reply

The linerals are toast in 2018. I doubt they will even muster up 3 seats in the next election. If they do, it proves a bunch of drug taking idiots voted liberal

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