Energy Minister offers false hope on environment and citizen input
Could it be, from his statement yesterday, Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli has resolved his ministry’s issues in dealing with the many rural communities in Ontario declaring themselves “Not a willing host” to huge wind power projects? What he said: “all levels of government must take the time to hear from experts, community and municipal leaders, aboriginal groups, business leaders and other impacted groups to ensure that all voices can be heard during the regulatory process.”
Unfortunately, no: that press release had nothing to do with the Green Energy Act (GEA).
It was related to interprovincial pipelines, a matter in which the province has limited influence.
The Minister’s statement also rambled on about “Economic prosperity and environmental sustainability” and “our shared obligation to future generations” without mentioning the mess created in his portfolio by himself and past ministers!
The statement about our “shared obligation to future generations” is particularly galling to those affected by the GEA, as it has resulted in 12 to 13% of all households in Ontario living in “energy poverty1.”. The Ontario Energy Board (OEB), controlled by the Ministry of Energy, reported over a year ago that 570,000 households now fit into that category. Those future generations have already arrived!
On the same day Minister Chiarelli issued his statement, the OEB issued a “scam” warning about the Ontario Electricity Support Program: “The OEB has received reports that individuals, claiming to be affiliated with the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP), were calling to request access into consumers’ homes.”
The press release from the OEB went on to note: “OEB staff do not conduct a home audit, check furnaces or install equipment for this or any other program.” Of course, the OEB never did any of those things.
So now, the Ontario Liberal government, which is responsible for increasing electricity rates exceeding 10% annually, driving people into “energy poverty,” and creating a program to help those suffering from unaffordable electricity rates, has to warn us that we may be scammed!
Seems to this writer that the Wynne and McGuinty governments have been the cause of the scam from the start, and have refused to hear from “community and municipal leaders, aboriginal groups, business leaders and other impacted groups” on the issue of the environmental and economic impact of industrial-scale wind turbines being forced upon Ontario’s rural communities.
A disgruntled energy consumer
January 28, 2016
- Energy poverty is defined as spending of 10% of household income on electricity and heat.
The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent Wind Concerns Ontario policy.