Wynne government minister not completely honest in mandate letter responses: Parker Gallant

Take another look at your energy minister's claims to have fulfilled his mandate, Parker Gallant tells Premier Wynne
Take another look at your energy minister’s claims to have fulfilled his mandate, Parker Gallant tells Premier Wynne

What follows is an excerpt of a letter sent by Parker Gallant to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. We present this because of the role of wind power generation in causing Ontario’s electricity bills to rise, causing increasing hardship for Ontario’s citizens and business.

January 11, 2016

The Honourable Premier Kathleen Wynne, Queen’s Park, Toronto Ontario

Dear Premier Wynne,

I noticed your government’s press release of January 11, 2016 dealing with the “Ministers Report on How They Are Delivering on Mandate Letter Priorities”.

In particular I noted your objective to bring “Ontario closer to its goal of becoming the most open and transparent government in Canada” and felt that someone should alert you that not all of your Ministers are being completely honest with you in their reports.

I have only looked at the Energy Minister’s response but if it is indicative of some of the other reports, perhaps it is time to admonish them. They may not be doing what you told them. I will below highlight a couple of your Energy Minister’s responses to demonstrate.

Mandate: Mitigating Electricity Prices for Residential Customers

Your instruction of September 25, 2014 was: “You will continue to look for savings and efficiencies that will help keep electricity costs affordable for residential consumers.” His response was: “For a typical Ontario residential consumer, current electricity prices are below those forecast in the LTEP.”

My comment: That forecast was his and it must have been particularly bad (I think Bob has trouble with math). The reason I say that is because just 13 months (November 1, 2015) after you instructed him, the cost of the basic commodity (electricity) had increased 15.7%. He also announced late last year that he was dropping the “Ontario Clean Energy Benefit” (OCEB) which bumped the increase to 25.7% effective January 1, 2016 (just days ago). So, less than 16 months after you gave him his mandate he has caused rates to rise by that much!

Minister Chiarelli went on to note: “Beginning January 1, 2016, the Ontario Electricity Support Program is providing ongoing assistance directly on the bills of eligible low-income electricity consumers.”

My comment: he has taken action on this one by announcing a complex program for people living in what is commonly called “energy poverty.” But he has changed the rules for the agencies handling those families and individuals placed in a “heat or eat” situation and made access extremely difficult. Prior to Bob’s creation of the OESP, local social agencies like United Way, etc., dealt effectively with those families who had been threatened with electricity service cut-off. Bob changed the rules, taking away responsibilities from the Minister of Community & Social Services where the support program should rightly be!

He can’t claim he is “Mitigating Electricity Prices for Residential Customers” when he is increasing the price of electricity driving more and more people into “energy poverty”. I would bet he didn’t tell you that the Ontario Energy Board in a report released early last year indicated Ontario had 570,000 households living in “energy poverty”! That is about 12% of all Ontario households.

Another one of your mandated actions were related to removing the DRC; here is how that has worked out. Minister Chiarelli claims: “We have also removed the Debt Retirement Charge (DRC) from all residential consumers’ bills.”

My comment: Minister Chiarelli did do what you instructed on this one, but the average household will save about $67 annually, whereas dropping the OCEB increased their bill by about $240. That means the net additional cost to the average household jumped by close to $170 annually from just these two actions They came into effect January 1st of this year, along with a charge for the OESP of about $12.00 per annum.

I presume this wasn’t what you had in mind when you conveyed your mandate? In any event I think you will see that the Energy Minister is not following your full intent on these matters. He also left the DRC on small businesses which employ many of those people forced into energy poverty who work part-time or at minimum wage. Continuing to charge small businesses the DRC means many are unable to afford to give their employees raises.

Mandate: Transparency

The other issue you pressed on your ministers was related to an Ontario with an “open and transparent” government. I notice the Minister of Energy didn’t once mention the words “transparent” or “open” in this context. He also is in direct control of provincially owned entities who fail miserably to be open and transparent, not to mention in breach of the Acts that created them.

I could cite other issues where Minister Chiarelli failed to honour the presumed intent of your mandate but I won’t tight now as I am sure the competent people in the Premier’s office will be examining the reports from each Ministry for that evidence.

Yours truly,

Parker Gallant

A concerned citizen

 

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: Mr. Gallant informs us that the Premier has replied to his letter, to say she was referring it to Energy Minister Chiarelli for response.

 

Comments

Pat Cusack
Reply

Unbelievable the dishonesty!

Pat Cusack
Reply

p.s. Thanks to Mr. Gallant for writing – note that Ms. Wynne passed the buck. Wonder what the “honourable” minister will have to say!

Country Gal
Reply

Today as I was driving home I noticed a sign on a hydro pole that read
” DO NOT PAY YOUR HYDRO BILL ”
Perhaps this is what we all need to do. Our monthly hydro payments keeps the energy system flowing. Without the flow of revenue from consumers of hydro a disruption of their operation would be created. The consumers need hydro but this electrical entity also needs us. I think a serious disruption needs to occur to curtail this incompetence of the electrical system.

F. W. Archer
Reply

How interesting are all these comments. I hope you’re interested. I have many times asked/suggested an independent audit on the ontario Liberal party to find out what really happened with the shut down of power station construction. I further suggest that someone should test these “smart meters” for defects or flaws. I note the VW issue with clean air only working during testing. My first hydro bill on my new ‘smart meter’ was $1500 for a 4 bedroom house!! They said I would have to pay it or be cut off and have to pay for reconnect. I put solar panels on my house and ‘they’ say that I cannot go ‘off grid’ . I am imprisoned by my government and totally controlled. I hate it. I also note that B.C. is replacing some 88,000 smart meters. I can’t help but think that Mr. McGuinty has hidden a lot and that our premier is ‘carrying on the tradition’.

Parker Gallant
Reply

From the article whom you provided the link.

“Mark Whitworth, board member of Energize Vermont, a pro-renewable energy group, attended the event to protest the manner in which renewable energy projects are being implemented.They’re industrializing wildlife habitat, they are fragmenting forests,” Whitworth said. “They are developing our ridgelines, which is going to result in a loss of flood resiliency, and they’re converting farm land for meager energy production — so we are jeopardizing our food security. We think that these guys are just worsening the very problems that they claim they are helping us to avoid.”

Wonder where we have heard similar words? Certainly not from CanWEA!

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