For decades to come, former Premier Dalton McGuinty and Premier Kathleen Wynne will be a case study in political science and public administration university courses across Canada — but for the wrong reasons.
Both will be studied for how to impoverish a provincial economy by making ideologically-driven electricity policies, devoid of any planning and logic.
Ontario used to be the manufacturing centre of Canada — a rich and prosperous province. Now we have to take handouts from other provinces and we are the most indebted sub-national jurisdiction in the world.
Proctor & Game’s move to shutter their Brockville plant, laying off nearly 500 employees is just the latest blow. While P&G didn’t point to the cost of electricity as the reason to move to West Virginia, I can’t imagine it wasn’t a factor. Perhaps they just didn’t want to burn bridges with the Ontario government. But according to Leeds-Grenville MPP Steve Clarke, the average price of electricity for industrial users in West Virginia was 8.8 cents per kilowatt/hour in 2016, compared to approximately 13 cents in Ontario. That has to have a huge impact on the bottom line.
Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper used to be vilified over his dogmatic policies. He was criticized for failing to account for science in his decision-making. But no two politicians have been more short-sighted and politically-driven by dogma than McGuinty, Wynne and the hydro file.
The un-dynamic McGuinty-Wynne duo have left our energy sector in shambles, not only creating current economic mayhem but plunging us into costly energy schemes which we will not be able to emerge from for the next 30 years. The Ontario liberals like to goad the opposition by challenging them to unveil their plan to fix the problems liberals created. To be honest, I’m glad the NDP and the PCs are not taking the bait. There is no solution to the conundrum the liberals have put us in. It’s as simple as that. We are basically screwed. No way out. Which is why the liberals deserve the boot in the next election.
The finding by the Financial Accountability Office that renegotiating our hydro debt will add $45 billion to our debt over the next 29 years is simply outrageous. Oddly, Wynne behaves as if it someone else’s fault that the electricity sector is ruined.
“You all read the newspaper, you listen to the radio and you watch television — you know the problems that families are having around the province paying for their electricity costs,” Wynne said, as if some external force was to blame.
Wynne misses the point when she says that “there were thousands of kilometres of line that needed to be rebuilt…that work hadn’t been done over those generations, so electricity costs were low over that period of time but the work wasn’t being done.”
The real culprit for the out-of-control electricity rates are the massive spending on green energy and government subsidies for solar panel.
Wynne can stick her head in the sand and pretend the mess is not her doing but in a year’s time, we’ll have a chance to remind her who’s to blame.
Toronto Sun by Andre Marin
May 27th 2017