Wynne’s $25B hydro boondoggle

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s electricity plan is short term gain for long term pain.

On June 1, according to the Wynne government, the average residential electricity bill in Ontario will drop from $135 per month to $101.

In return, Ontario taxpayers will be on the hook, according to the Wynne government, for an extra $25 billion in interest payments for the cost of electricity over 30 years.

The Liberals say annual increases to electricity rates — set by the Ontario Energy Board every May 1 and November 1 — will not exceed inflation for the next four years.

But what will happen after that is anyone’s guess, since Wynne isn’t freezing hydro rates, just temporarily cutting them.

Given the huge number of Ontarians thrown into energy poverty under the Liberals because of their complete mismanagement of the hydro file — where they spend more than 10% of their income on electricity and home heating fuel alone — we don’t oppose this small break for residential hydro customers.

Not when many seniors on fixed incomes are having to choose between paying their electricity bill and eating.

Of course, all Wynne is doing is kicking the hydro financial crisis the Liberals helped to create down the road.

Of course, it will end in astronomical future hydro rate increases and mortgage the future of our children, grandchildren and generations of Ontarians yet to be born.

Of course, Wynne is cynically trying to bribe Ontarians with their own money in order to win next year’s election, given that her hydro rate cut is a shell game in which the costs of electricity are being transferred from hydro consumers to taxpayers, who are the same people.

Everyone knows what’s going on here. That’s how the Ontario Liberals roll.

That said, Ontarians deserve whatever crumbs of their own money Wynne is willing to give them until the June 7, 2018 election, including this hydro rate cut.

Then they should turf Wynne and the Liberals out of office.

First, because of their incompetence on virtually every file they’ve touched from green energy to health care.

And second, because the Liberals can’t be trusted to maintain this promised hydro rate cut a day after June 7, 2018, if they win the next election.

Toronto Sun

by Sun Staff

March 2nd 2017

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