If Premier Kathleen Wynne wants to run an open and transparent government, as she says she does, we have a simple question.
Why is her government putting inserts into hydro bills touting the province’s 8% HST rebate, which started Jan. 1, but not including the increased cost of cap and trade as a separate item on home heating and energy bills, which also started Jan. 1?
Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault claims advising Ontarians of the 8% HST rebate on their hydro bills is so they can plan their budgets.
If so, why didn’t the Liberals send out notices informing ratepayers every time they imposed higher electricity rates on Ontarians between 2006 and 2016, during which time rates doubled?
Municipal utilities like Toronto Hydro already include the dollar amount of the “8% Provincial Rebate” as a separate line item on their electricity bills to consumers, listed as a credit, so why is the Wynne government informing them of the same thing, again?
Of the latest inserts touting the 8% HST rebate — similar to notices the Liberals sent out in 2010 touting the now-defunct 10% Clean Energy Benefit discount, which started in 2011 — Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk said they violated the spirit of the Liberal government’s advertising rules.
The only reason they didn’t violate the rules themselves is that there are no rules on content when the government sends inserts to homeowners.
However, when it comes to government advertising, Wynne in 2015, despite protests by Lysyk, gutted a law passed by her predecessor — Dalton McGuinty — that empowered the auditor general to disallow partisan government advertising.
Since then, Lysyk has criticized numerous ads by the Wynne government, financed by millions of taxpayers’ dollars, as inappropriately partisan and self-congratulatory, noting she would not have approved them under the law Wynne gutted.
Finally, the Wynne government’s explanation for not including the added cost of cap and trade as a separate item on home heating/energy bills is that the Ontario Energy Board rejected it, as if the Liberals, with a majority government, don’t have the power to do whatever they want when it comes to this issue.
What’s really going on is that they’re manipulating the rules in hopes of winning next year’s election.
Some open and transparent government.
Toronto Sun by Sun Staff
May 18th 2017