QUEEN’S PARK – Randy Hillier, Northern Development critic for the PC Caucus excoriated the McGuinty Liberals for their raising of energy prices, demanding the Liberals come clean for why the rates have doubled for many Ontario families.
“We’ve gone from 4.5 cents per kilowatt hour to 9.9 cents peak energy rate. That’s more than double,” observed Hillier. “Even the base rate during off-peak times is 5.3 cents. Dalton McGuinty’s assertion that smart meters are going to save people money is a lie. There is no way anybody will save money when the rates double along with new delivery and debt retirement charges.”
The new Time of Use rates were unveiled by Hydro One on May 1st, with no fanfare – just a posting on their website. This has followed months of energy rate increases, including a “fee” that the Liberals inserted into hydro bills, which the C.D. Howe Institute argues is an unconstitutional tax. The HST, which began phasing in on May 1st as well, will further increase energy prices by an additional 8%. The combination of these factors is leading us to a crisis in energy prices.
“I was an electrician before being elected to office. I know my trade, and I know that many energy costs are fixed. Your hot water heater, your refrigerator, and heating: these items operate throughout the day,” explained Hillier. “What would the Liberals suggest we do? Heat our homes only on weekends this winter and turn our refrigerators off during the day time?”
While the McGuinty Liberals have stated that rate increases are going towards increased infrastructure, the reality is that the Green Energy Act sets the province up for exponential power rate increases.
“Someone ought to teach these guys basic economics,” said Hillier. “If we’re paying 80 cents per kilowatt hour for a solar project, there’s no way that prices are going to be 4.5 cents on the consumer’s end. It’s not just an outright lie, it’s downright disgraceful to assume that the people of Ontario will continue to buy it.”