QUEEN’S PARK – A motion to open up the details of the agreement between Samsung and Ontario was defeated by the McGuinty Liberals in Queen’s Park on Wednesday. PC Energy Critic John Yakabuski put forward a motion that would require the government to open up the $7 billion Samsung deal and disclose the details of the agreement.
“Despite the McGuinty Liberals talk of accountability and transparency they voted to keep the details of the deal hidden rather than allowing it to be examined for its long-term impact on business and Ontario families who will end up paying for it,” explained Yababuski.
“The Samsung deal was perfectly in keeping with this government’s and this Ministry’s completely irresponsible handling of Ontario’s energy system.” Yakabuski continued.
The PCs state, “When the McGuinty Liberals announced the Samsung deal last January, even Members of the McGuinty cabinet were infuriated”.
“The government surprised the public, the entire energy sector and even their own cabinet by signing this secret deal with Samsung.” Yakabuski added.
Bob Delaney, in debate at Queen’s Park said, “The PC energy harangue—it would be inaccurate indeed to call it a policy—is a confused mishmash of contradictions, platitudes and non-statements, so let’s sort it out. Let us sort out what exactly the PC energy strategy is. It actually has four pillars: (1) blame the Liberals; (2) do nothing, and run your generation and transmission infrastructure into the ground; (3) burn coal and ignore the consequences; and (4) buy electricity on the US spot market and add the bill to the stranded debt that the Conservatives created and dumped on Ontarians. Those are your four pillars of the PC energy strategy.
“It’s instructive to ask where exactly Ontario was when voters, in their righteous indignation, ushered the Progressive Conservative Party out of power in 2003. We lived on the knife edge of rolling blackouts. The system held together only because the Progressive Conservative government of the day bought power on the US spot market at prices that are between 50% and 150% higher than those paid to the highest feed-in tariff contracts, those of solar power. They added $1 billion in pointless debt to your electricity bill by just tacking it on to the stranded debt that they themselves created when they broke up the old Ontario Hydro into Ontario Power Generation and Hydro One, and they had the Ontario taxpayer assume the debt that the former Ontario Hydro used to offer in bonds, whose interest was paid mainly to Ontarians. That’s the thing that’s on your bill. Listen carefully to the debate and look at the people who created that thing on your bill”.
Yablonski stated, “Despite the government’s lack of disclosure, the Premier was forced to admit that the deal contained no job guarantees despite a $437 million subsidy. According to a column by Randall Denley in the Ottawa Citizen of Jan. 24, 2010, the jobs claimed by the McGuinty government in the Samsung deal will cost $300,000 each in public subsidies”.