QUEEN’S PARK – Nipissing MPP and PC Energy Critic Vic Fedeli says “Northern Ontarians can expect their hydro bills to continue to spiral upwards after defeat of Bill 42 today in the Ontario Legislature. The Affordable Energy and Restoration of Local Decision Making Act, 2012, proposed by PC Leader Tim Hudak, was aimed at kick-starting private sector job creation. Liberal and NDP members teamed up to defeat the bill 49-36 on Second Reading”.
“Affordable energy is a building block of a strong Ontario that meets the expectations of its people,” continued Fedeli. “To be able to pay for strong health care and education, we need affordable energy.”
Hudak’s bill would have eliminated the FIT and microFIT programs, which pay subsidies of between double and 10 times the cost of other forms of energy to developers through 20 year contracts. It would restore local decision-making for the placement of large-scale wind and solar projects to what they were before the Green Energy Act.
Fedeli noted Ontario is now one of the highest-cost jurisdictions for energy anywhere in North America. “We believe energy policy is an economic development tool, not a social engineering experiment,” Fedeli said, adding Spain, Germany, Italy, Denmark and France have all learned this lesson and are scaling back or ending wind and solar subsidies altogether. FIT subsidies dole out the dollars whether Ontario needs the power or not – and we don’t”.
As a result, Fedeli said, “Ontario has been exporting surplus electricity to Quebec and New York for less than it costs Ontario ratepayers, adding up to a loss of nearly $2 billion since 2006 and in some cases has led to paying other jurisdictions to take the power off our hands”.
“These job-killing subsidies cost between two and four jobs in the real economy for every job they create, and up to three-quarters of the jobs created artificially by this program are only temporary.”
“The path to affordable energy in Ontario is to cancel the FIT subsidy altogether.”