Liberal Hydro Plans Draw Fire from Opposition Leaders

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath
Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath at Youth Centres Thunder Bay in media scrum

TORONTO – The decision by the Ontario Liberal government to lower Hydro rates has the opposition parties in Queen’s Park calling foul.Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown says “Every single time the Liberals have touched our electricity system over the past 14 years, they’ve made it worse.”

“The cost of electricity has gone up 50 per cent just since Premier Wynne took office, and she has no plan to stop the actual price of power from rising,” said New Democrat leader Andrea Horwath. “She’s spending $40 billion to buy some pre-election political relief for herself and her party – and failing to fix the system. We’re all going to pay for that, one way or another.”

Horwath and the NDP announced an extensive plan Monday that will save all Ontario households up to 30 per cent on their hydro bills. It includes immediate measures like eliminating time-of-use premiums and unfair, higher delivery charges, and repairs the broken hydro system permanently – including a return of Hydro One to public hands.

“Premier Wynne’s scheme doesn’t address the mess the former Conservative government and Premier Wynne made of our hydro system,” said Horwath. “She’s still planning to continue the disastrous sell-off of Hydro one. She’s still planning to charge time-of-use premiums that punish parents for cooking dinner at dinner time and seniors for staying home during the day.

“We need a solution for the broken system – not just a $40 billion band aid for Premier Wynne’s political problems.”

The Liberals Hydro One plans, according to both opposition parties will cost $14 billion over the next thirty years in interest payments alone.

“The Wynne Liberals came clean today and admitted their $14 billion mistake and that their policies and their policies alone are responsible for the 400% increase in hydro. Whether you pay today or pay tomorrow this Liberal plan will burden Ontario ratepayers for years to come,” says PC Leader Patrick Brown.

The Liberal plan signed on to borrow $14 billion in interest payments alone.

“I have no doubt, given another chance, the Liberals will raise rates and taxes again. After 14 years of skyrocketing rates the Liberals – just a year out from an election – realize the damage their policies have had.”

The Ontario PCs are the only party that will stop the fire sale of Hydro One, prevent more pay hikes to energy executives, and stop signing more expensive wind and solar contracts by repealing the Green Energy Act – otherwise known as the Bad Contracts Act.

“Tomorrow this government is moving forward with more bad green energy contracts at a huge cost. These are contracts that are the root of the problem. This is more energy generation we don’t need,” added Brown. “Instead of addressing the roots of the problem by cancelling the Green Energy Act, the Wynne Liberals are signing even more expensive contracts. This is absurd.”

Many of the contracts signed to date were handed out to well-known Liberal donors. In fact, 30 of these companies handed over $1.3 million to the Liberal party coffers.

Brown announced that a detailed Ontario PC plan, to be announced soon, will reveal additional measures to provide widespread hydro relief and prevent rate hikes in the future.

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