OPINION: Wynne has done nothing to address root cause of hydro price increases

The government is borrowing billions for a small, short-term subsidy: NDP energy critic

Opinion             Jun 28, 2017 10:00         by Peter Tabuns          InsideToronto.com

Kathleen Wynne has hiked hydro bills by 50 per cent on top of the 50 per cent increase by Dalton McGuinty — we can't let her do any more damage to our hydro system.

Ontario’s New Democrats will lower hydro bills by up to 30 per cent and put Hydro One back in public hands. That's in stark contrast to Kathleen Wynne’s privatization, and now a borrowing scheme that will see our bills skyrocket by another $45 billion.

Here in Ontario, so many families, businesses, community organizations and institutions are close to the breaking point. They simply can't afford any more of Wynne's hydro hikes. Yet, in response to the crisis she created, Wynne’s solution is to borrow billions for a small, short-term subsidy in hydro bills over the next few years  — a subsidy that will be coming right back onto hydro bills — with interest — after the election.

Wynne's plan does nothing to address the root causes of hydro price increases: her bad contracts with private and foreign corporations, and her sale of Hydro One.

That small subsidy will do little to counteract the 50 per cent climb in hydro bills since Wynne has been premier. And it gets worse. While Wynne is hoping we'll all focus on her taxpayer-funded advertisements on her hydro scheme, the Ontario Energy Board is actually touring the province on the plan to increase Hydro One rates by 20 per cent.

So, the hikes continue. The pain for everyday families and Ontario businesses will continue. It's like Wynne has never had to open her own hydro bill. The only way to end this is to stop her and her privatization scheme.

The NDP’s plan would lower hydro bills by up to 30 per cent through real, concrete measures we can do today. We will scrap unfair delivery costs, end mandatory time-of-use penalties, cap private profit margins, bring real oversight to electricity prices and use tax benefits to help Ontarians, instead of the well-connected.

Our plan will actually fix the system, today and for generations — and it actually undoes Wynne's privatization, returning Hydro One to public hands.

The NDP’s plan helps people. Wynne’s plan helps the well-connected. And the Conservatives haven't come clean on their plan since they last proposed selling off Hydro One and Ontario Power Generation.

The NDP plan will also put $7 billion back into the province — money that can go into the public services we all depend on. That's a major contrast with the Wynne scheme that will cost $45 billion.

We may be paying for Wynne's bad decisions for a long time — but there's still time to undo the damage done by years of Conservative and Wynne privatization and build a system that works for everyday families.