Well this was another disastrous week for your government’s energy file. I followed with interest the Auditor General of Ontario’s assessment of the recently announced “Fair Hydro Plan” and your government’s response to the findings.
As I mentioned in earlier correspondence to you, I am finding that when it comes to the energy file, the Green Energy Act, wind project documents, etc., it’s all very complicated stuff that most people don’t have the time nor patience to wade through.
As I have done in the past, I will simply explain Ontario’s “Fair Hydro Plan” in real words.
The Liberal Party knows full well that they have a pig (or albatross whichever you prefer) on their hands heading into the 2018 provincial election with sky high electricity bills and the public’s outcry associated with it.
Your party along with the best financial, legal and accounting consultants that $2-million could buy, got together to do a little problem solving and came up with a very simple solution.
The solution entailed offering electricity free of charge to ratepayers for upwards of 1.75 days for each seven-day period; this, Premier Wynne, is the same as offering an unsustainable 25 per cent pricing discount.
There is a catch, of course – the hydro generation, steaming off, curtailing and selling excess electricity production into United States’ markets is extremely costly. The power generators (gas, hydro, nuclear, wind, solar) still need to be paid for their supply of electricity provided (whether needed or not) over the “1.75 free Ontario electricity days” each week.
Again, your government and the high-priced consultants came up with another very simple solution – “We’ll tap into the financial markets and borrow money to cover the power generators’ bills that are not being picked by the ratepayers over the “free Ontario electricity days” bonanza period.”
Now here is where it gets even more interesting.
Your government had two borrowing options on the table. The first option was for the Province of Ontario to borrow the money, while the second option was for the provincially-owned Ontario Power Generation to borrow the money at less favourable terms, which in turn will cost $4-billion more to finance than the first option.
Your government and the high-priced consultants agreed that the second option with the $4-billion higher price tag made perfect sense as it would make the Province of Ontario’s financial books look a little better heading into next year’s election.
To the person on the street corner in Finch, Ottawa or Mississauga, this makes no sense.
Your Minister of Energy Glen Thibeault’s response to why paying an extra $4-billion was completely acceptable in order to bury this problem in advance of the 2018 election, was priceless. He went on some convoluted tangent talking about the risk of “cross pollination.” It certainly looks as though Mr. Thibeault is gunning for promotion into the Agriculture file.
To add insult to injury, your government then went and spent another $5.5-million “putting lipstick on a pig,” as they say in advertisements, extolling the virtues of Ontario’s “clean, reliable and affordable” electricity system and its “Fair Hydro Plan.”
It’s as simple as that, when you peel away all of the corporate-speak associated with Ontario’s energy file.
So what is the real price tag for the “free Ontario electricity days” being offered to the ratepayers of Ontario? Well, it’s approximately $39.4-billion and counting as new wind and solar projects are brought online and will be paid down by ratepayers by way of surcharges being added to our already inflated electricity bills, starting in four years and extending out over the next 30-plus years.
Unlike your government, I tend to believe that most rate and taxpayers in Ontario are seeing through the smoke and mirrors of your government’s accounting practices and understand that they are receiving a very expensive gift to be paid back out of our own, our childrens’, our grandchildrens’ and great-grandchildrens’ wallets.
Now here comes the real kicker – the $39.4-billion of ratepayer money that you are spending is fixing the wrong problem. Ontario is currently (and will be for the foreseeable future) flooded with expensive electricity generation driving electricity bills sky high, and the problem will only get worse as more needless wind and solar projects come on stream.
I again urge you to do the right thing and cancel any future wind and solar development projects in Ontario so that we can stop this financial lunacy from getting even more out of control.
Lastly, the Concerned Citizens of North Stormont is a grassroots organization doing their best to protect the environment and health of the citizens of North Stormont from your government’s Ministry of the Environment and the wind project developers who are looking to erect up to 34 massive wind turbines in our beautiful township.
It’s a real-life David versus Goliath story that is unfolding in the Township of North Stormont. On the one side, you have the Township and its citizens who have been (by way of Ontario’s Green Energy Act), stripped of all rights to stop the foreign-owned wind developer’s hostile takeover of the Township. On the other side, we have the Ontario government who is making all the rules and the wind project developer, both of whom seem to have an unending supply of cash available to help shove 34 turbines down our throats.
Yet we are not discouraged, as we truly believe that common sense will prevail at some time in the very near future and that you will make the right decision in cancelling Nation Rise Wind Project and others not yet operational. Thanks for your time and attention.
Raymond Grady, Crysler