TORONTO – “Yesterday’s Liberal energy announcement is nothing more than a short-term scheme that will lead to long-term job losses,” Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak said today.
“Kathleen Wynne seems determined to double down on the same failed Dalton McGuinty policies that cost us 300,000 well-paying manufacturing jobs, while increasing middle-class families’ hydro bills by more than $400 a year.”
Hudak was reacting to yesterday’s announcement of the latest Liberal long-term energy plan. Instead of providing relief to Ontarians struggling under high energy bills, the Liberals revealed that their policies will drive hydro bills up by 42%.
“I want to make sure we have more jobs and that families have more money in their pockets,” said Hudak. “That means we need affordable energy in this province.”
Hudak was joined by Ontario PC Energy Critic Lisa MacLeod, who outlined the problem for families.
“Ontario is the only place in the world that thinks economic downturn is a ‘conservation’ program,” said MacLeod. “Too many people are out of work and energy bills are too high.”
“We’re not going to give the Liberals another five years to send energy bills soaring,” said MacLeod. “To provide hope to families across this province, we need to change the team that leads Ontario.”
Ms. Lisa MacLeod: My question, as well, is to the Premier. Speaker, the Premier has no mandate from the people of Ontario. She is presiding over the largest political scandal in Ontario’s history, and a new opinion poll says Ontarians want an election over the gas plant scandal. It says somebody should be thrown in jail over this $1.1-billion scandal, and I believe those results, Speaker, because when I’m in Osgoode or Kars or North Gower or Nepean, the same people who are being asked in these polls are telling the same thing to me. They think they ought to be thrown in jail.
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): It is now time for question period. The member from Nepean–Carleton.
Ms. Lisa MacLeod: Thanks very much, Speaker. I appreciate the opportunity today.
My question is for the Premier. For weeks I have been requesting that you tell the ratepayers how much they are paying on their electricity bills because of the cancelled gas plants, and you keep refusing. I’ve been asking here in this chamber for two weeks.
Yet today, Dwight Duncan, the former Deputy Premier, the former Minister of Energy, the former finance minister, told the justice committee that these types of analyses would be done. In fact, he said the “government would routinely look at the impact aspect.”
Ms. Lisa MacLeod: Back to the Premier: I obviously want to congratulate her and Jane for their first grandchild. That’s exciting—
Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: Third grandchild; first grandson.
Ms. Lisa MacLeod: Oh, sorry—first grandson. That’s fantastic. Hopefully, he’ll be wearing some Tory blue today.
Speaker, I’d like to go back on this matter of the gas plants, because it is clear that there’s no confidence left in the government’s handling of the energy file. In the last two weeks alone, the auditor confirmed they blew $1.1 billion in cancelling the gas plants. Then they cancelled $181 million worth of nuclear reactors. Then the OEB raised hydro rates. Then the 402 was shut down by angry Ontarians in rural communities who are opposed to this wind turbine development scheme. So if their energy policy wasn’t in shambles two weeks ago, it certainly is now. There is zero credibility left.
If you won’t support my colleague from Burlington in her effort to get you to pay back that $950 million, will you at least be honest with the taxpayers of this province when they open their energy bill—