by Christina Blizzard, Toronto Sun
The lights are on. Your cheque is in the mail.
That, in a nutshell, was the message a beleaguered Premier Dalton McGuinty wanted you to get.
Tuesday, McGuinty announced a credit of up to $1,025 for seniors who need help paying their hydro bills. Some low-income renters and homeowners who aren’t seniors will get a rebate. The threshold is $25,000 for a single senior and $30,000 for a couple over 65.
This year, the rebate will be processed through the income tax system. Next year, a conveniently-timed cheque will land in your mailbox in July. Yes, that’s right, just a month before campaigning starts officially for the provincial election.
Not that anyone’s trying to buy your vote or anything.
Make no mistake. This is just a Band-aid for bad policy.
It’s reminiscent of 2002, when another beleaguered premier — Ernie Eves — announced a cap on hydro rates to offset soaring rates. Except back then, electricity was almost half the price it is now.
Eves was consistent about one thing — he wanted the GST taken off electricity. If that had happened back then, we wouldn’t be getting slapped with another 8% of HST now.
We are being impoverished by taxes.
McGuinty’s spending is out of control. The Liberals have almost doubled spending since they took office.
That’s why they need the massive rake-off from the HST.
In combination with skyrocketing rate hikes, homeowners — seniors particularly — are finding it increasingly more difficult to afford their electricity.
McGuinty says they need this hike to build new generation and new infrastructure. Liberals brag about closing coal plants — a flawed and foolish policy that is pricing electricity beyond our means.
It’s also paying for the perks and plums of the bloated new energy bureaucracy McGuinty’s government has spawned.
The Ontario Power Authority is the agency charged with ensuring adequate supply of electricity.
Judging by an ad on Workopolis, they’re also ensuring a steady stream of coffee and goodies to their executives.
The OPA is looking for a “Hospitality co-ordinator.” The lucky candidate will be responsible for setting up meeting rooms and solving problems such as double-bookings for rooms.
He or she will: “Order & coordinate catering for small to large meetings and various corporate events for up to 300 participants; this includes monthly Board of Director’s meetings.
“Order, receive and set-up catering and beverages, Set-up roster of caterers for different levels of events, and ensure the information is available on-line for all OPA administrative staff.” The job entails making sure meeting rooms and kitchens are clean. The hospitality guru will, “Order and ensure stocking of the meeting room kitchens with consumables (coffee, sugar, water etc), supplies (cups, cutlery, napkins etc.).” Applicants for this job require a post-secondary education, two to five years office experience and the “ability to deal with ambiguity and tight deadlines.” Imagine that. You now need a degree to get coffee for the bosses.
It’s enough to make you gag.
What company in the private sector hires someone to get coffee? What private sector company buys the coffee and “consumables” for its employees?
Someone needs to tell these energy companies we’re not the suckers they take us for.
Talk about let them eat cake.
Families around the province are staggering under the overbearing weight of their electricity bills.
And we’re paying for bureaucrats’ lattes.