QUEEN’S PARK – Today, Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak released a confidential document from Sussex Strategy Group, a Canadian lobbying and public affairs company. Both Chris Benedetti and President, Paul Pellegrini were Aids to senior Liberal ministers.
It shows Dalton McGuinty’s failed energy experiments are expected to increase Ontario families’ home hydro rates by 36 percent in 2012. Worse still, the same document outlines a plan for a special interest group to publicly defend the McGuinty government’s costly energy agenda by confusing the public and the media on the real cost to families.
For several weeks, Tim Hudak and the Ontario PCs have been calling on Dalton McGuinty and Energy Minister Brad Duguid to release their energy bill impact statements to the public, so families won’t have to wait until they open their bills to know how much the cost of hydro is going up. While the McGuinty government has stonewalled the PCs’ requests, this document shows the special interest groups have been given the confidential information the PC Caucus has demanded be given to the public.
Hudak called on Dalton McGuinty once again to come clean on how much his energy experiments will cost Ontario families by releasing the bill impact statements, the details of his Samsung subsidy and the government’s long-term energy plan.
Excerpts from the document:
- “In this it will be critical to ‘confuse’ the issue in the political/public/media away from just price.” (p.2)
- “Lack of considerable economic investment (jobs) to yet come online (lots of announcements to-date but few have actually been realized yet).” (p.3)
- “Residential rates will increase another 36 percent in 2012.” (p.14)
- “ Research needs to support this, and should be coordinated with MEI and OPA.” (p.7)
- “In order to talk past the noisy activists (Hey, that’s us!) and editorial positions, there needs to be a coordinated, paid, earned and social media campaign.” (p.9)
- “Further research is also required post spike in bill fury, including focus groups to colour, wording and emotion to craft effective, targeted messages”. (p.8)
- “Perception that the pro-renewable sector (industry, ENGOs, etc.) have been too quiet and need to be mobilized. This needs to be addressed immediately!” (p.4)
- “Goal is to have $300,000 in hand through contributions from developers and manufacturers to seed the campaign. Each developer asked for a financial contribution of $15,000-$30,000 to support this effort. Anonymous contributions to the campaign are possible.” (p. 11)