MPP John Wilkinson placed an advertisement in the January 14, Wellington Advertiser, announcing the Clean Energy Benefit program providing Ontario Hydro Consumers with a 10% reduction of every electrical bill for the next five years.
With no reduction of Hydro rates, financing this “benefit” apparently comes by borrowing additional billions, thereby increasing the provincial debt to be shouldered by taxpayers for the foreseeable future.
I believe this subsidy, is akin to the bank raising my mortgage $350/month, then offering to reduce my mortgage $200/month, by using my credit card for the missing $200/month over five years. Now I’ll pay interest on the $200 savings while going further into debt. After five years I will still pay $200/month more, plus pay a new credit card debt.
There’s no magic money tree to pay the provincial debt. It comes from increasing tax revenues and/or reducing government services. Or you ignore it hoping it goes away. The Ontario debt has grown from $139 billion since Dalton McGuinty’s election to over $212 billion today.
I believe this “Energy Benefit” is irresponsible vote buying to obscure skyrocketing hydro rates due to Liberal energy policies. I understand as finance minister John Wilkinson oversaw implementation of Ontario’s HST tax and adding HST onto hydro bills. Now apparently Wilkinson is advertising a Liberal 10% hydro bill relief plan, ultimately financed by taxpayers.
The ad’s allusion that fewer people accessing health care offsets these costs is misleading. Closing Ontario coal plants will have little effect on our overall air quality. The Ontario Minister of Environment surely knows 90% of pollutants affecting Ontario is delivered by prevailing winds from external sources.
In August 2007, the government launched an official complaint with the USA Environmental Protection Agency, saying; “Ontario predicts more than half of certain types of air pollution in the province originate south of the border, with 90% of the smog hitting cities like Sarnia and Windsor coming from the USA.”
Additionally, today’s modern coal-fired plants produce more power, with less emission of criteria pollutants, than ever before. According to the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), new pulverized coal plants (operating at lower, “subcritical” temperatures and pressures) reduce NOx emissions by 86%, SO2 by 98%, and particulate matter by 99.8%, compared with similar plants having no pollution controls.
So no matter how many 18? cents/kw industrial wind turbines or 80 cents/kw Solar Panels are built by virtue of the Liberals Green Energy Act, on the pretext of closing 4? cents/kw Ontario clean filtered coal plants, air born pollutants will continue to flow from sources external to Ontario and beyond our control.
Eight years ago when Ernie Eves announced a government funded rate freeze on Hydro rates, an outraged opposition leader Dalton McGuinty responded “My real concern is how much will this cost all of us over the long term?” In 2004 McGuinty ended the rate freeze well before his stated 2006 schedule.
So far our hydro bills have doubled and are destined to keep climbing under the Liberal Government’s Green Energy Act.
JAMES VIRGIN, BELWOOD