Runciman: Opposition fails voters with reaction to auditor’s report

Toronto Sun – Ontario’s two opposition parties, operating in a minority Legislature, are failing Ontarians with their weak, predictable reaction to the Auditor General’s scathing report on the McGuinty government’s green energy policies.  The Progressive Conservatives and New Democrats, if they can put their differences aside in the interest of Ontarians, have the tools necessary to compel an arrogant premier and his secret circle of advisers to answer questions raised by the auditor.

They can use their combined majority in the Legislature to refer this to a standing or select committee, frame the terms of reference, and insist the committee has the independent counsel and subpoena power it needs to answer questions such as:

Why were the Ontario Energy Board and the Ontario Power Authority not consulted during negotiations leading to the $7-billion sweetheart deal with Samsung, and why was cabinet approval not sought prior to the announcement?

Why are there no cost-benefit-analyses of that deal, and the hundreds of other contracts under the Feed-in Tariff program — contracts that make little or no economic sense? Indeed, who was consulted when exorbitant rates — rates that will beggar consumers and force companies to cut or close Ontario operations — were established under the FIT program? And who benefited from those decisions?

Why were guidelines ignored and regulations violated in the rush to approve these projects?

Who was involved in the development of the Green Energy Act, which removes arm’s-length, regulation and oversight in favour of concentrating decision-making in the offices of the premier and the minister of energy?

The main challenge will undoubtedly be getting the NDP to the table. Their performance in the Legislature following release of the auditor’s report was a case of missing in action.

While the PC’s did focus their questions on the bombshell green energy elements of the report, the NDP seemed content to ignore the whole matter, apparently for fear of being labelled anti-green. A shameful and disturbing abdication of responsibility and a failure to recognize that this isn’t about the merits of green energy.

It’s about the conduct of the premier and a senior cabinet minister. It’s about who designs policy and who profits from it, and whether there’s any link between the two.

McGuinty and his crew must be delighted. The premier, who didn’t even have the basic respect for the Legislature or for the auditor general to show up to answer questions the next day, has contemptuously dismissed the findings.

Recent Liberal musings about holding off on planned corporate tax cuts — an NDP proposal — in the wake of the NDP’s silence on the revelations from the auditor, should raise eyebrows about a possible tit-for-tat relationship that effectively closes the door on Ontarians seeking answers to what is potentially one of the biggest scandals in Ontario’s history.

Tim Hudak’s PC’s have to make every effort to work with the NDP to use the power voters gave them on Oct. 6 to get to the bottom of this mess. And the NDP’s Andrea Horwath has to stare down the radical elements in her party and not allow this scandal to disappear into the ether.

To do otherwise makes her and her party complicit in McGuinty’s abuse of power.


8 thoughts on “Runciman: Opposition fails voters with reaction to auditor’s report

  1. Really…where are the PC’s? Being quiet and reflective is not going over well and McGuinty, Mr. TeflOntario, is sliding through yet another scandalous report. C’mon already.

    The NDP are a manipulated waste of breath, thanks to Tabuns’ influence. Horwath doesn’t have a backbone or a care for rural Ontarians. (We know who the actual leader of that party is)
    Horwath pretends she is all for the rural people but hides when it comes to taking steps to actually correcting this mess and is not only absent but orders at least one MPP to sit in their office while the vote is being taken in the legislature.
    That event alone should be cause for a charge of intimidation under the criminal code and blatant interference in the process of a democratic vote.

    • Horwath listens to the USW which has an interest in seeing to it that the steel towers are made in Ontario and lots of them so the Great Lakes can also be covered with IWTs.

      • And it didn`t take long for that promise to be broken,(moratorium on offshore IWTs in Lake Ontario) after the Oct. 6/11 prov. election.
        Liberals and NDP simply don`t give a hoot about our fragile environment. It seems only the Conservatives truly care about people and the environment.
        Thank God we`ve got Harper to protect us federally (bye Kyoto Accorde)! If only he`d do something to smarten up Ontarios Lying Liberals, re IWT placement,if anything is possible federally to be done.?.

  2. Looks like representation for voters is a scam the way I see it . Who needs representation with no back bone or help from all this mess.They want your votes so they can represent your share of the wealth and resources that each Canadian has in there BC bond number that each of us has {and there is a lot of stock in these accounts) That basically covers what the hell representation is all about,MONEY. As we suffer the burden that these representatives decide on be it bad they do not care until to much shit hits the fan from a bad enough out cry Usually it is to late for a lot of us because they are somehow immune {Politcians always seem to get away with it}. Sound bazaar? But it is true if you start taking the veils off and clue yourself in.Most o f us will just continue thinking they will come around and start looking after our interests and go about their lives. The above story just proves it they don’t give a rats ass. Cheers

  3. The NDP are worse than McGuinty with their crazy green plans……..and Hudak is so afraid of being accused of even knowing Harris that hes afraid to open his mouth! A herd of hamsters could have brought McGuinty down on October 6th…………..we are being mismanaged by a complete bevy of idiots!

  4. Now, now Thebiggreenlie; lets not go around insulting Idiots, they have feelings to! I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t want to be associated with the absolute filth filling the chairs on both sides of the house at Queen’s Park! But then again, here I go insulting filth! 

    Sean Holt.

  5. Play by rules – Do nothing – Get paid
    Maybe Ontario should be watching.

    Official figures disclosed that 17 operators were paid almost £7 million for shutting down their farms on almost 40 ­occasions between January and mid-September. Continuing to make payments at that rate would lead to householders paying out £9.9 million in 2011 for operators to disconnect their turbines from the National Grid.

    The scale of the payments triggered a review of the rules on so-called constraint payments. The payments are made when too much electricity floods the grid, with the network unable to absorb any excess power generated. The money is ultimately added on to household bills and paid for by consumers.

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