CORNWALL — Premier Wynne’s impending hydro rollback has the support of the Opposition Progressive Conservatives — who nonetheless condemn the governing party’s “reckless” and hugely unpopular rate hikes that led up to this week’s dramatic about-face by the Liberals.
Eighteen months out from the next election, Wynne yesterday announced a Hail Mary hydro 25-percent price cut that’s supposed to take place later this year. The province will take on more debt to extend the payback period on projects showing up on hydro bills as the Global Adjustment charge.
“The latest Liberal plan does not undo any of the reckless policies that created the problem in the first place,” local MPP Jim McDonell, member of the Tory caucus, asserted in a press release. “Instead, they are simply going to be paying additional billions of dollars more over a longer period of time,” he said, noting $1.4-billion in estimated additional interest costs to be incurred by Ontarians.
The touted rate cut includes the Jan. 1 HST reduction of eight percent that went into effect on January 1, “which they are essentially re-announcing,” McDonell pointed out. “These cuts would not have been necessary if not for the Liberals’ disastrous energy policies which sent Ontario hydro rates skyrocketing in the first place.”
The PC Caucus vowed to support the initiative because of the “urgent need for immediate hydro relief.”
“People need relief now, and they will receive some,” McDonell said. “The government, however, has done nothing to fix the broken electricity system they created with a decade of bad policy, and refuses to acknowledge the root causes of the problem.”