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Joined: 02 Mar 2009
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Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:36 pm    Post subject: Ont Liberals lied about true cost of hydro rate cut plan ? Reply with quote

( there never seems to be any good news for Wynne , the auditor thinks something stinks about her plan and is deeply suspious of the way its been done )

Ontario Liberals obscuring true financial impact of cuts to hydro bills: AG

Allison Jones, The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, October 17, 2017 12:14PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, October 17, 2017 1:46PM EDT

The way the Ontario Liberal government is cutting hydro bills by 25 per cent purposely obscures the true financial impact of the measure to avoid showing a deficit on the province's books, the auditor general said Tuesday.

Bonnie Lysyk estimated in a special report that the plan's total cost will be $39.4 billion over 30 years, but the accounting the government is using means Ontario's net debt -- currently at about $312 billion -- and future deficits won't reflect that.

"It is clear to us that the government's intention in creating the accounting/financing design to handle the costs of the electricity rate reduction was to avoid affecting its fiscal plan," Lysyk wrote in her report.

Hydro One
A hydro tower is shown in Toronto on Wednesday, November 4, 2015. (Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press)

The Liberals presented a balanced budget in the spring, a year ahead of the provincial election, and have promised to keep the books in balance through the next couple of years.

The hydro plan lowers time-of-use rates by removing from bills a portion of the global adjustment -- a charge consumers pay for above-market rates to power producers -- for the next 10 years.

In the meantime, producers will continue being paid the same, so Ontario Power Generation has been tapped to oversee the debt used to pay that difference through a new entity called OPG Trust.

The end result of the "needlessly complex" financing structure is that the province's bottom line won't be affected, Lysyk said.

The cost of paying back that debt with interest will then go back onto ratepayers' bills for the following 20 years, and Lysyk estimated the cost will be $18.4 billion borrowed to cover the shortfall, and $21 billion in accumulated interest.

Ontario's financial watchdog has said the plan means hydro customers will be paying a net $21 billion over the next three decades to get short-term savings.

Both the auditor and the financial accountability officer have concluded the structure leads to about $4 billion in extra interest charges because the OPG Trust will have to borrow at a higher rate than the province itself would have.

The government doesn't agree with Lysyk's conclusions, saying their financing structure is indeed in compliance with accounting standards and wasn't intended to avoid a deficit.

It ensures that the costs are borne by ratepayers, who will benefit from the plan, and not the tax base, the government wrote in a response to the report.

Electricity bills in the province have roughly doubled in the last decade, due in part to green energy initiatives, and Premiere Kathleen Wynne promised to cut hydro bills in the province after widespread anger over rising costs helped send her approval ratings to record lows.

She has said this plan better spreads out the costs of investments in the energy system, instead of putting the entire burden on current ratepayers.

The Liberals have said after the initial cut to bills this year, rate increases will be held to inflation for the next four years. After that, the FAO has projected the average bill will rise about 6.8 per cent a year until 2028, and after that bills will be about four per cent higher than they would have been without the Liberal plan.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reevely: Hiding billions in hydro debt 'unacceptable,' Ontario's auditor general says

David Reevely David Reevely

Published on: October 17, 2017 | Last Updated: October 17, 2017 3:53 PM EDT

Hiding billions of dollars the Ontario government is borrowing to lower electricity bills for a few years will cost hydro users an extra $4 billion, the province’s auditor general reported Tuesday morning.

Maybe worse, Bonnie Lysyk said in a special report on the Liberals’ “Fair Hydro Plan,” the tricks the government is using throw doubt on all the province’s books. The government, citizens, auditors and giant institutions that lend the province money are pretty much operating in a post-truth universe, where what the Liberals say is going on with Ontario’s finances has begun to drift from any previously understood shared reality.

What the Liberals have done “would be unacceptable in the private sector, and we maintain that this is also unacceptable in the public sector,” Lysyk reported. “If the consolidated financial statements are so unreliable that an adverse opinion is warranted, terms like ‘balanced budget,’ ‘deficit,’ ‘asset’ and ‘net debt’ will be meaningless.”

Here’s what’s happening.

Earlier this year, Premier Kathleen Wynne gave up defending the increases in the price of electricity since the Liberals took over in 2003. She and her cabinet put together a plan to cut bills that amounted to paying today’s costs with borrowed money and repaying it with interest later. It has already cut residential bills by an average of 25 per cent, beginning last summer. And it will increase them by a combined total of $21 billion over time, when all that interest has to be paid, according to a previous report by Ontario’s financial accountability officer (whose job is specifically to run budget numbers independently of the government, and whose findings Lysyk used for her dollar figures).

The argument they make is that the investment in cleaner and more reliable power will benefit us for a long time, so we should pay for it over more years — that’s “fairer.” This is debatable but not obviously ludicrous. That additional “fairness” is costing $17 billion in interest, spread out over years.

The Liberals really, really, really wanted to keep that debt off their books, so they could also go into the next election saying the provincial budget is balanced. Borrowing billions in an election year would get in the way. So they did some advanced financial engineering to put the debt on Ontario Power Generation instead. The Crown corporation is publicly owned but it doesn’t get interest rates as good as the provincial government itself, so that’s where the $4-billion premium comes in.

Her team looked at emails from the upper reaches of several government ministries, though the Ministry of Energy kept some back, Lysyk’s report says.

“Hopefully they’ll come to the conclusion that it can be financed by the province … rather than externally, as that would be a lot simpler and cheaper,” she quotes one unnamed senior official, in an email.

Nope. OPG is borrowing the money on our behalf and then there’s a complicated interplay of regulatory and financial manoeuvres to book money we’re expecting hydro users to pay for electricity in the 2020s, ’30s and ’40s as assets that balance off the debt. The essence of the scheme is to say Ontarians are borrowing these billions of dollars as hydro ratepayers, not as voting citizens. Same people, different hats, different rules.

All of which is bull, Lysyk says. The point of accounting is to tell you how much money you have, how much you owe and how much you are owed. That’s what the standards for Canadian public-sector accounting are supposed to achieve.

“These standards are there to ensure that the financial reporting of government policy decisions reflects common sense: borrowings are debt, unearned revenue is not an asset today and when your expenses exceed your revenues, you incur a deficit,” Lysysk said Tuesday. Nobody has used electricity in 2025 yet, let alone 2040. You can’t count guesstimates of use and prices 20 years down the line as an asset today.

The usefulness of doing so was visible when Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault and Treasury Board President Liz Sandals responded to Lysyk’s report. They think the $4-billion estimate for the extra cost of hiding the debt is too high. They argue the gap between the government’s interest rate and Ontario Power Generation’s might not be as big as the financial accountability office thinks.

They could be right — we won’t know for sure till the 2040s. So it’s a bit weird to account for it as if it’s a fait accompli.

The government even went shopping for different accounting standards it might use, Lysyk’s report says, trying out rules used for private businesses in the United States because they seemed friendlier to what the Liberals wanted to do. Consulting firm Deloitte told the government this was OK, a position it repeated at the government’s request on Tuesday after Lysyk released her report.

Maybe reasonable accountants can disagree about this. But the ground they’re fighting over is whether the trick the Liberals used to keep the debt off the government books at a cost of billions of dollars is an acceptable trick, not whether they’re keeping the debt off the government books or whether it’s going to cost billions of dollars.

Which is just what you want from your government, right?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Auditor general blasts Kathleen Wynne's 'Fair Hydro Plan'

Liberals 'improperly' keeping hydro plan debt off government's books, says special report by Bonnie Lysyk

By Mike Crawley, CBC News Posted: Oct 17, 2017 10:46 AM ET| Last Updated: Oct 17, 2017 2:16 PM ET

Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk released a special report Tuesday on the Wynne government's move to cut hydro bills by 25 per cent, with an election around the corner.

The Wynne government created a "needlessly complex" scheme to pay for its hydro rate cuts without showing the costs on its own bottom line, Ontario's auditor general said in a critical report released Tuesday.

Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk investigated the financing of what the Ontario Liberals call the "Fair Hydro Plan." The plan has reduced the average household electricity bill in the province by 25 per cent from the peak in the summer of 2016.

Lysyk said the government is "improperly" accounting for the $26 billion in debt the province is taking on to cut hydro bills in the short term.

The $26 billion is being borrowed through Ontario Power Generation, so will not appear on the province's books. Electricity customers will pay off that debt through rate increases spread out over the next 30 years.

The government chose that financing scheme "to keep deficits and an increase in net debt from showing up on the Province's books," Lysyk said in the report, tabled Tuesday morning in the Legislature.

Anywhere else in Canada, you won't see this done.

- Bonnie Lysyk, auditor general of Ontario

"The government created a needlessly complex accounting / financing structure for the electricity rate reduction in order to avoid showing a deficit or an increase in net debt," writes Lysyk .

The auditor says the plan could also result in Ontarians paying "up to $4 billion more than necessary" in interest. That's because OPG will be required to pay higher interest rates than the province would if the government took on the debt directly.

Hydro rate cut audit
Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault and Treasury Board President Liz Sandals take questions from reporters after the release of the auditor general's report. (Mike Crawley/CBC)

Lysyk told a news conference that the government is "wrong" in how it's accounting for the borrowing.

"Anywhere else in Canada, you won't see this done," she said. "The government's proposal is to treat that loss as an asset.

"That's like you treating your credit card debt as an asset in your books. Does that sound right to you?"

Rate cut won't last: Lysyk

The hydro rate cuts will not last, Lysyk found. "From 2028 on, ratepayers will be charged more than the actual cost of the electricity being produced in order to pay back the borrowings," she said in the report.

"The improper accounting also inappropriately transfers long-term accountability for significantly higher electricity bills to future governments," writes Lysyk. "Future governments will have to explain to ratepayers why electricity rates charged in 2028 and beyond exceed the actual cost of electricity."
■How your hydro bill will rise over the next decade

The Wynne government is already trying to dismiss all of the auditor's findings.

"The government of Ontario does not agree with the assertions and conclusions expressed in the report," said an official response issued together with the auditor's report.

Todd Smith
Ontario PC energy critic Todd Smith calls the Liberals' financing method for cutting hydro rates 'deceitful, dishonest and shady.' (CBC)

The Liberals are portraying the controversy as an "accounting dispute" with the auditor and describing their method of financing the debt as the normal course of business.

"There were no fast ones being pulled at all," said Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault at a news conference Tuesday. "We always said it's going to take longer to pay off and it's going to cost more."

"We're not inventing something new," said Treasury Board president Liz Sandals.

The opposition parties are seizing on the auditor's report.

PC critic calls move 'deceitful, dishonest'

The Fair Hydro Plan "was simply a ploy to hide the actual cost of this borrowing scheme ... and at the same time, tell people in Ontario that they had balanced the budget," PC energy critic Todd Smith told reporters at Queen's Park.

"It is deceitful, it's dishonest and it's shady," said Smith.

"We've got an Enron-style accounting system that's being set up by the Liberals to hide the debt they're taking on so that the books will look good in the next election," said NDP energy critic Peter Tabuns.

Ontario's financial accountability officer has already described the scheme as a "complicated accounting structure" that will increase gross debt by approximately $26 billion by 2027-28, but not show any impact on the government's books.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So now we know that they have been cooking the books ...

What else can there be?

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wynne hydro plan highway robbery

First posted: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 07:56 PM EDT

Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk gave Ontarians a depressing glimpse of their financial future Tuesday in her report condemning Premier Kathleen Wynne’s financing of her so-called “Fair Hydro Plan”.

That future is one of never-ending debt, in which Wynne’s Liberal government, already the most indebted sub-sovereign borrower in the world, will continue to drive us deeper and deeper into the red, year after year.

Lysyk’s report revealed the Liberals don’t care about that, as long as they can portray the provincial budget as balanced through accounting tricks that hide the true costs from taxpayers and hydro ratepayers.

In this case, instead of directly borrowing the money necessary to subsidize hydro rates by 25% for four years, the Wynne government will do it through entities like Ontario Power Generation, which will have to pay as much as $4 billion in higher interest costs over three decades as a result.

The Liberals’ reason for doing it this way, is that this irresponsible scheme will allow the government to keep these payments from visibly adding to the province’s annual deficits and net debt.

The problem, says Lysyk, is that it also means senior officials in the Wynne government deliberately ignored the government’s own accounting practices and standards in creating the scheme.

That will cost the public $39.4 billion in all, she said, including $4 billion in extra interest payments, throwing the credibility of the province’s budgets and consolidated financial statements in doubt for years to come.

Based on Lysyk’s finding, Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown called the Liberal government’s scheme “cooking the books”. We agree, although it won’t be illegal because the government has passed specific legislation giving it the authority to do what it’s doing, however ill-advised.

Basically the Wynne government is again recklessly spending billions of public dollars trying to get itself re-elected in June, by politically bribing Ontarians with their own money. In this case, by temporarily subsidizing hydro rates by 25%, rates the Liberals doubled over the past decade through such disastrous policies as their irresponsible pursuit of expensive, unreliable and unneeded wind and solar power.

Rates that will skyrocket again after four years, if the Liberals’ succeed in implementing their scheme and winning the June election.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wynne Liberals broke every rule in the book

By Lorrie Goldstein, Toronto Sun
First posted: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 04:05 PM EDT | Updated: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 07:47 PM EDT

Normally, Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk’s complete evisceration of how Premier Kathleen Wynne plans to pay for her “Fair Hydro Plan” would be an election game changer.

That is, the final nail in the coffin of the Wynne government’s financial credibility, leading to its defeat at the polls in June.

Lysyk’s findings, released Tuesday, are devastating for the Liberals.

She concluded “senior government officials” knowingly ignored the government’s “own policy for preparing financial statements” to create “an unnecessary, complex financing structure” designed to keep “the true financial impact of most of its 25% electricity-rate reduction off the province’s books ... by understating future annual deficits and net debt.”

This Lysyk said, “could cost Ontarians up to $4 billion more than necessary in interest costs over 30 years” and is not only “wrong,” but if the government goes ahead, “would make the province’s budgets and future consolidated financial statements unreliable” under “independently set Canadian Public Sector Accounting Standards.”

Lysyk said the scheme undermines government claims of achieving a balance budget.

She recommends it, “report the true financial impact of its electricity rate reduction plan in the province’s budgets and consolidated financial statements, and use the least costly financing structure to fund the electricity-rate reduction.”

That, Lysyk said, means having the government borrow the money needed to finance the Fair Hydro Plan, instead of having other entities, such as Ontario Power Generation, borrow the cash at higher interest rates, in order to keep the 30-year, $39.4 billion cost of the scheme off the government’s books.

Lysyk’s findings call to mind former federal auditor general Sheila Fraser’s devastating 2004 report that found federal officials in Jean Chretien’s government “broke just about every rule in the book” in awarding contracts during the Liberal sponsorship scandal.

The political fallout from that saw Paul Martin’s Liberals reduced to a minority government in 2004, before losing to the Harper Conservatives in 2006, after 13 years in power.

Except for one difference.

That is that the Wynne Liberals, and before them the Dalton McGuinty Liberals, have survived scandals — e-Health, Ornge, cancelled gas plants, green energy — that should have ended their 14-year political dynasty years ago.

We already know from previous elections that no matter how many scandals the Liberals cause, Ontario’s powerful public sector unions will support them at election time, while attacking whomever the Conservative leader happens to be.

We know a huge number of Ontario voters, particularly in Toronto, will stick with the Liberals no matter what.

We know many support Wynne’s Fair Hydro Plan, even though it’s a phony fix to the skyrocketing hydro rates the Liberals caused, in part, through their disastrous green energy policies.

Combine that with the fact Wynne is a smart, tough campaigner, while Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown faces an internal revolt by social conservatives who feel he’s betrayed them, and it all adds up to one thing.

The Wynne Liberals, incredibly, are still competitive heading into June’s election.

Be afraid, Ontario. Be very afraid.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The political corruption of the Wynne Liberals is a contagion

Bonokoski 2016
By Mark Bonokoski, Postmedia Network
First posted: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 01:20 PM EDT | Updated: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 01:29 PM EDT

If there is a government more politically corrupt than the Wynne Liberals of Ontario, it has not been invented yet unless one goes to deepest darkest Africa and arrives in Zimbabwe.

Been there; saw that.

It is absolutely scathing, in fact, how wretched this government has become in its quest to con voters.

Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk stopped short of calling them crooks in her damning report Tuesday on their scheme to pay for hydro-rate cuts — their factiously named Fair Hydro Plan — by hiding the true costs of it from their bottom line.

What the Wynne Liberals essentially did to keep the costs off the public books was to figuratively go to a loan shark instead of government lender where interest rates are less onerous

It will cost them — read, Ontario taxpayers — an additional $4 billion in interest fees, money that loan sharks like to call their “juice.”

“Anywhere else in Canada, you won’t see this done,” said Lysyk. “The government’s proposal is to treat that ($4 billion) loss as an asset.

“That’s like you treating your credit card debt as an asset in your books. Does that sound right to you?”

It was obviously a rhetorical question being posed by Lysyk because what the Wynne Liberals are doing is as wrong as wrong can be, and is only legal because it involves government.

Try such a stunt in private industry, and it would be criminal.

If any more proof is needed to punctuate the gall of the Ontario Liberals, they are spending another $5.5 million to run ads on radio and television to tell voters that their 25% cut in hydro rates is all on the up-and-up, and that there is no false bottom.

It’s a crock, of course, but they are counting on the electorate to be as dumb as posts and wave pro-Liberals flags next election because their hydro rates are almost affordable.

Yes, but not less costly for long, stupid people.

Not only does the Liberals’ “Fair Energy Plan” add $28 billion in debt, it adds that aforementioned $4 billion in unnecessary interest payments because they borrowed indirectly through the back door from agencies like Ontario Power Generation (OPG) instead of through sources that would require fiscal transparency and openness.

It’s politically sinful to the point of being unforgivable, and encapsulates what is wrong in governments when politics trumps doing what is right for the taxpayer.

The Trudeau Liberals, unfortunately, are progressively becoming another example of this increasing wrongness.

Their servitude to their own self-interests is slowly rising to the surface, what with their fiddling with ethics regulations, and their championing of so-called “middle class” ringing hollower with every banal reference by their PM.

How can they possibly relate to the middle class when their prime minister is a trust-fund baby who talks about his “family fortune,” and his finance minister is so filthy rich he forgot to tell the ethic’s commissioner than he owns a private villa in France through one of his many incorporated companies?

What the middle class doesn’t forget is a mortgage payment that's due, a rent cheque, the cost their hydro, the rising prices at the grocery store, and the price of gas at the pumps.

And not one of them looks upon their credit card debt as an asset.

This only happens in the Wynne government, a place where the Trudeau Liberals appear to be taking their lessons in foregoing all their high-minded promises of transparency.

The middle class, to the Trudeau Liberals, are really nothing more now than “revenue tools.”

That, too, is becoming more obvious by the day as the contagion spreads like a bad rash.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RCO wrote:

It will cost them — read, Ontario taxpayers — an additional $4 billion in interest fees, money that loan sharks like to call their “juice.”

“Anywhere else in Canada, you won’t see this done,” said Lysyk. “The government’s proposal is to treat that ($4 billion) loss as an asset.

“That’s like you treating your credit card debt as an asset in your books. Does that sound right to you?”


Will the NDP or PCs turn the above into a radio ad first?

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When is this administration going to reach peak ugliness? You really have to wonder. We have only a little more than 8 months left in this long ordeal.

It's a good time to consider the road not taken -- that is, what would have happened if Hudak had won last time? How would the world be different?

Well for one thing, the green energy boondoggle and the energy green issue would have been stopped. The books would be less cooked, maybe even straight. There would have been major cuts to the core civil services -- not teachers and the like. As I understood his program, that was the focus.

There's lots of waste in government. In my local town, the water utility started painting the water tower in March! They put up a huge web of scaffolding, probably 150 feet high and 200 feet square. Then they hung a heavy vinyl barrier around to top part', and parked several big machines within the perimeter, to the point where it seemed crowded when the crew's trucks were there.

It sat there all summer, this huge investment, and only now, in October, are they taking this immense structure down. To paint a water tower!

These kinds of delays cost money, and the reason is kept from the public. There is no real accountability, the pretence is that the water utility is a private business, but a private business would not carry on like this. Whatever the reason, the cost in the end would certainly be multiples of what it needed to be. True, this is a municipal utility, but the government is full of such wasteful practices.

So -- what would it be like today if Hudak had won?

Here's the point -- let's imagine that Hudak was only half successful in his attempt to cull the provincial civil service. It still would have stopped all the craziness that has happened in the last four years. That alone would be worth it!

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wynne Liberals accused of hiding hydro emails from auditor

PCs ask province's top civil servant to make sure all documents are being preserved

By Mike Crawley, CBC News Posted: Oct 19, 2017 6:00 AM ET| Last Updated: Oct 19, 2017 6:00 AM ET

Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault says his officials have already turned over 13,000 emails to the auditor and will provide the rest in the coming weeks.

While Ontario's spending watchdog is slamming the Wynne government for allegedly trying to hide the true cost of its hydro price cuts, she's also criticizing the Liberals for trying to hide documents from her investigation.

Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk said the Ministry of Energy has still not provided all the emails she requested back in May to prepare her special report the government's Fair Hydro Plan.

The Progressive Conservatives are now asking Ontario's top public servant to ensure that all relevant documents and emails are saved.

"We must insist that all records related to this matter ... be preserved," said PC leader Patrick Brown's chief of staff, Alykhan Velshi, in a letter to Head of the Public Service Steve Orsini on Wednesday. A copy of the letter was obtained by CBC News.

Brown will call for an investigation Thursday, according to officials in his party.

The Liberals insist they are not hiding anything.

Lysyk auditor general Ontario
Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk says the Liberal government set up its Fair Hydro Plan impropely 'to keep deficits and an increase in net debt from showing up on the province's books.' (Mike Crawley/CBC)

"Over 13,000 emails have already been brought forward to the Auditor General's office," Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault said Wednesday during question period. "We're going to continue to work and provide her with all of the emails that she asked for."

Thibeault later told reporters that ministry staff expect to hand over the remaining emails to the auditor in the coming weeks.

Government hired law firm to sift emails

Lysyk's report said she received the documents she requested from all government departments except the Ministry of Energy.

"The Ministry of Energy signed a contract, with a retainer of $500,000, to receive help from a law firm to provide search services and to compile emails before providing them to us," writes the auditor in the report, released Tuesday.

"At the time we completed this Special Report, the Ministry had still not provided us with all of its emails, which we requested on May 31, said Lysyk.

Thibeault says the law firm had to be hired because an initial search suggested up to two million emails were relevant to the auditor's probe.

"Those two million emails then were reviewed by the firm to which we've paid approximately $40,000; we will not be going over $60,000 on this," said Thibeault in question period. "That firm then identified those 145,000 emails, which the Ministry of Energy is now identifying and releasing.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cosmostein wrote:
RCO wrote:

It will cost them — read, Ontario taxpayers — an additional $4 billion in interest fees, money that loan sharks like to call their “juice.”

“Anywhere else in Canada, you won’t see this done,” said Lysyk. “The government’s proposal is to treat that ($4 billion) loss as an asset.

“That’s like you treating your credit card debt as an asset in your books. Does that sound right to you?”


Will the NDP or PCs turn the above into a radio ad first?

the opposition needs to find a way to connect the dots as they say in the minds of some voters .

they need to show the person upset that the local highway hasn't been repaired or was denied OHIP funding for something . that if the liberals hadn't wasted the $4 billion on this scam maybe they'd have the money for that work instead ?

the reality is there wasting $ 4 billion dollars on a scam intended to get them re elected and this money should of been spent on actual needs the province has

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The new debt will be about $1100 per family in Ontario! (There were about 3.6 million families in Ontario at the last census.) The kicker is that people only have to pay for the interest on that $1100 -- at ! or 2%. That's only $1 or $2 a month. I give you this just to scale the impact.

But judging from the immediate impact on my own bill, I wonder what the money is being spent on. Seriously, it took a third off my monthly bill. Are they just burning the money on keeping rates below cost until the election? It looks like it.

If each family 'borrows' $1100, and if 3.6 million families get $50 a month off their hydro bill for a year, they'd be getting $600 of it back, for a total of $2+ billion. There's still almost another $2 billion to account for.

If this makes you dubious, this is how the welfare state has been financed for all of our lives.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Ontario Liberals are basically in the same situation as the Federal Liberals;
Revenue is incredibly strong @ 141.8 billion


To put that into perspective in 2013 provincial revenue was $116.8 billion


Revenue by way of Corporate Taxes is on track to breach another record;
Income tax appearing to be largely flat but had been on the rise till the last fiscal year,
Then of course the Province benefited from the real estate boom by way of the Land Transfer Tax.

As such, we are not seeing a revenue issue but rather a spending one.
To put this into perspective, the Provinces last balanced budget was in 2007 and they were able to project a modest surplus on 90b in revenue


A decade later you have 50b more in revenue but your spending is much higher

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tend to forget about this part of the picture. In one way, it is good news. The province must be prospering. But in another way, it makes the magnitude of the mismanagement all the greater.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ontario’s electricity disaster
Confronted by a crisis, the Wynne government kicks the problem down the road


First posted: Saturday, October 21, 2017 08:30 PM EDT | Updated: Saturday, October 21, 2017 08:42 PM EDT

A recent report from Ontario’s auditor general slammed the Wynne government’s “needlessly complex” plan to reduce electricity bills for Ontarians.

According to the report, the government is keeping the true cost of its plan off the books.

The so-called Fair Hydro Plan, meant to respond to widespread angst about sky-high power bills in the province, reduces electricity bills for households and some small businesses and farms by 25%.

However, as noted by Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk, the plan will increase provincial debt to reduce electricity bills in the short-term, while future ratepayers pay the bills.

As the AG report explains, “(f)rom 2028 on, ratepayers will be charged more than the actual cost of the electricity being produced to pay back the borrowings.”

In other words, instead of pursuing meaningful policy reforms, the Wynne government is kicking the can down the road and shifting costs from one place to another.

To make matters worse, the government is concealing the real financial impact of the rate reduction by understating future annual deficits and net debt.

According to the plan, entities such as Ontario Power Generation will borrow at higher interest rates, further increasing electricity costs for future ratepayers.

How much more will Ontarians pay?

According to the auditor general, almost $40 billion. And up to $4 billion more than necessary, due to additional interest costs over the next 30 years.

Ontarians are already reeling from high electricity costs.

Recent studies show Ontario has the fastest-growing electricity prices in the country and its cities have some of the highest average residential monthly bills in Canada.

From 2008 to 2016, electricity prices in Ontario increased by 71% — more than double the national average.

Monthly electricity bills (including tax) for Torontonians are $60 more per month ($720 more per year) than the Canadian average.

Ratepayers in Ottawa pay $41 more per month ($492 more per year) on electricity bills than Canadians in other provinces.

Crucially, Ontario’s skyrocketing electricity prices are also hurting industries and hampering their competitiveness.

In fact, a recent study shows Ontario’s “electricity disaster” has cost the province more than 74,000 manufacturing jobs.

In 2016, large industrial consumers (with a power demand of five megawatts and monthly consumption of 3,060 megawatt hours) in Toronto and Ottawa paid almost three times more than consumers in Montreal and Calgary and almost twice as much as consumers in Vancouver.

Even some select large industrial consumers in Ontario, which were granted rate reductions (Class A), still paid higher rates compared to large electricity users in Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia.

Electricity is a major cost for the manufacturing sector, and rising costs are causing Ontario’s manufacturing sector to fall behind other jurisdictions.

In fact, compared to multiple American and Canadian jurisdictions, Ontario has seen the most substantial decline in manufacturing over the past decade.

Between 2005 and 2016, while some nearby U.S. states such as Michigan boosted their manufacturing sector’s share of GDP, Ontario’s declined by five percentage points.

Ontario needs real reform to lower electricity prices for residents and businesses.

Unfortunately, the Wynne government is opting for improper accounting practices and temporary Band-Aids, sticking current and future Ontarians with the bill.

Green is a senior director while Aliakbari and Stedman are analysts at the Fraser Institute.

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Ont Liberals lied about true cost of hydro rate cut plan ?

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