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Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:05 pm Post subject: Stop sweetheart deals to energy insiders
Stop sweetheart deals to energy insiders
PATRICK BROWN, Special to the Sun
First posted: Sunday, July 16, 2017 05:49 PM EDT | Updated: Sunday, July 16, 2017 05:57 PM EDT
Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown addresses media in front of Queen's Park in Toronto, Ont. on Friday July 14, 2017. (Ernest Doroszuk/Toronto Sun)
There are structural problems in the electricity system that the Wynne Liberals created, and if I become Premier, I am committed to getting it right.
I will fix one of the most egregious problems they created: allowing their party insiders to get rich. Donations from energy companies to the Liberal Party amount to $1.3 million. Kathleen Wynne remains so beholden to these insiders that the system remains tainted and broken.
This should never have happened.
Every time you pay your bill, you pay more and Wynne Liberal friends get richer.
And while this has been obvious for a long time, the Wynne Liberals won’t stop signing new bad energy contracts. In fact, they are about to sign hundreds of new sweetheart green energy contracts by the end of the summer.
It’s a waste of money, and doesn’t benefit families.
As premier I would stop the signing of any new contracts.
The Wynne Liberals are approving new energy that will amount to powering up 25,000 homes per year. This is, quite simply, power that Ontario doesn’t need. In our existing supply we already have enough.
In fact, we have more than enough. We waste a billion dollars a year by producing energy that we sell for a loss, or simply give away. This is wasted electricity that amounts to powering 786,000 homes.
And to add insult to injury, we don’t even use much of the green energy Ontario already has: hydroelectric. We’re spilling water at Niagara Falls at the same time we are signing more bad contracts under the Green Energy Act. Or as I like to call it, the Bad Contracts Act.
They are bad contracts not just because we don’t need the power but because the Liberals signed them with their donors and friends. Thousands of green energy contracts were awarded to companies that have together donated $1.3 million to the Liberals.
And we now know that the Wynne Liberals will pay for these expensive contracts by raising your hydro rates the moment they have the chance.
That’s because when they made a big splash saying they were going to “fix” their hydro mess, all they really did was punt the problem down the road. Their cynical “fix” will just lower your energy bills until the election is over.
They’re using your money for their re-election campaign, hoping you’ll forget about their legacy of scandal and waste in the electricity system.
Ontario once had some of the most competitive electricity rates in North America. After 14 years of Liberal rule, we have some of the highest and fastest rising hydro rates. Since the Liberals came into power, the hydro bill of the average family has increased by more than $1,000 a year.
Quite simply, life is harder under the Wynne Liberals.
This has to change. Life’s already too unaffordable. Ontario families and businesses cannot afford higher hydro rates.
I already announced that I will rein in exorbitant executive compensation in the energy sector. I’ve also announced an Ontario PC government will put a stop to Kathleen Wynne’s path of destruction by dismantling the Green Energy Act.
Today I am pledging we will put an immediate freeze on any new energy contracts that force Ontario families to pay for hydro they don’t need.
This means no new sweetheart deals for wind or solar insiders. No exceptions. Workers, families and businesses come first. Any savings will be used to provide much needed hydro relief.
The next election will be about who will make it easier for you and your family to make ends meet and get ahead.
It’s time for an energy policy that does not put secret deals for Liberal insiders first. It’s time for a change that makes life more affordable for Ontario families.
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