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Well, I warned you …

May 12, 2017

Back in 2003, when the Liberals under Dalton McGuinty said they’d close coal-fired plants by 20007 and replace them with renewables, I warned you it couldn’t be done. Even if the government decided to do it over a longer term, I argued, it would cost so much money it would be prohibitive.

What happened? Well, the 2007 deadline passed three times – and hydro rates skyrocketed as the Liberals tap-danced around that pledge. And they couldn’t make up the slack in renewables. The gap was filled by nuclear power, which produces more than 50% of our power. Then there’s Old Faithful –  Niagara Falls – that produces at times more than 25% of our power in a clean, green fashion. And under terms of the Green Energy Act, we spilled water at Niagara Falls – the cleanest, greenest, cheapest energy in the world – to take ruinously expensive electricity generated by wind and solar.

(By the way, this morning at 10 a.m. there was zero electricity being created by solar, according to the IESO website.)

Still, voters bought into it and elected a McGuinty government that then went ahead and created an alphabet soup of agencies. All they did was add more fat cats to an already bloated hydro bureaucracy. They do very little except pad the Sunshine list every April.

Then they sited two new gas plants in Oakville and Mississauga, to replace the coal-fired generation. Predictably, voters in those two communities balked. They were scrapped – one right before an election – at a cost of $1 billion.

I predicted then that it would all show up on your hydro bill. But voters bought into Liberal spin and elected another Liberal government – albeit a minority. Then they rewarded Kathleen Wynne with a majority government.

Feeling the heat from soaring hydro costs, Wynne announced recently that electricity rates would be rolled back 25% over the summer – conveniently ahead of next June’s election.

Can’t be done, I said. The cash has to come from somewhere. The Liberals have created a monster and the only way they can put a smiley face on the dragon is by creating another massive debt down the road.

Guess what? Leaked documents now show electricity costs will start to rise by 6.5% a year in 2022 and will soar to 10.5% in 2028.

I don’t get those critics who say Patrick Brown doesn’t have a solution and can’t criticize Wynne until he does. Huh? The Liberals have been in power for 14 years. The PC leader didn’t create the mess. Nor did his PC predecessors, who struggled to deal with the complex electricity file  in a realistic and businesslike fashion. They weren’t the ones who made the pledge to shut down 25% of generation by 2007. They didn’t scrap two gas plants at a cost of more than $1 billion. They didn’t bring in the ruinous FIT program or the Samsung deal or the Green Energy Act. The Liberals did all that. Yet now we expect the Tories to fix the mistakes they didn’t make.

Back in 2003, I said if you want green energy, build another nuclear plant and be done with it. Turns out I was right.

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One Comment
  1. Beth Harrington permalink

    Wonderful piece. Thank you

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