A counterpoint to Liberal kudos

“It is understandable how people would believe the Liberal spin.”

To the Expositor:

I read with great interest the letter published by Lyle Dewar ‘A nod to Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals (October 18, Page 4), and while I support Lyle and his right to give the Liberals credit, I wanted to share this space to give another opinion, as I tip my hat to Lyle and acknowledge him with respect. 

It’s easy to understand how many would think the Liberals have rallied to the cries of despair from Ontarians, particularly those of us who live in Northern Ontario in response to skyrocketing hydro bills. And while the 25 percent discount has been a welcome relief, what truly makes me lose sleep at night is how many people don’t realize this reprieve has an expiry date.  Moreover, and perhaps most disturbing, is the cost of this temporary Band-Aid. 

It’s understandable how people would believe the Liberal ‘spin’ and what is even more tragic is their need to believe it. We have either experienced the struggles of having to choose between putting food on the table or paying the hydro bill, or know someone who has. So when our government tells us they have heard us, and addressed the problem, the issue is so raw and real—we embrace the news and move forward. 

The Fair Hydro Plan, which I spoke against at Queen’s Park in front of the Justice committee, is not a solution to rising hydro costs. What the Liberals have done is apply some fancy and potentially illegal accounting principles. It is all complex and confusing but the long and short of it is…the 25 percent you are saving every month has to be paid back; and right now another company in the Ontario Energy file, called Ontario Power Generation, is accumulating that debt. That’s right. Your discount, my discount, everybody’s discount, is accumulating with interest in an account somewhere and to make matters worse, according to the Auditor General Bonnie Lysk, we will also be paying up to $4 billion more in interest. 

A few years down the road when the piper comes looking to get paid, we are in serious trouble. When you hear the PCs and NDP warn of skyrocketing hydro costs that will be many times more expensive than we have today, they are not kidding. 

Unfortunately, we have been living under a Liberal majority who has changed laws to enable them to sell Hydro One, create the Green Energy Act, award wind contracts to American companies that are contaminating people’s wells, and most recently applied for funding to purchase “pay as you go” smart meters.  Yes, pay as you go smart meters that in their own words will help them better control bad debt.  

Yet the same Liberal government that Lyle wants to give a nod to is paying more to the CEO Mayo Schmidt in his salary and benefits of $4.5 million than they are allowing for the LEAP program for the entire province. And when the OEB denied Hydro One a $22 million dollar salary increase for their executives, Hydro One appealed the decision and is now taking the Ontario Energy Board to court. 

Meanwhile food banks are struggling and children are going hungry. 

So, I will remind everyone that the ‘Fair Hydro Plan’ put forward with great fanfare and expense to reduce our hydro bills is not now nor has it ever been ‘fair’.

Should you be afraid? Yes. We have seven months to ask the hard questions and vote for a party we think will be able to fix this mess. My only hope is that someone can. But no disrespect to Lyle, it will not be the Ontario Liberal party. 

Sincerely,

Tanya Giles
Spring Bay

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