“All governments lie.” – the late, legendary American investigative journalism I.F. (Isador Feinstein) Stone
A Media Release from the Government of Ontario
Posted September 13th, 2016 on Niagara At Large
A Brief Editorial Note from NAL publisher Doug Draper – As I read this Wynne government release, wordsmithed to put the best spin possible, on a cynical bid to tamp down the anger of people all over Ontario over hydro bills that have been rising well above the rate of inflation or any raise in wages or social security benefits most people get – most of all, people at the lower end of the income spectrum who are suffering disproportionally from these over-the-top bill hikes.
At the same time, Ontarians have had to suffer through a premier who never seems to tire of insulting their intelligence and talking at them like a schoolmarm, while feeding them a heaping mountain of dung about her Liberal Party’s reckless spending of their tax dollars.
Wynne has fed Ontarians shovels full of dung about her party’s blowing about a billion of their tax dollars on cancelling the construction of gas-fired power plants in two Greater Toronto Area ridings where Liberal candidates were vulnerable to defeat in the 2011 provincial election and about;
- giving millions of dollars to teachers unions to cover their share of the costs of negotiating new salary and benefit contracts with the province and school boards;
- introducing a cap and trade system (rather than a straight carbon tax) that has proven to be a costly, bureaucratic nightmare (placing a disproportionate amount of financial pain on lower income people) in almost every other regions of the world where it has been implemented;
- and putting publicly owned pieces of the province’s once-celebrated Ontario Hydro out to a yard sale for her wealthy private sector friends.
A front-page story in the September 13th edition of The Globe and Mail says the latest rebate scheme for hydro bills, announced in the Wynne government’s September 12th Throne speech, will cost the province’s treasury an estimated $1 billion annually.
Where is Wynne going to find the money to make up for that deficit since she’s never shown the courage to go after rich tax dodgers or see a raise in income taxes which are at least more fairly apportioned to those who can most afford to pay?
If she is going to keep her promise to balance the province’s budget next year, she’s going to have to make up the billion-dollar-cost of the hydro rebate somewhere? Will it come from cap-and-trade and other fee hikes that almost always have a way of hitting poorer people the most or will it come from more cuts to essential services, or a combination of both?
Some talking heads in the mainstream media say that this premier is pursuing a “social justice agenda.”
She is? Where is the social justice in any of this?
The next provincial election could not come soon enough!
Now here, for your edification, is the September 13th media release from Wynne’s government on “electricity bill reductions.”
Five Million Families, Farms and Small Businesses Will See Bill Reductions
As part of its balanced plan to build Ontario up and help people in their everyday lives, Ontario is taking action to reduce electricity costs and intends to introduce legislation that, if passed, would rebate the provincial portion of the HST from the electricity bills of residential, small business and farms as of January 1, 2017.
Rural electricity ratepayers would receive additional relief and commercial, institutional and industrial ratepayers would also benefit from lower electricity costs.
Over the last number of years, Ontario’s economy has recovered from the impact of the global recession. While the province and independent economic analysts project consistent economic growth for Ontario, many families are not yet feeling the impact of the recovery in their everyday lives.
Therefore, Ontario intends to take action to help with the costs related to electricity.
Together, these actions would provide a benefit to all electricity consumers in Ontario, including:
- Reducing Ontario residential electricity bills by 8 per cent on the amount before tax, an average savings of about $130 annually or $11 each month
- Providing eligible rural ratepayers with additional relief, decreasing total electricity bills by an average of $540 a year or $45 each month
- Empowering businesses to reduce their bill by up to 34 per cent through the expansion of the Industrial Conservation Initiative
About five million residential consumers, farms and small businesses, along with more than one thousand industrial customers will be positively impacted by these changes.
Helping Ontarians with the cost of everyday living and helping businesses compete are part of the government’s economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs.
The four-part plan includes helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest investment in hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and transit in Ontario’s history and is investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses.
The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.
- Since 2003, Ontario has invested more than $35 billion in over 16,000 megawatts (MW) of new and refurbished clean generation, including nuclear, natural gas and renewables – this represents about 40 per cent of our current supply.
- Ontario eliminated coal-fired electricity generation, replacing it with cleaner sources of energy, which has decreased electricity sector emissions by approximately 80 per cent since 2003.
- To help reduce electricity costs, Ontario has already removed the Debt Retirement Charge from residential electricity bills and introduced the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) to provide a monthly credit to low-income households who have applied and meet the eligibility requirements.
- As outlined in the 2016 Budget and the Climate Change Action Plan, the government intends to use a portion of the cap and trade auction proceeds to reduce greenhouse gases by helping industrial and commercial electricity consumers use less electricity, which will also help to keep rates affordable.
- ICI provides a strong incentive for large electricity consumers to shift their electricity consumption to off-peak hours to reduce their bills by up to one-third. Expanding ICI would reduce cost pressures on the electricity system by enabling more consumers to lower their electricity demand during peak periods.
- Existing Programs To Reduce Electricity Costs for Consumers and Businesses
- Electricity Rate Relief For Ontario Consumers
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