The Canadian Press reported earlier this week that, according to the New Democrats, Ontario ratepayers paid $1-billion in 2013 to subsidize the sale of excess power to Manitoba, Quebec, New York, Michigan and Minnesota.
Ontario has contracts calling for ridiculously high subsidies for solar and wind power, as we all know—one need only mention the word “Samsung” to see most energy critics cringe. To be fair, the Grits have tried to mitigate some of Dalton McGuinty’s folly and that received a full public airing.
Less known, though, is the latest revelation from the NDP. It’s a bit of the pot calling the kettle black to hear Dippers complain. As PC energy critic MPP Lisa MacLeod is reported to have said:
It is awfully hypocritical for the NDP to complain about high hydro rates when they [NDP] themselves have been a big obstacle in ending what I consider the biggest subsidization of power in the province, the [feed-in-tariff] program through the Green Energy Act, and they supported that.
Hypocrisy notwithstanding, these recent charges by the NDP’s energy critic Peter Tabuns has gotten media exposure and that’s a good thing.
The mainstream media carps and complains about every time Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his government says or does anything, even though Canada continues to rank highly on most international measurement scales. The most recent example is a report in the Financial Post telling us that Canada “has swept past the U.S., Germany and Japan in a Bloomberg ranking of the best countries for doing business. … Canada rose four places to reach second place, behind only Hong Kong.”
Consequently, one wonders how much of the criticism of PM Harper’s government is really justified and how much is simply the built-in bias against the Conservatives that many of us believe is present in much of our daily media reports.
On the other hand, Ontario seems to be in a race to the bottom (most recently the results on math tests1) and its manufacturing communities are dangerously close to becoming the next “Rustbelt” as has happened with Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, et al. Then there are the scandals: eHealth, ORNGE - Air Ambulance and the power plant fiasco. And, of course, this NDP charge of a billion-dollar waste due to poor planning.
Yet, after Dalton McGuinty quits and runs for cover, the Grits elect a senior member of his team to run the shop, and most of the media acts as if Ontario is under new management and cheers her on as she goes about business as usual.
Time for a change in government here in what was once Canada’s powerhouse and engine of prosperity and growth, our Ontario.
1Test results from Ontario’s Education and Accountability Office show almost one in five Grade 6 students do not meet the provincial math standard, even after meeting the standard in Grade 3. Only 57 per cent of Grade 6 students and 67 per cent of Grade 3 students met the provincial standard in math this year. [Source: CTV News, Jan. 8, 2014]