Taxpayers Federation Slams Wynne Throne Speech Plan for Failing to Address Cause of High Hydro Rates
Throne Speech plan will remove 8 per cent provincial HST from hydro bills, while rates rise average 8 per cent per year
No plan in place to address the root causes of soaring electricity prices
TORONTO, ON: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) is slamming Premier Kathleen Wynne for failing to tackle the root causes of Ontario's energy crisis in her government's throne speech.
"The throne speech provides the government with political relief instead of providing Ontarians with real relief for their hydro rates," said CTF Ontario Director, Christine Van Geyn. "The government announced a plan to remove provincial HST from hydro bills. But with hydro rates rising an average 8 per cent per year, what is their long term solution? They can't cut the HST again next year." (Photo credit: Environmental Defence Canada/Flickr/Creative Commons)
The Monday throne speech announcement that they are removing the 8 per cent provincial portion of the HST from electricity bills follows Premier Wynne's admission that soaring hydro rates are an 'urgent issue.' The energy minister had previously denied that there is an energy crisis, and the finance minister claimed bills have gone down.
"Paying Ontarians off with their own money isn't just cynical, it's also terrible policy," continued Van Geyn. "We’ve had rebates before, like the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit. As we've seen, rebates don't stop rates from continuing to climb. They do nothing to address the problem that this government has created."
Ontario customers have seen the largest increase in electricity prices anywhere in Canada – more than 60 per cent higher than the national average between 2006 and 2015. The price of electricity is growing far faster than the Consumer Price Index, which measures the cost of goods and services.
"If the Wynne government really wanted to help Ontarians with their energy bills, it would scrap the Green Energy Act and cancel cap and trade plans that will add a carbon tax to heating and gas bills," concluded Van Geyn.