News from the Park

News from the Park

Well, clearly I did not go to the same elementary and secondary schools that Kathleen Wynne and Energy Minister Glen Thibeault went to. For that matter it’s clear that Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk didn’t go to the same school as Wynne and Thibeault either. And I get the funny feeling that, while Conservative Leader Patrick Brown probably didn’t go to school with Wynne and Thibeault, he must have used the same math text book. What makes me say this, you ask? I make this observation because only in the math textbook used by those three politicians does it explain how to make a $40 billion debt actually appear as an asset in one’s accounting ledgers.  A friend of mine said that she wishes she had studied math from Wynne’s and Thibeault’s books. That way with all the debt she’s has accumulated she’d be a millionaire now. All I can say is thank heaven that Bonnie Lysyk paid attention in class and didn’t use the Liberal math textbook.  After studying the government’s creative accounting she was able to see through the smoke and mirrors that were used.

You can’t help but have heard how Auditor Lysyk revealed in her report that Kathleen Wynne has hatched a hydro scheme that will end up costing the people of Ontario an extra $4 billion dollars in interest charges. That’s just not right. Because of ill-conceived Liberal energy strategies, hard working families, seniors and small business operators can’t afford to pay their hydro bills – where we happen to be the highest rates in all of Canada. As a result, all of Ontario is suffering. 

In the Auditor General’s damning report on the government, she pointed out that the Liberal’s hydro scheme will cost Ontarians $40 billion, and part of the plan is to have families pay $4 billion extra for borrowing tricks to hide how bad the plan is.  New Democrats have been ringing the alarm bell on this for months now, and Lysyk’s report confirms our claims. 

Would you make a cash advance on your MasterCard and pay high interest rates just to pay down your debt on your Visa so you could have slightly lower minimum payments on that account? We all know what a horrendous nightmare such actions lead to down the road. Wynne and Thibeault told the Legislature that this is a legitimate strategy to use to make Ontarian’s electrical bills more affordable…. At least for the time being while she is in office. And Thibeault added that the proof that it’s okay to do this is that this has been the Liberal practice for years.  This is not accounting genius at work, it’s just political smoke and mirrors.  

Suddenly some Ontarians are now throwing their hands up in despair believing Ontario will need to look to Patrick Brown and his Conservatives to straighten this mess out. They need to think again. Patrick Brown and the Conservatives have been dancing around this issue – like every other Conservative policy issue. But this week, Conservative MPP Todd Smith made it clear, in no uncertain terms, that a Conservative government would keep Ontario moving down the disastrous path laid out by Kathleen Wynne. When asked what Conservative polices are, Patrick Brown keeps telling Ontarians to just wait – they’re coming.  Their plans have always been to privatise Hydro One as well as Ontario Power Generation.  Clearly they don’t have a better plan, so they will just willfully follow mindlessly along the path laid out by Wynne. 

Kathleen Wynne’s ongoing privatization of Hydro One has left Ontario hydro users facing another huge rate increase, at the same time as Hydro One executives and investors take home massive pay and profits. Last week, the Ontario Energy Board released a preliminary decision on Hydro One’s transmission rate increase. The OEB gave Hydro One nearly everything it asked for, and we remain on track for a huge jump in transmission rates next year. Last year, the CEO of the privatized Hydro One collected six times the salary of the previous CEO. Does the Premier think ratepayers should feel grateful that the OEB trimmed back this sort of executive greed by a mere 3.5 per cent? When will the premier finally admit that her private sector discipline means only more private profits for her private sector friends?

It doesn’t have to be this way. Ontarians need a plan that will give them hope that things will get better. New Democrats have laid out a better way to lower hydro bill prices, and keep them down. The NDP have a plan that will return Hydro One to public hands and to regain control over skyrocketing hydro prices. Our plan will put Ontario families first by lowering hydro bills permanently, and eliminating unfair Time-of-Use billing practices. New Democrats understand what Ontario families are dealing with. And we know we can make life better. For further information on our plan visit our website at http://www.ontariondp.ca/hydro.  

As always, please feel free to contact my office about these issues, or any other provincial matters. You can reach my constituency office by email at mmantha-co@ndp.on.ca or by phone at 705-461-9710 or Toll free 1-800-831-1899.

Michael Mantha MPP/député   

Algoma-Manitoulin