By Christina Blizzard, Toronto Sun (Tuesday, April 19) – PC Leader Patrick Brown has thrown down the gauntlet to Charles Sousa.
He’s challenged the finance minister to a duel.
Hydro bills at dawn.
You show me yours, Mr. Sousa, and I’ll show you mine.
It began with a testy exchange in the legislature Tuesday, after Brown spoke of a customer who was billed $113 for the delivery of no electricity whatsoever.
Only in Ontario.
Sousa then claimed hydro bills are going down.
Really? In what parallel universe would that be?
Just last week, the Ontario Energy Board posted a rate increase.
Why are electricity costs going up?
Because we didn’t use enough electricity this winter.
When in doubt, blame the consumer. We get dinged with higher bills when we use too much. And we get dinged with higher bills when we don’t use enough.
Either way, we pay through our noses for the disaster this government has made of the electricity sector.
The $113 bill for nothing that Brown mentioned was posted on Twitter Monday morning by personal finance guru Gail Vaz-Oxlade. Brown scoffed at Sousa’s assertion that hydro rates are going down.
Hydro is at it again. No usage = $delivery charge$. When is this rubbish going to stop? pic.twitter.com/rQYv8ZSVW1
— Gail Vaz-Oxlade (@GailVazOxlade) April 18, 2016
“I challenge him to bring his own hydro bills and prove to us that hydro rates are going down,” Brown told me afterwards.
“The fact that there are families being charged $113 for using no electricity, the fact that we’re using less and being charged more, only this would happen in (Premier) Kathleen Wynne’s Ontario.”
It’s the kind of mismanagement that’s led to this province giving away $3.5 billion of high-priced green electricity to neighbours, Brown said.
He wonders why the province is signing more wind contracts when we already have too much electricity.
“When you see contracts being signed for electricity we do not require and have to give to other provinces and states for free, it begs the question, why?” he said.
“I want the premier to explain, is this because of the $6,000-a-plate (fundraising dinner) that these same companies had with the premier and the minister of energy?” he asked.
Don’t forget this province is also building two $1-billion plants — one in Napanee, the other in Lambton — to replace the two plants that were scrapped in Oakville and Mississauga.
Why are they building more energy generation when we already have such a costly surplus?
Funny supply-and-demand configuration. Usually when you have too much of something you sell it for less.
But this is the government.
Sousa told the legislature that Brown’s questions simply reinforce the need to sell off Hydro One. Oops. It’s not a sell-off anymore. It’s “enhancements,” Sousa said. “When it comes to pricing, the member has just reinforced the necessity for us to make these enhancements and these improvements to Hydro One, which is exactly what we’ve done.
“In 2013, in our long-term energy plan, the average projected payment was about $167 on a monthly bill. What the opposition fails to acknowledge is that prices are, in fact, coming down well below those very projections,” Sousa said.
Hands up those of you who’ve seen your hydro bills go down.
Anyone? Anyone at all?