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TAXPAYERS FEDERATION WARNS ONTARIO GOVERNMENT AGAINST POLITICALLY MOTIVATED MEDDLING IN ELECTRICITY SECTOR THAT DOESN’T ADDRESS ROOT CAUSES OF HIGH BILLS

TORONTO, ON: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) is warning the Ontario government against politically motivated meddling in the electricity sector. Reports from multiple government sources indicate that the Ontario government is considering changing how the global adjustment is calculated, so that the cost is spread out more gradually over the coming years.

The same reports also indicate that the government is considering reforming programs that subsidize low income hydro consumers, so that the subsidies are provided by the tax base rather than by other hydro consumers.

“The government is running scared on the hydro file, because people in this province are livid over the high cost of basic necessities like turning on their lights, running their washing machine or even keeping their families warm in the winter,” said CTF Ontario Director, Christine Van Geyn. “But the solutions the government are currently throwing around deal with their own political needs rather than the needs of the province. Nothing being proposed does anything to address the reasons hydro bills are so high, or will stem the rise in those bills.”

The global adjustment is the difference between the market price for electricity, and the rate the government regulated or contracted price for electricity. High contracted prices for wind and solar power have driven the global adjustment so high that last year the global adjustment accounted for 85 per cent of the cost of electricity, and consumers spent $12 billion on it.

“People can’t control their home power bills, and that’s because of policies pursued by this government. Action to reduce bills is desperately needed by the people of Ontario. But spreading the cost of the global adjustment over more years, doesn’t solve the problem. In fact, will cost more in interest in the long term. It’s a politically motivated and short sighted solution,” continued Van Geyn.

“What the government needs to do is quit pursuing policies that raise household bills. They could scrap the Green Energy Act, cancel rather than suspend all new procurement, they could stop wasting money on conservation programs that drive rates up, and they could reverse the cap and trade tax that the Auditor General has warned will drive electricity bills up by 23 per cent over the next four years. These reports reveal that the government is more interested in optics than real solutions,” concluded Van Geyn.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has launched a campaign aimed at engaging the public and empowering citizens to take action about high hydro rates and the cap and trade tax on home heating fuels and gasoline. More information is available at www.StopHighEnergyBills.ca

Christine Van Geyn is Ontario director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

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Posted: February 13, 2017