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  • Going Forward has Set Ontario Backwards on Energy Policy

Image Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

With a provincial election nigh, there is nothing on the forefront of Ontario’s mind more than the shared disasters and successes of an energy policy tossed around, turned into rhetoric, and fed to consumers with little regard for the substance or reality we face.

The political process has, in many ways and from many camps, ultimately failed us as a tool to help us generate real change and solve real problems – reflected in the incredible prices we pay for energy every day.

Energy Has Become the Plaything of Politicians

It’s difficult to tackle the gas plant scandal that continues to plague Ontario without taking a political stance. However, we cannot divorce politics from reality, because politics is the very reason the gas plant scandal occurred, costing Ontario $1.1 billion. And, in reality, the reasons were for the ruling government to secure a few seats in legislature, at the cost of residents all over the province.

On the other hand, scrapping in-progress wind and solar developments would have the same effect. This was originally the platform of the opposition, until it came to light that this is in essence the same practice as canceling the gas contract. In trying to “correct” Ontario’s course for energy development, politicians are setting billions aside to be wasted in putting energy development into gridlock.

The Symptoms of Energy Poverty are Being Addressed, Not the Cause

Proposals to help curb energy costs have been addressed in a myriad of ways by the provincial government and opponents, and it seems that we’re being fed the fire-sale tactic to placate unrest.

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As you can see above, energy costs will spiral out of control unless drastic action is taken. What’s the drastic action that politicians are proposing, the solution that will help thousands of families in Ontario avoid energy poverty?

  • The Liberal Party proposes to continue to invest in nuclear refurbishment and renewables. Plans that would work, if Ontario did not have some of the worst inefficiencies in North America when dealing with these issues.
  • The Conservative Party proposes to end subsidies for renewables, continue investment in nuclear, and buy energy from Quebec. The same problem with inefficiencies, with the added worry that Quebec may not develop to meet Ontario’s needs.
  • The New Democratic Party proposes to add flat reductions to our hydro bills, including removing the HST. An excellent show of good faith, but straight discounts don’t address the fact that costs are rising.
  • The Green Party, forever the dark horse candidate, offers to slow nuclear development, buy hydro, and invest in conservation. At least conservation we know is a solid option. The others may not be.

What isn’t being addressed is the inefficiencies, corruption, and mismanagement that’s allowed things to get as bad as they have. Will an Ontario government tackle these issues with integrity, or will we be looking at hydro bills topping $200 per month before any of them recognize that Ontario is facing a systemic problem?

real solution to energy povertyOur Actions Must Transcend Politics

With the election on our toes and heels, it seems like every party has left our energy needs wanting and starved of real answers and real solutions. Who can say which government truly has the right answer, when all of them have co-opted energy policy as a political tool and not an economic one?

That’s why we call on our readers to speak up on the matter. High energy prices affect everyone in Ontario, rich and poor, rural and urban. Your opinions matter to us because the media and the government has turned energy policy into a spectator sport. Share your opinions, or better yet, share information, and make it clear that curing the disease is more important than treating the symptoms.

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