FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 10. 2019
QUEEN’S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett spoke in favour of the expected $442 million in savings to the cost of electricity that will be realized through the Fixing the Hydro Mess Act.
Barrett rose twice during debate of Bill 87 in the Ontario Legislature.
“We came in, in the past election, where Ontario had the highest, fastest-rising electricity costs in North America, and we were sitting at the highest rates in Canada,” he said.
Highlighting the goal of the legislation to make electricity affordable, Barrett focused on the part of the legislation that addresses conservation programs.
“Overall, the goal is to reduce costs and reduce duplication, to streamline,” he said in the Legislature. “We still have a patchwork of what I consider inefficient electricity conservation programs. A lot of them just aren’t cutting it.”
The goal is to reduce duplication by refocussing and centralizing electricity programs.
“We’ll leave those programs in that are most effective and provide the most benefit, but so many of them will be gone if they’re not necessary,” Barrett said.
For more information, contact MPP Toby Barrett at 519-428-0446 or [email protected]
ONTARIO LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY
Monday, April 8
Mr. Toby Barrett: I do appreciate the opportunity to comment on what is an ongoing issue with the cost of electricity. I think most of us here, in door-knocking over the last two or three elections—really, what we heard at the door was that people were having difficulty paying their bills, and specifically their electricity bills. So I’m quite heartened that we are now debating yet another piece of legislation to clean up the hydro mess. I get a kick out of the title of Bill 87, the Fixing the Hydro Mess Act.
Full disclosure: I heat with electricity. That means, out of necessity and given the ongoing high price of electricity, I go through, this winter, maybe 15 cords of wood, and in a colder winter, perhaps 20 cords of wood. It’s good exercise. But I’m in an area where there’s no natural gas and I have to rely on electricity for heat and just about everything else.
When we were in opposition, we made a number of commitments to help out with the price of electricity. Part of that was to—we talked about a rebate to return the cost of conservation programs to the electricity ratepayer and have it funded through general revenue. It’s one more step in a series of ongoing steps, and I’m sure there will be more to deal with this.
We came in, in the past election, where Ontario had the highest, fastest-rising electricity costs in North America, and we were sitting at the highest rates in Canada. So I fully appreciate this kind of legislation and I look forward to many more actions on this front.
Mr. Toby Barrett: Let’s go back to the speech from the member from Burlington. I feel she did an excellent job in explaining how critically important fixing this hydro mess really is, on behalf of families who work so hard and businesses that are doing their best to try to create jobs and boost our economy.
The member summarized a number of points. Obviously, our goal is to keep electricity affordable and to improve transparency. We have a program to reduce costs by centralizing and refocusing conservation programs. We’ll leave those programs in that are most effective and provide the most benefit, but so many of them will be gone if they’re not necessary. Our goal is to build a modern, efficient and effective energy regulator for all of us.
Speaker, taken together—we’ve heard this in the House today—our plan is looking at savings of up to $442 million.
We are planning on making the regulatory changes to the Ontario Energy Board to make it more efficient, to make it more accountable, and to hold electricity bills to the rate of inflation—that’s our commitment—and to save billions of dollars in borrowing costs that previously had been tied to the Liberals’ failed Fair Hydro Plan. We also have to replace that failure with a new and very transparent rebate to those of us who use electricity.
Overall, the goal is to reduce costs and reduce duplication, to streamline. We still have a patchwork of what I consider inefficient electricity conservation programs. A lot of them just aren’t cutting it.