In response to news that Hydro One’s acquisition of Avista passed another hurdle, Green Party of Ontario Leader, Mike Schreiner, said the following:
“The Ontario government must use its position as the largest shareholder in Hydro One to say no to its proposed merger with Avista Corporation.
Ontarians breathed a sigh of relief when we got off of coal in 2014. It was a moment to be proud of in the fight against climate change. But now Hydro One is getting back into the coal game, acquiring a US company with a major stake in one of the country’s largest coal-fired generating plants. How can the Liberals claim to be climate leaders when they’re happy to get into bed with big polluters south of the border?
The disastrous privatization of an important public asset has given rise to a multinational corporation whose bottom line is making profits for private shareholders, whether this means higher bills for the people of Ontario or pumping more greenhouse gas pollution into the atmosphere. By selling ownership in Hydro One, Ontario can no longer keep our hands clean from dirty energy projects that worsen the climate crisis. This is wrong.”
QUEEN’S PARK — It’s no surprise that today’s statement from the Auditor-General is another sharp rebuke of the Liberals’ capacity for honesty.
We learned today that the Liberal friendly accounting used to come up with the (Un)Fair Hydro Plan helped balloon the deficit by an astonishing $5 billion dollars. The news brings up a story that Kathleen Wynne would like to keep buried: that her government is using shell games to lower hydro rates in her power-buying scheme for the upcoming election.
“The Auditor-General’s statement confirms what the Greens have long been saying – that the temporary reduction of electricity bills is nothing but a cover-up of the hydro mess this government has made. This is a costly $45 billion dollar band-aid that won’t fix the problem. What this will do is cost us more in the long run,” said Green Party of Ontario Leader, Mike Schreiner.
According to previous reports from the Financial Accountability Officer, the costs of the Liberal hydro band-aid could escalate to anywhere between $63 and $93 billion in the future, amounting to a staggering $19,000 per household. Under the Liberals, Conservatives or NDP, governing in Ontario has been reduced to magic math and fairy tale hydro schemes.
“The Liberals think they can trick people with false spending numbers and short-term discounts,” added Schreiner. “We face hard choices to get out of this hydro mess. Greens do not shy away from tough conversations. We would implement real solutions to fix our electricity system like transitioning from incredibly expensive nuclear to buying clean water power at one-third the price.”
“The Green Party of Ontario would target rate reductions for the people who need it most; say no to OPG’s demand for a 180% price increase to pay for outdated and overpriced nuclear power; and focus on reducing demand through energy efficiency and conservation measures,” said Schreiner.
These are common-sense solutions to build a clean and affordable electricity system, and only the Green Party is talking about them.
QUEEN’S PARK — Today’s report from the Financial Accountability Officer that ratepayers are saving $38 million from the Ontario-Quebec trade deal is a sliver of good news. These savings unfortunately come ahead of the skyrocketing bills we will be hit with to pay for multi-billion-dollar nuclear renovation jobs.
“This Liberal government has a listless energy plan aimed more at keeping the nuclear lobby happy than securing a good deal for people. This trade deal with Quebec for inexpensive hydro is a start but needs to be expanded. Otherwise it’s tinkering around the edges instead of moving our grid towards the cleaner, cheaper future that is possible,” said Mike Schreiner, Leader of the Green Party of Ontario.
Maintaining the status-quo energy system comes with a multi-billion price tag for rebuilding Darlington and keeping Pickering open past 2018. Ontarians should be asking themselves why the Liberals are anchoring our energy plan to dangerous and expensive nuclear when Hydro Quebec has offered to sell us water power at one third of the price.
“We learned today that we can save money by purchasing clean power from Quebec. So why are the Liberals determined to dump money down the nuclear drain?” said Schreiner. “The Liberal plan hurts ratepayers and hitches the province to outdated technology with no long-term future,” he added.
The Green Party’s vision for energy is about solutions that put people and planet first, rather than short-term fixes that fuel the powerful nuclear lobby. We would say no to the electricity price increases requested by OPG to rebuild outdated nuclear plants. It’s past time for an independent review of the costs and benefits of all energy sources before sinking any more money into our aging, outdated nuclear plants.
“We have to build an affordable electricity system for the future, not the past,” said Schreiner. “It’s time for an energy system that puts people first, not industry insiders.”
“In the next few decades, I think we’re going to change from the large facility, nuclear-based grid, to a much more distributed energy system in which homeowners and businesses all over the province are going to make their own electricity and use it locally.” - Shane Mulligan, Local Initiative for Future Energy (LIFE) Co-opOne can only hope. In this episode of Real People, Real Solutions, Mike Schreiner talks to Shane Mulligan, General Manager of Life Co-op, a renewable energy co-operative in Kitchener, ON that seeks out new opportunities for community-owned renewable energy.