Liberal Energy Policy Punishes Consumers, Kills Jobs: Clark

by Michael Jiggins, Executive Assistant to Steve Clark, MPP, Leeds-Grenville, written December 3, 2013

(QUEEN’S PARK) – On a day when Ontarians learned they will pay even more for the Liberal government’s mismanagement of the energy sector through higher hydro bills and more job losses, MPP Steve Clark stood up on behalf of Leeds-Grenville residents to say enough is enough.

In a Member’s Statement at Queen’s Park on Monday, December 2, Clark blasted Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli and Hydro One, calling on them to implement immediate changes in policy to put residential and business customers ahead of special interests.

“The mismanagement extends to Hydro One and its inability to provide basic customer service by giving people accurate and timely bills. People don’t get bills for months; when they do, the so-called estimates are five to 10 times their usual monthly bill,” Clark said in his statement.

“Hydro’s response to my inquiries is to send this new authorization form to delay real action. Well, my constituents don’t need more forms or an Energy Minister blaming them for high bills and saying they are energy illiterate. The problem isn’t customer illiteracy – it’s Liberal government and Hydro One incompetence.”

Clark said the Wynne government’s so-called energy plan released this week proves they are completely out of touch with the world the people of Leeds-Grenville are living in.

He said the government doubled-down on its mismanagement by admitting it plans to hike the average family’s hydro bill by more than $400 a year.

“I’m disgusted this government plans to drive up hydro bills by 42% when they know how much people and businesses are already struggling. I have people calling my office who are shivering in the dark and now Premier Wynne is telling them they’re going to have to pay even more,” said Clark.

“It’s an absolute outrage and just more evidence that Ontario needs an election now to defeat this government before it can do more damage to the province.”

Beyond the impact on residential customers, Clark said the never-ending increases in the cost of electricity and the long list of surcharges that businesses and industries must pay will lead to more job losses.

“We need a government that understands reliable and affordable energy is the cornerstone of a robust economy that creates good-paying jobs,” explained Clark. “Instead, this government keeps making power more costly and the result is we have 300,000 fewer manufacturing jobs than when they took office.”

In contrast, Clark said an Ontario PC government would take three immediate steps to curb the increases in electricity rates:

 End unaffordable taxpayer subsidies for wind and solar energy.

 Enter into trade agreements with neighbouring jurisdictions to ensure Ontario receives the best price for energy.

 Establish an industrial rate for manufacturing and resource-based industries.

A video of MPP Clark’s statement can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EDVt0a-A1o&feature=c4-overview&list=UU7z4tkjJhaY7q6Dg2fDG1xA

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