May 1, 2012

Mr. Ernie Hardeman: Today the people and businesses of Ontario are being hit with another hydro increase: 3.3% for customers on time-of-use pricing and 5.1% for customers on tiered pricing. Today’s increase means hydro prices in Ontario have now doubled since the McGuinty government took office. We all know the cause: Dalton McGuinty’s expensive green energy experiments. The government simply can’t continue to sign 20-year contracts to buy power at 80 cents or even 50 cents a kilowatt hour without forcing up the cost of hydro for everyone.
We support green energy but it must be competitive and affordable. We also know hydro increases impact jobs. Businesses looking to invest are going to look for a cheaper jurisdiction, and too many of our businesses are leaving and taking their jobs with them.
Two years ago, in response to my Oxford business survey, 95% of businesses said hydro prices were having an impact on their company. Since that time, prices have continued to spiral.
Last year, the government released that rates are expected to increase 46% by 2015, and already there is evidence that this estimate may be low.
Mr. Speaker, I hear from seniors who are worried that they won’t be able to stay in their homes and from families who dread receiving their bills because they don’t know how they’re going to make ends meet. And today, the cost of hydro goes up again.
It’s clear these hydro increases are a direct result of the McGuinty government’s policies and Ontario families have had enough.