Petitions – Energy Rates

October 17, 2016

Mr. Ernie Hardeman: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I have here a petition signed by a great many of my constituents. In fact, we had this petition lying on the counter in my office, and people were actually waiting in line to sign it. We also posted it on the Internet. In the first eight hours, in fact, we have—

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): I’m glad to hear that, but I need you to read the petition.

Mr. Ernie Hardeman: Very good, Mr. Speaker, but I wanted to make sure that you understood the importance of this because this is the voice of the people of Oxford and the people of the province—of their concern. It is addressed to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

“To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

“Whereas electricity rates have risen by more than 300% since the current Liberal government took office; and

“Whereas over half of Ontarians’ power bills are regulatory and delivery charges and the global adjustment; and

“Whereas the global adjustment is a tangible measure of how much Ontario must overpay for unneeded wind and solar power, and the cost of offloading excess power to our neighbours at a loss; and

“Whereas the energy policies of this Liberal government ignored the advice of independent experts and government agencies, such as the Ontario Energy Board and the Independent Electricity System Operator, and resulted in Ontarians’ electricity costs rising, despite lower natural gas costs and increased energy conservation in the province; and

“Whereas the implementation of cap-and-trade will drive the cost of electricity even higher and deny Ontarians the option to choose affordable natural gas heating; and

“Whereas more and more Ontarians are being forced to cut down on essential expenses such as food and medicines in order to pay their increasingly unaffordable electricity bills;

“Therefore we, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to take immediate steps to reduce the total cost of electricity paid by Ontarians, including costs associated with power consumed, the global adjustment, delivery charges, administrative charges, tax and any other charges added to Ontarians’ energy bills.”

I wholeheartedly agree with this petition and affix my signature. I hope the government is listening.