Just over a decade ago, I lived in the forgotten hinterland of northwest Ontario, and I got to learn firsthand what it’s like to be ‘mismanaged’ when it comes to electricity.
Bad enough that they have to suffer the embarrassment of being the home of hockey’s Maple Leafs, Canada’s most populated province has been an unmitigated failure when it comes to supplying power to its taxpayers.
It doesn’t seem to matter which party is running the show, they can’t seem to do anything right. Power bills in Ontario are among the highest in North America despite an abundance of available resources, either in Ontario or next door in Manitoba.
For her latest trick, Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne has decided to sell off 60% of Hydro One. She hopes the sale will generate a total of $ 9 billion. $ 4 billion will be used to pay for things like infrastructure and public transit, the other $ 5 billion will be used to pay down some of the province’s huge debt load.
At the same time, the Premier announced major changes to the way booze is sold in her province. The government hopes to make additional millions, selling licenses to local grocery stores. The license will allow them to sell beer, and eventually wine along with the other staples of life. Tying these two issues together was most interesting. When I used to get my Hydro bill in Ontario, very often my first thought was “Boy, I could sure use a drink!”.
A few days earlier, Premier Wynne joined hands with her counterpart in Quebec on a cap and trade system which is designed to reduce emissions on greenhouse gases. I defy anyone to prove to me that cap and trade will actually achieve such an objective.
If ever we needed a truly national energy strategy in this country, it is now. But Ottawa does not seem the least bit interested, so provinces like Ontario are left to do their own thing.