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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Media Release: Hamiltonians Against High Hydro



















Hydro Horror in Ontario


If you've checked your mail box today and opened up a hydro bill that looked more like a mortgage payment, welcome to the club.

There is an ongoing issue for residents and businesses across the Province of Ontario, and that is the cost of hydro. One would assume that while we generate hydro-electricity from what we like to call our great wonder of the world (Niagara Falls), we wouldn't be left needing a hand up off the floor after we drop from shock each time we open envelopes from our hydro providers..

When did this madness begin?!?!?!

Well, you can thank previous Liberal Premier of Ontario, Dalton McGuinty. In February of 2009, the Ontario Green Energy Act was introduced into the Ontario legislature. The purpose of the act was to create "green" jobs, encourage energy conservation, and create and expand renewable energy.

How has this act stacked up when it comes to creating jobs?

George Smitherman, the Minister of Energy and Infrastructure at the time proclaimed the GEA promised to create around 50,000 jobs. In 2013 the Liberal Party admitted that only 31,0000 had been created. Critics have confirmed that this number is problematic because many of these jobs are "indirect" and in 2011 a report by Ontario's Auditor General Jim McCarter found most of these jobs were short term (less than 3 years) and in construction. Another issue regarding jobs and employment with the GEA was that another report found that for every 1 job created in the renewable energy sector, two to four jobs are being lost in other sectors due to the high costs of electricity prices.

A major study done by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) in 2015 reported that 1 in 20 businesses said they expect to shut down in the next five years due to the continuing skyrocketing costs of hydro prices. Due to high energy costs, businesses have little money left to expand , hire new employees, and make improvements or investments .

Ontario is seeing a steady decline in employment opportunities and abilities for residents to gain work through existing industry or the creation of new small businesses due to the impacts of energy costs.

What are some of the factors driving up the costs?

Global Adjustment fee

After the creation of the GEA a new fee called the Global Adjustment Fee began being charged to Ontarians on their hydro bills. This charge is included in your cost and billed to you and included in with your per kilowatt hour charges for home owners, renters and small businesses. Due to it being included in the cost, it means the amount is hidden. It is said to be 7.9 cents per kilowatt hour or $77 of every $100 billed. This means for every $100 billed the actual used cost of energy is only $23.

For larger business and industry, the fee appears on a separate line on their hydro bills.

Please visit the link for a story on the breakdown of the cost.

Delivery Fees

This is another area where residents and businesses alike are being hammered, even when their consumption is low. One man took to twitter in April to show his bill where he received a $113 Delivery Charge even though there was no hydro usage.

Most families around Hamilton and the GTA that I've spoken to have reported Delivery costs in the amounts of around $185-$200 a bill. Rural areas are seeing much higher fees.

How does this effect businesses?

I recently had the opportunity to see a comparison of a bill from a gentleman who owns a chain of convince stores in Ontario. The delivery fees for one month to his store in Ottawa through energy provider Hydro Ottawa was $708.71 while the cost for delivery to his store in Kemptville with Hydro One had a staggering cost of $1,435.84.

So what does the delivery rate even do?

The Delivery Rate is the cost to move electricity to your home, it is their charge to "deliver it" Part of it is a fixed rate cost and more is added as your hydro consumption increases. Costs are said to go back into the maintenance of lines, up keep of the system , and to help deliver hydro to new customers.

Again , there are other issues with these delivery charges as well. Some stem from when a customer has not used energy, or when they do not have a line or service connected to their property. This is the case for a man just north of Kingston, Ontario who is suing Hydro One after a tree took out the power line to his cottage property and he was continuously charged a delivery fee even though the lines were never re-connected and power not restored to the property.

As you can see, there is clearly a problem here.

So what does the government plan to do to help out home owners and businesses?

After proroguing the legislature last week, Kathleen Wynne announced the government will be removing the 8% provincial portion of the 13% HST from hydro bills . It was also announced there would be more help for large businesses owners and industry, and rural customers.

But how does that add up?

With home owners receiving an estimated $130 "savings" a year, it is not much. That is literally 90 or so coffees from Tim Horton's, or perhaps a week's worth of groceries for two people,, not even enough for a four person family.

Rural residents are said to be getting about $540 in saving a year. Again, depending on the size of their bill in comparison to the 'savings", this may be pennies on the dollar.

According to the Minister of Energy, Glenn Thibeault, the more you use, the more you will save. Unfortunately, this logic just doesn't add up. Ontarians just want to see lower bills made possible by making changes to the failed energy policies, not increases in the provincial debt or monies be removed from one program to subsidize another.

This program is said to start in January of 2017. There is one catch though.. where exactly is the money coming from? You see, the government cannot just remove taxes from goods and services, so they must subsidize this cost to pass the "savings" on to you.

What does that mean?

You are literally taking money from your left pocket just to put it in your right.

Where exactly is the money coming from and for how long will this program be in effect?

No one knows. Finance Minister Sousa could not provide an answer when asked last week where the estimated one billion dollars would be coming from, and Kathleen Wynne had an entirely different story when she explaned where it is coming from.

http://globalnews.ca/video/2938581/liberals-wont-say-how-long-hydro-rebate-will-remain-in-place
So what can we do ?

Well, we've tried to conserve energy and that has only resulted higher prices, and in needing to sell excess hydro off at a cheaper rates to neighbours in other provinces or American states. Some critics have argued that the GEA needs to be scrapped and the 20 year long renewable energy contracts given out under the GEA need to be ripped up.

Aside from the growing rates of hydro prices, Ontario residents and businesses are also preparing for the introduction of "cap and trade" which will see their energy bills rise as well. And just like your Global Adjustment Fee, it will also be hidden in your costs and not openly displayed on a separate line for your viewing.

On top of this as well, last week CUPE announced that they will be suing the Ontario government in regards to the sale of Hydro One to private interests.

While the next election isn't until the spring of 2018, residents of Hamilton have decided that there is something else we can do to try and get a better "deal" on hydro.


Protest.

On Wednesday, September 28 at 5 p.m at City Hall, Hamiltonians will have the opportunity to speak out and share their hydro horror stories with other residents, businesses, local politicians and party affiliates.

I am asking that everyone who is fed up with this ydro boondoggle come down and join us as we rally against high hydro costs, the sale of Hydro One, and the mismanagement and abuse of our energy sector.

Please visit the Facebook event page for more information and contact info.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1577987359177634/

Sarah Warry-Poljanski

  

References :
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24 comments:

  1. Sarah

    Everyone in Hamilton should join ther protest. I also hope the mayor is there and is going to tear a strip off Wynn. The hydro is off the map.

    Severn

    P.S. Hello Teresa ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Kudos for organizing an outlet for peoples' energies but why protest provincial policy at the seat of municipal government — especially while the provincial parliament stands prorogued (with all business in limbo for the coming weeks)? It's hard enough to make your voice heard from the south lawn of Queen's Park while the House is in session. It's borderline impossible from any City Hall other than maybe Toronto’s, owing to its proximity to the Pink Palace.

    If you're looking to deliver a symbolic message to the provincial government, why not converge on former Minister McMeekin's office in Waterdown? Or Minister McMahon's office in Burlington? Why choose the riding of the leader of the Third Party?

    Perspex

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why not Horizon Utilities?

      "A proposal is being developed to bring together four of Ontario's most successful local electricity distribution companies: Horizon Utilities Corporation, Enersource, Hydro One Brampton, and PowerStream.

      The purpose of this new partnership would be to use its collective resources – serving almost a million customers in Hamilton and St. Catharines as well as Peel Region, York Region and Simcoe County – to continue delivering low rates, efficient services and innovative technologies for its customers.

      The new company being considered would only proceed if customer, shareholder and community benefits exist to do so.

      The plan being considered will require the approval of all shareholders and will be subject to regulatory approvals, including by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB).

      The City of Hamilton and the City of St. Catharines – Horizon Utilities' shareholders – are expected to vote on the merger this October after reviewing the benefits for customers and their communities. The OEB will subsequently review the deal pending the outcome of all local council votes.

      Our proposal keeps the ownership of the new company publicly owned by the municipalities of Hamilton, St. Catharines, Mississauga, Barrie, Markham, and Vaughan, as well as Borealis – part of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, the pension fund for Ontario's municipal employees. The new company would purchase Hydro One Brampton, which was a municipal utility like the others until 2001.

      Horizon Utilities has a responsibility to address any and all long-term market conditions that either threaten or improve on our ability to execute our core mandates: to ensure the health and welfare of our employees; to deliver safe, reliable electricity to our customers at the lowest-possible price; and to accomplish all of this while providing sustainable dividends to our shareholders."

      https://www.horizonutilities.com/ourCompany/BusinessProposalUpdate/Pages/default.aspx

      Ampere

      Delete
  3. Ontario hydro consumers will be able to choose who supplies the juice beginning May 1, 2002.
    Premier Mike Harris made that announcement Tuesday, one week after saying the province will sell a large chunk of its electricity network in what is expected to be the largest Canadian IPO ever.
    But the opening of the provinces hydro market to competition will not plunge consumers into the darkness of price spikes, bankrupt utilities and rolling blackouts, the Premier said Tuesday
    After announcing the date, he said the woes seen in Alberta and California - where deregulation caused an initial doubling and even tripling of prices - will not apply in Ontario next spring.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/ontario-to-deregulation-hydro-in-may/article1186099/

    Perspex

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Adam Beck, the founder of the electric power system in Ontario, had a vision in 1906. “Power at cost” was his cry. He would sell electricity at an affordable cost to everyone in the province — if there was a surplus of revenue, it would be used to improve the system or reduce rates. Nothing else!

      But in 1998, Jim Wilson, minister of energy in the Harris government, declared: “The Adam Beck vision is over, a new vision for Hydro has arrived.”

      The electric power system in Ontario would be operated like a private business, and it would have lower costs and rates.

      Twelve years later, we know that the cost of electricity in Ontario for residential, commercial and industrial customers is more than twice the 1998 rate, and that jobs have been lost because of high electricity rates."

      https://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/2010/07/30/why_you_pay_so_much_for_hydro.html

      Perspex

      Delete
  4. Under Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk:

    2015
    Electricity Power System Planning (Ministry of Energy)
    http://auditor.on.ca/en/content/annualreports/arreports/en15/3.05en15.pdf

    Hydro One—Management of Electricity Transmission and Distribution Assets
    http://auditor.on.ca/en/content/annualreports/arreports/en15/3.06en15.pdf

    Ontario Power Generation Human Resources: Follow-up (Ontario Power Generation) http://auditor.on.ca/en/content/annualreports/arreports/en15/4.05en15.pdf


    2014
    Ontario Energy Board—Natural Gas Regulation
    http://auditor.on.ca/en/content/annualreports/arreports/en14/307en14.pdf

    Smart Metering Initiative (Ministry of Energy)
    http://auditor.on.ca/en/content/annualreports/arreports/en14/311en14.pdf


    2013
    Electricity Sector—Regulatory Oversight: Follow-up (Ontario Energy Board)
    http://auditor.on.ca/en/content/annualreports/arreports/en13/402en13.pdf

    Electricity Sector—Renewable Energy Initiatives: Follow-up (Ministry of Energy)
    http://auditor.on.ca/en/content/annualreports/arreports/en13/403en13.pdf

    Electricity Sector—Stranded Debt: Follow-up (Ministry of Finance)
    http://auditor.on.ca/en/content/annualreports/arreports/en11/304en11.pdf

    Ontario Power Generation Human Resources (Ontario Power Generation)
    http://auditor.on.ca/en/content/annualreports/arreports/en13/305en13.pdf

    Under Auditor General Jim McCarter:

    2011
    Electricity Sector—Regulatory Oversight (Ontario Energy Board)
    http://auditor.on.ca/en/content/annualreports/arreports/en11/302en11.pdf

    Electricity Sector—Renewable Energy Initiatives (Ministry of Energy)
    http://auditor.on.ca/en/content/annualreports/arreports/en11/303en11.pdf

    Electricity Sector—Stranded Debt (Ministry of Finance)
    http://auditor.on.ca/en/content/annualreports/arreports/en11/304en11.pdf


    2008
    Hydro One Inc.—Acquisition of Goods and Services: Follow-up
    http://auditor.on.ca/en/content/annualreports/arreports/en08/407en08.pdf

    Ontario Power Generation—Acquisition of Goods and Services: Follow-up
    http://auditor.on.ca/en/content/annualreports/arreports/en08/409en08.pdf

    2006
    Hydro One Inc.—Acquisition of Goods and Services
    http://auditor.on.ca/en/content/annualreports/arreports/en06/307en06.pdf

    Ontario Power Generation—Acquisition of Goods and Services
    http://auditor.on.ca/en/content/annualreports/arreports/en06/309en06.pdf


    Perspex

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'd like to commend Sarah for doing this. I think the Hydro rates are absurd and the government has to be called to account. I don't think city hall is a bad choice. It's not the Ontario government but I am not sure why people think there is no role for our municipal politicians here. If they wrote on our behalf to the government, expressing outrage, it would be a good signal. But alas, they are busy with LRT to do anything meaningful.
    Sorce

    ReplyDelete
  6. "The total cost of electricity service in Ontario has increased, with the commodity cost going from 6.2 cents per kilowatt-hour in 2009 to 9.0 cents per kwh in 2014. Why is this upward pressure on cost such a source of consternation? It shouldn’t be, unless you choose to live in a world of make-believe and assume that new investment in new generation – on the order of $30-billion – can come at no cost. Ontario’s electricity sector has invested heavily in upgrading its aging infrastructure.

    In her report, Ms. Lysyk gets unnecessarily tangled up with the global adjustment mechanism (GAM) and its relationship to the hourly Ontario energy price (HOEP). This is a unique aspect of Ontario’s hybrid market structure that was created to provide incentives for operators to build new power-generating facilities. The cost of contracted generation is recovered through the global adjustment fees. The long-range average pricing of more than 80 per cent of Ontario production (including Ontario Power Generation’s regulated facilities and cost of conservation programs) falls under the global adjustment fees. For the end consumer, it’s simple: The electricity price charged for the quantity consumed is the sum of these two components – the HOEP and the GAM, a mixture of the old and the new.

    The Auditor-General makes much of the increase in global adjustment fees from $650-million in 2006 to $7-billion in 2014. This is a simple reflection of payments to contracted generators who have invested in Ontario; any suggestion of huge excess costs above market prices does not correctly reflect the Ontario situation.

    Not all contracted generation within this GAM bucket comes in at the same price points – there is a wide variation, with nuclear at the low end of generation cost and solar and wind at the higher end of the spectrum. The Auditor-General has highlighted the cost of renewable generation as being disproportionately high and the policy directives that contributed to upward cost pressures.

    The vast gap between the declining cost of solar and wind and the high prices offered through feed-in tariffs can be best characterized as egregious economic rent-seeking at the expense of the consumer. Oversight by the Ontario Energy Board can readily redress this imbalance. Although current data suggest a very high mitigation cost per ton of greenhouse gas reduction via solar and wind, the long-run declining cost picture is promising: Solar and wind, with cost-effective storage in a pivotal role, can add tremendous value to the system."

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-commentary/auditor-general-offers-incomplete-picture-of-ontarios-power-upgrade/article27663368/


    "Ontario is moving forward with nuclear refurbishment at Darlington Generating Station, securing 3,500 megawatts of affordable, reliable, and emission free power.

    Nuclear refurbishment at Darlington will contribute $15 billion to Ontario’s gross domestic product (GDP) throughout the project and create up to 11,800 jobs annually. The refurbishment of all four units is expected to involve about 30 million hours of work over 10 years and will support Ontario’s globally recognized CANDU nuclear supply chain, with more than 180 companies employing thousands of highly skilled workers.

    Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is on track to begin refurbishment of the first unit at Darlington in October 2016. To best protect Ontario ratepayers and ensure OPG delivers refurbishment on-time and on-budget, the government has established off-ramps that require OPG to obtain government approval prior to proceeding with each of the remaining unit refurbishments. The budget for the project is $12.8 billion, about $1.2 billion less than originally projected by OPG, and all four units are scheduled for completion by 2026."

    https://news.ontario.ca/mei/en/2016/01/ontario-moving-forward-with-nuclear-refurbishment-at-darlington-and-pursuing-continued-operations-at.html

    Pickering

    ReplyDelete
  7. "One would assume that while we generate hydro-electricity from what we like to call our great wonder of the world (Niagara Falls), we wouldn't be left needing a hand up off the floor after we drop from shock each time we open envelopes from our hydro providers."

    Less than a quarter of Ontario's power is based in hydroelectric generation, and that is drawn from 65 hydroelectric stations across the province. Niagara has just two of those: lower Niagara River and at DeCew Falls in St. Catharines, with a total capacity of 2,278 MW, or just over a quarter of all hydroelectric generating capacity. So that "great wonder" contributes around 1/8 of Ontario's power supply.

    http://www.opg.com/generating-power/hydro/southwest-ontario/Pages/southwest-ontario.aspx
    http://www.ieso.ca/Pages/Power-Data/Supply.aspx

    Ampere

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I take your point, but 1/4 of 1/4 is 1/16.

      Filbert

      Delete
  8. "last week CUPE announced that they will be suing the Ontario government"

    CUPE June 2014: "Hydro rates are sky high. Industry and business are being gouged. People have trouble paying their hydro bills and the economy is very weak.

    One person, a Conservative MPP from London, has a solution: "Power at cost, for the people."
    That's right, a Conservative pushing for public power. Not only did he push for it, he got it.
    This was 1905, and that person was Sir Adam Beck. Business and industry leaders, tired of being gouged by private power producers, backed Beck's plan to make power publicly owned and produced "at cost."
    In 1906, electricity in Ontario became publicly owned and produced. Rates dropped by more than half.
    Sadly, after generations enjoyed affordable electricity in Ontario, governments have been privatizing power. The result?

    Today, $1.5 Billion is taken out of Ontario's economy by private power every year, and rates have skyrocketed.

    Before deregulation, the money now funneled into profits went out to businesses and citizens in the form of low and stable rates provided by Ontario Hydro and municipal electric commissions. Business and industry prospered with the competitive advantage of "power at cost," providing millions of good jobs for nearly a century.

    What happened, and how did Ontarians end up paying twice what businesses and citizens do in Manitoba and Quebec?

    It began with Mike Harris. In 1998, without a hint of irony, his Conservative government undid what Sir Adam Beck worked so hard to create. They passed legislation to deregulate Ontario's public power.
    Promising "lower rates," the Harris government changed Hydro One, Ontario Power Generation and municipal utilities from "at cost" commissions into "for-profit" corporations.

    The question he was repeatedly asked was, "how do you get lower rates when you add in profits to generators, profits to distributors, profits to retailers, dividends to investors and commissions to commodities brokers?"

    There was never a good answer. And today it is clear why: You don't.

    Only one thing stopped the costly privatization of public power from happening faster. At Christmas time in 2001, Mike Harris announced the sale of Hydro One, the province's distribution system. The Ontario Electricity Coalition partners, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and the Communications Energy and Paperworkers (now Unifor), took the Harris government to court and won, proving that the Harris government did not have the right to sell Hydro One. It was a good day for the people of Ontario - privatization had been stopped.

    But it hadn't been stopped. It was just done more subversively.

    In the 2003 election, the NDP were successfully making public power a key election issue. Suffering in the polls, Liberal Leader Dalton McGuinty came out echoing the NDP's "public power" promise. That became one of his litany of broken promises. Instead, he brought in "smart meters" and "time of use pricing," which created enormous room for profits to be funneled into a new electricity market. His government's energy privatization scheme used terms like "community power" to mask privatization of green energy, and ultimately led to the gas plants scandal, which forced McGuinty from office. It's a scandal that simply could not have happened under Sir Adam Beck's old public power system.

    Before deregulation, electricity was 4.3 cent a kilowatt hour, now it is 12.9 cents That's a 300 percent increase. In other words, Hydro prices have risen at 10 times the rate of inflation."

    http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/leaders-ignore-real-reasons-for-high-hydro-rates-1918693.htm

    Perspex

    ReplyDelete
  9. "Some critics have argued that the GEA needs to be scrapped and the 20 year long renewable energy contracts given out under the GEA need to be ripped up."

    A perfectly understandable inclination, although one wonders about the attendant costs of breaking a decade's worth of exceptionally lucrative 20-year contracts, the oldest of which are not even half way into their term. Consider that the cancellation of the Oakville gas plant cost the province $675 million, and TCE still got a contract for the Napanee facility out of the deal. What it cost to terminate these contracts entirely? And will we just end up taking money out of our right pocket to put it in our left?

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/ontario-taps-firms-to-build-new-renewable-energy-projects/article29130899/

    Hansard

    ReplyDelete
  10. Are you the same person against LRT?
    http://www.hamiltonnews.com/opinion-story/6784843-letter-we-aren-t-anti-lrt-we-are-no-lrt-just-yet-/

    Just wondering if there's anything you're *for*...

    ~Miffed on the Mountain

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For a Downtown Casino.

      http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/political-theatre-bleeds-into-mountain-lrt-information-session-1.3771453

      False Flag

      Delete
    2. The Debt Retirement Charge is the result of Harris-era policies. It averages 0.7 cents per kWh, I believe — the cost of chipping away at the $22B in stranded debt from that government's restructuring of Ontario Hydro.

      The Global Adjustment is the result of McGuinty/Wynne policies. One account I've seen puts it at an average of 7.9 cents per kWh.

      The jolt from your hydro bill is not just about the heavily subsidized rates guaranteed to Ontario's approximately 19,000 renewable (or "green") energy contractors, who contribute 12% of the province's power capacity. It's also the Global Adjustment being applied to larger energy producers. Remember the infamous Oakville gas plant that relocated to Napanee?

      "Over the past seven years, Ontario has signed numerous agreements with energy producers guaranteeing minimum levels of revenue regardless of how much energy they produce.

      TransCanada, set to open their Napanee Generating Station later this year, signed an agreement with the Ontario Power Authority in 2012 that guaranteed the company would receive a minimum of $13.7 million per month once the plant comes online – even if they produce zero electricity.

      “Essentially… TransCanada is being paid nearly $165 million a year to leave their power generating station running on idle,” said Parker Gallant, former vice president of TD Bank and an outspoken critic of the province’s green energy strategy."

      http://globalnews.ca/news/2839995/what-is-the-global-adjustment-fee-the-mysterious-cost-ontario-hydro-customers-must-pay/

      The impact of the Global Adjustment is likely being exacerbated by industrial facilities choosing to install their own generating capacity so that they can insulate themselves from the grid.

      http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887324906304579036721930972500

      Perspex

      Delete
  11. I wouldn't say LRT supporters or casino opponents favour higher electric bills. I am puzzled why some people disagree simply because they disagree on an unrelated subject. To me it matters not who makes a point but rather whether it's something that makes sense.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Average Hourly Prices for each month since market opening on May 1, 2002. Averages are weighted by the amount of electricity used throughout the province within each hour.

    http://www.ieso.ca/Pages/Power-Data/price.aspx

    Perspex

    ReplyDelete
  13. For the record: Actually, I never said I was "pro-casino". During the interview I did (which was actually almost 10 minutes long) I was talking about how I had just been to Niagara Falls and used the transit system they had there. I talked about the large amount of ridership the City of Niagara garners due to having tourist attractions and how it helps them out. Due to that being the last thing I said, I then said that if we had something " like a casino" I could fully support an LRT because we would have a large ridership opportunity.

    Also, I was not familiar with the issue regarding the casino debate that happened, so there was no correlation to that event and what I said. Maybe you might want to ask the person what they actually said before making assumptions and spreading falsehoods, especially on public forums. I have never said I am totally against the LRT, I have publicly stated that I am looking for answers about the project so I can make an informed decision about it. Due to the inability of both the city and Metrolinx to provide said answers. I have stated that we are a very diverse city with different economically diverse areas and it would be unfortunate if we did not garner the necessary ridership to sustain the costs to upkeep the LRT and it ended up costing tax payers (and renters) increased transit levy fees to subsidize the cost for low ridership (which has happened), especially in economically disadvantaged area that should be getting an uplift to help them out. Also if it raises the cost to ride and we are aiming to provide this service to peoples such as students, seniors, and these on fixed incomes who are looking for cheap reliable transportation.

    I would encourage people to perhaps try and engage in conversations with people before making brash statements and assumptions based on out of context quotes and hearsay because you may be writing off people for the wrong reasons under very bad circumstances. Also, we are adults.

    The reason for it at City Hall, is because many people who are attending may not have the opportunity to attend queens Park as they would have to take the day off, and if they have a 800 dollar hydro bill and kids to feed, the last thing they want to do is lose a days pay. A protest was planned for QP by someone else and it got no attention. This is a starting point. We actually have some MPPS coming, our MPPs who work at QP actually live in our city so they can show up if they care, we dont have to go all the way to QP and the point is to get the city to give it some attention and get our councilors and mayor to send the message to QP that our residents and businesses are in distress due to the costs and something has to be done . There was logic behind the location and everything that is happening there.

    There will be MPPs fro differnet parties with petitions that can actually be presented in the legislature, online petitions are not "real" and make no difference in actual policy changes or political matters.

    I see many people posting different links, and encourage you o become familiar with the matter and informed about what is happening. As for blaming any prior governments, even though they have made bad policies, many of these policies that have raised the price, cam into effect under this government. You cant keep blaming a government that has been out of office for for over 10 years. This government came into power in 2003, they need to take responsibility for their actions.

    So if you want to come because you are fed up, I encourage it and welcome you. If you are not going to attended in spite that you and I have one or two differences, that is your right. I would hope that people support this effort, if not for them self, for those who are having a rough time with their hydro.

    If anyone has any questions regarding anything I have said, or questions regarding anything, please contact me. Making assumptions about a person based on hearsay and faulty info is not always the best way to go.

    Hope to see you out Wednesday.

    -Sarah

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sarah

      Very eloquently put. I hope to see you around here more often. We can use more people like you who are concerned about the real issues and not about the banter.
      Sorce

      Delete
    2. BYW. thanks for clarifying. It is often necessary in these types of conversations. Tracks are lefty all over the internet and people sometimes unwittingly or not, take a snippet out of context. Great to get the complete account from you.
      Sorce

      Delete
  14. Not to take anything away from the reaction people are having around hydro, but I thought this was an interesting take:

    "Case in point: affordable housing didn’t warrant a single mention in Monday’s throne speech, which is astonishing for a government that presents itself as progressive-minded.

    The reality is that this issue scarcely registers on the Liberals’ radar. Evidence? In 2014, when Wynne delivered her first Throne Speech, she pledged a continuation of the Investment in Affordable Housing Program (IAHP), a cost-shared venture with the feds. The amount to be spent: $800 million between 2015 and 2020 (the feds anted up another $400 million). In other words, $200 million annually, or a fifth of this latest shell game measure with hydro bills.

    Which one gets the most bang for the buck? The politics of hydro bills are well known, and the premier has her eye on 2018. But according to the province’s own evaluation of the program’s results from 2011 to 2015, the IAHP moved over 15,000 households out of housing need, provided housing vouchers for others, and financed the creation or protection of thousands of rental or assisted units.

    It was clearly a successful endeavour, and one that provides dividends: when families or individuals aren’t sinking most of their monthly income into rent, they spend and save more.

    Indeed, if the Wynne government had chosen to use that $1 billion needed to finance the hydro cut to expand IAHP, it would have doubled down on these gains in the living standards of tens of thousands of lower-income Ontarians.

    One offers an illusory fix while the other leverages public investment for both social and economic ends. An investment in this government’s political future, versus an investment in the future social well-being of tens of thousands of Ontarians."

    http://spacing.ca/toronto/2016/09/14/lorinc-housing-affordability-no-hydro-bills-whats-really-hurting-ontario/

    Perspex

    ReplyDelete
  15. "online petitions are not "real" and make no difference in actual policy changes or political matters"

    Well, they're useful to a point, but they exist outside of parliamentary procedure.

    There's actually a formal protocol to petitioning the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

    http://www.ontla.on.ca/lao/en/getting-involved/petitions/

    Under Premier Ernie Eves, there were 26 days on which hydro rate petitions were presented to the House.

    Under Premier Dalton McGuinty, there were 49 days on which hydro rate petitions were presented to the House.

    Since Kathleen Wynne became Premier, there have been 131 days on which hydro rate petitions have been presented to the House.


    Hansard

    ReplyDelete
  16. Under Premier Ernie Eves, there were 51 days on which questions involving hydro rates were asked during Question Period.

    Under Premier Dalton McGuinty, there were 201 days on which questions involving hydro rates were asked during Question Period.

    Since Kathleen Wynne became Premier, there have been 112 days on which questions involving hydro rates have been asked during Question Period.

    Hansard


    ReplyDelete
  17. Not that it isn’t abundantly flawed, but part of the problem with the Liberals’ Green Energy Act (at least in terms of its job creation potential) was its thinking that it could mandate local content and requirement that participating electricity generators to source 60% of their equipment in Ontario in order to eligible for generous subsidies in wind and solar farms. The provision would undoubtedly have had some economic uplift for Ontario industry, but unfortunately stating as much put the GEA in conflict with international trade law — Japan and the EU took a discriminatory practice claim to the World Trade Organization, who ruled against Ontario, and after an unsuccessful appeal, the Liberals were forced to remove the provision.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/wto-rules-against-ontario-in-green-energy-dispute/article5461941/

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/ontario-to-change-green-energy-law-after-wto-ruling/article12236781/

    Incidentally, this is why infrastructure projects feature the abstract "local knowledge" provision; explicitly mandating that materials or labour must be from Ontario contravenes international trade law.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ontario-beefing-up-procurement-rules-to-favour-local-construction-bids/article15131100/

    Arno

    ReplyDelete

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