SaultOnline.com published a statement from the Ontario PC’s on Tuesday regarding businesses and hyrdo rates in Northern Ontario. “Energy Minister out of touch with reality for Northern businesses”
Today, a spokesperson for The Energy Minister issued the following response:
The Conservatives are being disingenuous when they claim Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault called electricity prices in the North ‘rosy’, and are trying to paint a picture that suits their political needs.
Our government recognizes the importance of electricity prices for businesses, and this is reflected in many government programs that help businesses make electricity more affordable, such as the Industrial Conservation Initiative program, Save on Energy for business, the industrial electricity incentive, the Northern Industrial Electricity Rate Program and the Industrial Accelerator Program, just to name a few.
Industrial rates in Ontario remain competitive with other Canadian and American jurisdictions, with prices in Northern Ontario in particular among the five most affordable jurisdictions on the continent. The 2017 Long-Term Energy Plan’s price outlook for industrial consumers reflects an average increase in line with inflation right until 2035 when the Plan’s forecasting ends.
It’s also important to note that the electricity price for industrial electricity consumers in Ontario is lower than the average price in the Great Lakes region, as reported by the US Energy Information Administration.
Further, the Fair Hydro Plan has lowered electricity rates for all residences and as many as half a million small businesses and farms by 25 per cent on average. As the Minister has previously stated, the most northern and rural communities are seeing greater reductions.
Every energy idea the Conservatives have shared would take us down a road where we would spend millions on legal fees to tear up contracts and dial back on money- and energy-saving conservation programs.
Both of these reckless ideas would drive electricity bills up.
The Opposition also voted against the Fair Hydro Plan – the single-largest rate reduction in the province’s history. Minister Thibeault has continually challenged them to present their own credible ideas or support ours – so far neither has happened.