Archived Letter – 596

I would like to voice an objection to the information presented in a recent letter to the editor. I believe everybody is entitled to an opinion, but not entitled to their own facts. The letter stated that “Electricity in Ontario mainly comes from coal fired power generation.” In actuality, Ontario’s electrical output for 2012 was 56% nuclear, 22% hydroelectric,15% natural gas, 3% coal, 3% wind and other. (Souce: – a government site.)

The fact is that the government’s drive to install unneeded wind generation capacity has cost taxpayers $1.2 billion dollars last year alone dumping excess power. Another fact is Ontario is now paying wind producers not to produce power while at the same time approving new installations. This is fiscal and financial insanity.

The Energy Minister has stated that Ontario’s rates are “competitive”. Ian Lee of the Sprott School of Business says that “Ontario’s power rates are higher than those of adjoining Provinces and States.” I guess our energy minister is talking from that mystical place where moving two gas plants only cost $40 million not the $1.2 billion the Provincial Auditor counted.

A basic tenet of economics is that as relative costs increase, competitiveness decreases. Factories close and move to reduce costs to stay competitive. The GSW plant and the Heinz factories closed with the loss of hundreds of jobs. Businesses can save millions of dollars powering their factories outside the province and face increasing local wage demands as their workers suffer skyrocketing home energy bills. Our Energy Minister has stated that rates are going 33% higher, destroying Ontario’s competitiveness even further.

I am continually baffled that a contingent of my fellow citizens are quite happy to “save the planet” by destroying their neighbours’ jobs and driving everyone closer to energy poverty. This reminds me of the old line “the operation was successful – but the patient died.”

Robert Service