With winter temperatures being colder than usual these past several months, my office has received many angry phone calls from constituents about their electricity bills. Unfortunately, electricity rates are set by the provincial government in Toronto. Our two independent power utility companies here in the Ottawa Valley, Ottawa River Power Corporation, (ORPC) which serves Pembroke, Beachburg, Killaloe, Mississippi Mills, and Renfrew Hydro, are prevented by the Ontario Energy Board from buying cheap, abundant, clean, hydro-electric power from Quebec. Only when power crosses a provincial or international boundary, does the Federal Government through the National Energy Board (NEB) have jurisdiction.
Even given that constraint, our local distribution companies offer competitive power rates, with ORPC giving the lowest rate in the province of Ontario. In 2013 a residential customer using 800 kWh per month paid $109.65 to ORPC or $112.74 to Renfrew Hydro. Renfrew County residents who are customers of Hydro One paid $145.17!
Rates for hydro in Ontario have been approved by Toronto to increase another 33% over the next three years. This increase does not include additional charges on electricity bills demanded by the provincial government. And it gets worse. Ontario PAID over $1 Billion dollars in 2013 to American border states to take unusable power from industrial wind turbines and solar panels. Ratepayers are subsidizing wind and solar at home and at the same time delivering cheap power to Ontario’s economic competitors, hollowing out our manufacturing sector in the process. Rest assured, if there was any way the Federal Government could intervene, I would do so on your behalf!
These and other bad decisions have turned Ontario from being the economic engine of Canada, to a have-not province, with the current government in Toronto begging Ottawa for hand-outs. My concern, is the authors of the disastrous Ontario Energy Policy in Toronto, the so-called Green Energy Act, are now in Ottawa as principal advisors to the in-experienced leader of the 3rd Opposition Party.
The chief policy advisor to the leader of the liberal party in Ottawa, who, the media has nick-named “the puppeteer,” and the former provincial, turned federal liberal party president want Ontario Energy Policy to become a “new” National Energy Policy (NEP). Who among us can forget the first NEP in the 1980s that caused gas prices to rise by 54 cents a litre! Beware a disguised carbon tax using the word “green” or “environment” next time you pay your energy bill.
As your Federal Member of Parliament, I am pleased to represent you on a variety of issues. Whether that issue is eliminating the long gun registry, promoting agriculture, international trade, Canadian Unity, AECL, the military or jobs in the working forest, I am here to serve you! As always, if you have any concerns of a federal nature, or just want to share your views with me, please do not hesitate to contact my office.