Report from Parliament May 2016

Earlier this year in Parliament, I asked the Federal Government to launch an inquiry into Ontario electricity rates. I asked this question in the context of the acquisition by the recently privatized Ontario Hydro monopoly, now called Hydro One, of a competitor, and whether the public interest was being served by having the federal competition bureau review this purchase behind closed doors.

As this purchase will, if it has not already, trigger a hydro rate increase that consumers and industry cannot afford, I requested a federal inquiry into the Ontario energy crisis, a request the government chose to ignore.

This response from a government that promised to be open and transparent, an election promise that was promptly broken with its first budget.

The decision to ignore Ontario residents who are suffering from the highest electricity rates in North America is another broken promise from an arrogant government that took power with less than 40% support.

Trudeau fails to understand the importance of the price of electricity as a federal issue. The loss of 350,000 good, well-paying middle-class jobs in the manufacturing sector in Ontario because of the high electricity rate policy of the Liberal government of Toronto is a federal issue.

The rise of energy poverty in the province of Ontario, when seniors, students, and people on fixed incomes must spend a greater and greater percentage of their savings and income on electricity costs, with people in Ontario being faced with the decision of heat or eat, is a federal issue.

When a legal NAFTA trade challenge is issued against the practices of the Ontario regulated electricity monopoly for hundreds of millions of dollars for corruption in wind turbine contracting policy, and it is the federal taxpayer who is expected to pay the penalty, it is a federal issue.

When yet another criminal investigation is launched by the Ontario Provincial Police into the energy policy of the Toronto Liberal Party, it is a federal issue.

When the chief executive officer of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, one of the largest car and truck manufacturing companies in the world, states that Ontario’s hydro costs mean that Canada is losing opportunities for multi-billion-dollar auto investments and the good, well-paying jobs that come with that private sector investment, it is a federal issue.

There is no covering-up for the Province of Ontario on this issue. The high cost of doing business in Ontario is a federal issue.

Of the many problems constituents bring to my attention, the one that brings the most complaints is the out-of-control cost of electricity. The definition of “energy poverty” is when a household is spending 10% or more of its disposable income on energy costs. For too many households, this has now become a reality, with the latest increase in hydro rates this month. Now, with the announcement by the provincial government to ban the use of natural gas as a residential heating fuel, winters are going to get a whole lot colder in the Ottawa Valley.

As your Federal Member of Parliament, I am pleased to represent you on a variety of issues. Whether that issue is promoting agriculture, international trade, Canadian Unity, CNL, 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. Office contact Information: Constituency Office of Cheryl Gallant, MP, 84 Isabella St., Pembroke On. K8A 5S5 or call 732-4404. There is no postage required when you write your Federal Member of Parliament.