Ontario PC Leader, Patrick Brown, has named Prince Edward-Hastings MPP Todd Smith the Energy Critic for the Official Opposition at Queen’s Park.
With the appointment, Smith will be responsible for the PC Caucus response to one of the government’s largest and most complicated ministries.
“It feels like I’ve been dealing with electricity concerns since before I was elected.” Smith stated. “Across the province, electricity consumers have seen their rates sky-rocket, largely because of the Liberal government’s mismanagement of the electricity system. We have gone from having the most affordable electricity in North America, to one of the most expensive jurisdictions because of this government’s failed energy experiments. The Auditor General reported, as a result of political meddling, residents and businesses have paid $37 billion more than the market price for electricity and we will pay another $133 billion extra over the next 15 years. It’s because of these bad energy deals that delivery charges for home owners and Global Adjustment fees for businesses are out of control.”
In addition to electricity rates, the role of Energy Critic makes Smith responsible for critiquing other elements of the Liberal government’s energy policy including recent revelations that the government is paying Natural Gas generators not to produce power.
“The amount of times that this government has asked ratepayers to pay for power that was never produced is unprecedented.” Smith continued. “This government has actually set up a system where we pay for power whether we need it or not.”
Returning to hydro rates, Smith said the problem goes well beyond homes. The electricity crisis is starting to affect community institutions.
“We’ve seen hockey and curling rinks increase costs for ice time.” Smith added. “We’ve seen electricity rates put a crunch on Board of Education and Hospital budgets across the province. There isn’t one part of your life the electricity crisis hasn’t made more expensive.”