Liberals Ram Unaffordable Budget Through Legislature

June 3, 2015

QUEEN’S PARK – “We have heard from community groups, residents, workers and employers that the Liberal Budget is unaffordable,” MPP McDonell commented. “More than half of small businesses will have to reduce pay, employment, investment or pension offerings in order to stay afloat after the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan is implemented. Ratepayers will be saddled with significant increases in their electricity bills to pay off Hydro One’s debt, since the Liberals are changing the law to allow themselves to dispose of money earned from Hydro One shares as they please, without accountability. When Ontario Hydro was disbanded, it was made clear and entrenched in law that any proceeds from the sale of Hydro One must be used to pay against the debt. Instead, the Liberals will give ratepayers the debt and keep the money for pet projects. This will mean higher electricity rates, which is just another disaster waiting to happen.”

 

Provisions in Bill 91 removes Hydro One from oversight by the independent officers of the legislature, including the Ontario Ombudsman and the Auditor General. The recent government amendment pushed through to ensure it was done almost immediately. “At the stroke of a pen by this majority Government, the same Hydro One whom the Ombudsman identified as being permeated by a culture of obstruction has been exempted from all oversight, including the Freedom of Information Act,” MPP McDonell stated. “At government Agencies Committee, our last opportunity to call them for questioning was removed through procedural delay tactics, such as Liberal members not attending sub-committee meetings (making meeting invalid), changing agenda and filibustering to ensure motion to call them to committee was not voted on.”

 

Ontario is in dire need of a sound energy policy reform that would bring electricity rates down. We have to make this Province affordable for large and small business again; the Liberals’ payroll taxes, red tape and hydro mismanagement are driving them away. The Liberals talk transparency, but show once again they do not want the people of Ontario to find out about the details of their mismanagement of the energy file. MPP McDonell stated, “Ontarians cannot afford this Budget and I am proud to have stood up for you by voting no. Enough is enough.”