NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is calling on Premier Kathleen Wynne to table her promised hydro bill on Monday.
“Premier Wynne, has issued a news release and delivered talking points – now it’s time to deliver a plan,” said Horwath. “Ontario families, businesses and municipalities have a right to know what will happen to their bills and who will pay the price for $40 billion going to pay interest rather than investing in hospitals, schools, transit and roads.”
Horwath said the media appearances and talking points have raised more questions than answers. There’s confusion throughout the province on whether Wynne’s borrowing deal will help all Ontario businesses, whether there will be any relief on time-of-use premiums or if hospitals, schools and municipal facilities like community rinks will qualify for relief.
Plus, noted Horwath, there have been no details around repayment of interest costs that could amount to as much as $40 billion.
“If Wynne is planning to sign Ontarians on to a $40-billion borrowing deal, she owes us all one heck of an explanation. That’s why I’m calling on her to table a bill Monday – so it can be properly debated by the legislature, by the public, and by experts.”
Horwath is concerned that the Liberals plan on tabling their bill close to the end of the legislative session, undercutting scrutiny and debate. “Kathleen Wynne might think such a strategy will be good for her and the Liberal party but it is yet another affront to the people of Ontario”.
Unlike the Wynne government, Horwath has already publicly released her plan to lower hydro rates by up to 30 per cent. The extensive NDP plan includes immediate bill-cutting measures like scrapping time-of-use premiums and unfair higher delivery charges; and it repairs the hydro system for the long-term by reversing the selloff of Hydro One.
Horwath’s plan will bring an additional $7 billion in dividends to the province – money that can be used in schools and hospitals – while Wynne’s borrowing deal is expected to cost Ontarians as much as $40 billion more in interest payments.
While the Wynne plan appears to benefit bankers most, the Conservatives haven’t provided any sort of a plan at all to deal with sky-high hydro bills.