Privatizing Hydro One is bad for the environment: Horwath
In Question Period today Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath called on the government to bring forward a meaningful plan to tackle climate change.
“Climate change is one of the most important issues in our generation, and it needs more than just rhetoric. It actually needs a plan. Does this Premier have a plan that she’s actually bringing to the Paris summit?” said Horwath.
The NDP Leader expressed concern after the Liberal government cobbled together a climate change announcement yesterday that lacked substance. Instead of details, the Premier offered a re-announcement that there will, at some point, be an announcement.
“We’ve been waiting for a plan since 2008 when Ontario signed on to cap-and-trade. It took the NDP government of Alberta a mere six months to develop a plan to deal with climate change, but after nearly 10 years, two general elections, two Premiers, the Liberals are promising that they’re going to have a plan, maybe next year,” said Horwath. “Why doesn’t this Liberal government already have a climate change plan?”
Horwath cautioned that energy conservation measures in Ontario will be put into jeopardy by the Liberal plan to sell-off Hydro One. She said that to be a global green energy leader, Ontario needs an electricity grid that serves the public interest, not just the interests of shareholders. Horwath noted that public hydro agencies in other provinces like Manitoba, BC and Quebec already invest more in conservation than Ontario does, and that they have lower electricity rates. However, in Nova Scotia where public power has been sold off, rates are sky-high and private interests are fighting against conservation measures.
“Yesterday, this Premier said that the cost of inaction on climate change was too high, and I agree with her on that fact. But instead of taking the kind of action that would lead to better energy conservation, this Premier is selling off Hydro One, which is likely going to mean less conservation here in the province of Ontario,” said Horwath. “Will this Premier admit that selling Hydro One is the wrong decision for Ontario? It is wrong for our economy. It is wrong for our environment.”