Hastings Prince Edward MPP Todd Smith, newly-appointed Conservative energy critic, told Prince Edward County business owners that failed energy policies are costing businesses money that should be going to more important needs like health care, long-term care and schools.
“The gold rush from the Green Energy Act has cost us deeply. That is the biggest reason why electricity prices are soaring in Ontario – wind and solar going up across Ontario… that we don’t need. And using wind and solar when we don’t need them.”
Smith, speaking to members of the Prince Edward County Chamber of Commerce at a breakfast meeting Thursday, explained how $78 million was spent over the Easter weekend alone.
“Demand on Easter weekend was the third lowest demand we’ve experienced, yet we were running wind when the wind was blowing, running solar when the sun was shining and to keep all running properly, natural gas at the same time (when no wind or sun). So we’re spilling water from our dams, venting steam from our nuclear plants and taking more expensive wind when it was there, more expensive solar when it was there, and this balancing act cost us $50 million and we ended up exporting excess energy at a loss to our neighbouring jurisdictions.”
Topping that, he said the province paid $28 million in a lawsuit over a cancelled offshore wind project off the Scarborough Bluffs.
“It’s been a real interesting learning experience. When I was elected, I thought I knew quite a bit about the energy sector in Ontario, but in the past few weeks I’ve been drinking through a fire hose,” he said. “It’s unbelievable the amount of information is out there, the different technologies out there and exactly the mess we’re in when it comes to the electricity sector in Ontario.”
He noted a few effects shown in endless stories he’s been hearing while travelling across the province.
Visiting a long-term care facility in Sault Ste Marie, he learned its electricity bill has been going up 39 per cent year over year.
“The operators told me it’s care that suffers – the number of personal support workers on the job, the menu is not as good and even affects little things like making sure the flower gardens are attended to. Things that are so important.”
At a round table conference in Southwestern Ontario talking about the new cap and trade, he found himself with other MPPs picking peppers in Petrolia.
At the gathering, the greenhouse owner showed him his gas bill – “risen from $14,000 per month, from $4,000 due to cap and trade”.
“It’s a real problem,” said Smith.
“You’ve heard the impact the rising cost of electricity is having on our local hospitals and schools. That’s money that isn’t going to pay the front-line health care worker, or support in our classrooms… The rising cost of electricity is $1 million more at Quinte Health Care, $700,000 more at the Hastings Prince Edward District School Board.”
“The government is not listening and is continuing to put these wind and solar projects in the ground.
“wpd Canada, the company that wants to put 29 wind turbines on the south shore of Prince Edward County, is thumbing its nose at the environmental review tribunal process and they’re clearing vegetation getting ready for this project that hopefully won’t happen.
“We don’t need these giant turbines in Prince Edward County for a number of reasons – we don’t need the electricity, the unreliable electricity, we don’t need the expensive electricity… The government should be stepping in now realizing the economic disaster and stop any further projects.”
Filed Under: Local News
About the Author: