NEWS RELEASE: Northern [Ontario] Industry Gutted by High Hydro Prices, Minister Hints at Sweetheart Deal

Randy Hiller is the provincial Progressive Conservative Member of Parliaiment for the eastern Ontario riding of Lanark, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington. Currently Mr. Hiller serves as the Opposition Critic for Northern Development, Mines and Forestry, and Opposition Critic for Labour.

For an extensive list of articles on this mineral discovery, please go to: Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

Northern Industry Gutted by High Hydro Prices, Minister Hints at Sweetheart Deal 

Monday, 07 February 2011

Queen’s Park – It is unacceptable for a government to indicate that they may set one hydro price for one company while others are suffering, but that’s exactly what Dalton McGuinty’s government seems to be doing. Randy Hillier, PC Party critic for Northern Development, Mines and Forestry today blasted comments by the government that there was room for discussion on high hydro prices in exchange for a new Ferrochrome processing facility.

Cliffs Natural Resources, a company interested in the Ring of Fire development, released a statement last week saying they would be willing to build a new processing facility, but were unable to proceed due to inordinately high hydro prices. In response, Minister for Northern Development Michael Gravelle stated “I certainly recognize that we will need to become engaged in serious discussions with Cliffs related to the energy issues associated with a processing facility.”

“Is the Minister going to cut this company another McGuinty Sweetheart Deal?” asked Hillier. “Where were the special sweetheart deals for the Xstrata smelter which closed in Timmins due to exorbitant hydro prices just months ago, laying off hundreds of workers? Where were the special hydro rates for over 60 Northern timber mills which have closed, all across the North, laying off thousands?”

Energy prices have increased dramatically in recent months as the McGuinty Liberals have added new costs for consumers through the HST and the Green Energy Act. Companies like Samsung have already received special treatment from the government, in the form of a $7 billion deal.

“I feel for Northerners who continue to struggle under this Liberal government. We have an abundance of clean Hydro sources in the North, and yet the Liberals continue to ignore them while they raise our prices with windmills and solar panels,” said Hillier. “I can understand the frustration of a Liberal government which makes you pay more to heat your house the same year they destroy your job. But now, to find out that Dalton McGuinty is willing to hand out another sweetheart deal on the side? It’s unconscionable.”

Nicholas Kadysh
Office of Randy Hillier, MPP
(416) 325-2244