The overwhelming impression conveyed by Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk’s sweeping denunciation of Ontario’s management of the electricity system is the sheer audacity of a government that shows no hesitation whatever to putting political considerations ahead of the cost to consumers and the interests of the province.
Again and again, it shows, the governments of premiers Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne simply ignore the sensible advice they get from experts hired to oversee and operate the electricity grid on a safe, effective and efficient manner.
Tens of billions of dollars are poured into actions that please Liberal political aspirations but mean soaring costs to consumers. Rarely if ever is there a hint of remorse, or the acceptance of responsibility, for ill-considered, badly imnplemented and ultimately needless projects that succeed only in adding to power bills while doing little if anything to improve the overall functioning of the system.
Lysyk’s report, issued Wednesday, is stuffed with examples of poor thinking, bad planning and rampant mismanagement. Yet once again the province’s response has been an enormous shrug of the shoulders, as if heaping billions of dollars in extra costs on Ontarians — $37 billion more than necessary between 2006 and 2014 according to Lysyk – is no big deal.
The last time Lysyk took the government to task for its fumbles over the power grid, Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli dismissively suggested she didn’t understand the electricity business.
On Wednesday he once again brushed off her findings, blaming previous governments (although the Liberals have been in power since 2003) and insisting Ontarians support energy conservation.
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