Ontario’s electricity disaster is now so well known that everybody takes the grim facts for granted: Absurdly high prices, a billion-dollar smart grid boondoggle, huge overcapacity problems, energy poverty among consumers, hundreds of millions paid annually to companies not to produce electricity. Less well known is what some of the solutions might be.
A new report released Wednesday by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce outlines some ideas on how to fix the fiasco, including the welcome idea of getting the politicians out of the business of making decisions on energy supply. But that and other ideas from the chamber are unlikely to be enough for a system that needs radical reform.
The chamber’s report is aimed at influencing the province’s 2017 Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP), which in practice is a quasi-Stalinist attempt to come up with regular 20-year revisable Gosplans for the province’s electricity system.
The flakiness of the project was demonstrated last October when Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault launched consultations on the 2017 LTEP with a class of Grade 5 students at Holy Cross Elementary School in Sudbury (I’m not making this up!). Attention boys and girls! The new 20-year master plan, he said, will “balance the principles of affordability, reliability, clean energy, community and indigenous engagement, as well as conservation and demand management.”
The minister did not note that previous LTEPs, in 2010 and 2013 — butchered and mangled by a parade of Liberal politicians — are the reason the province is currently mired in high electricity costs and a brewing proletarian and bourgeois revolution against the Wynne government. Will the 2017 LTEP be different?
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