Ontario’s Liberal government is already being savaged for its latest scheme to quell the provincial outrage over out-of-control electricity rates. Even before the plan was official, the details that were leaked to the Toronto Star — reporting that power-bill costs would be “smoothed out” by rearranging contracts at lower rates, but longer periods — were being called a “shell game” by the opposition.
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation complained that “spreading the cost … over more years, doesn’t solve the problem” but would just cost more in the long term. Sun Columnist Lorrie Goldstein called it “robbing Peter to pay Paul.”
That is surely all true. As Kathleen Wynne confirmed in unveiling the plan Thursday, long-suffering Ontarians will be made to suffer even longer with extended contracts. Other costs will be shifted from hydro bills to taxes, costing the province another $2 billion a year it doesn’t have, after already rebating the provincial sales tax on power or, more accurately, paying for it with other provincial taxes, instead.
This government plan is nothing more than a sleazy sleight of hand, a desperate attempt by a party desperate to escape its responsibility for shamefully mutilating a once-stable electrical system.
It’s a plan of a Liberal government convinced that voters are too foolish to realize they’re being hosed yet again, and worse than before.In other words, it’s brilliant.
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