Will Ford keep his promise to lower hydro costs? He’d better – by Lawrence Solomon (Financial Post – October 30, 2018)


Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s boast, like that of U.S. President Donald Trump’s, is “Promises Made, Promises Kept.” Trump’s strict adherence to keeping his promises — he has kept two-thirds of his 334 promises to date and broken none of any significance — explains the intense loyalty of his base, his rising popularity and the likelihood of his re-election.

Ford has, like Trump, broken out of the gate upon assuming office by fulfilling an impressive number of election promises, among them scrapping the carbon tax and repealing the Green Energy Act.

But the single most important one for super-charging the provincial economy — lowering electricity rates toward free-market prices by cancelling the above-market renewable energy contracts the past Liberal government handed out to friends and benefactors — seems on course to be broken.

If that happens, the betrayal of the paramount issue for Ford’s voter base would neither be forgotten nor forgiven. Ford has every reason to return the power system to some semblance of economic sanity. Ontario is now burdened by some of the highest power rates of any jurisdiction in North America, throwing households into energy poverty and forcing industries to close shop or move to the U.S.

The biggest reason by far for the power sector’s dysfunction is its renewables, which account for just seven per cent of Ontario’s electricity output but consume 40 per cent of the above-market fees consumers are forced to provide.

For the rest of this article: https://business.financialpost.com/opinion/lawrence-solomon-will-ford-keep-his-promise-to-lower-hydro-costs-hed-better