Patrick Brown claimed: “if we sell a majority [of Hydro One] we’re going to lose future control over rate increases.”
Fact: This is their biggest proposal yet it’s completely false – it won’t take one cent off electricity bills. Energy rates will continue to be set by the independent Ontario Energy Board, who has a mandate to protect ratepayers.
“This idea that because it's private rates will go up is a straw man…They'll still have to go to OEB, still have to go through the same rigmarole whether it's public or private. If it's private, people might even push against rate hikes more."
-Brady Yauch, former Energy Probe economist and current economist at the Consumer Policy Institute, CBC, April 20th, 2015
“Your hydro costs won't change with new ownership. Hydro One is and will remain a regulated utility that answers to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB).”
-Jack Gibbons, Chair, Clean Air Alliance, NOW Magazine, April 29th, 2015
“In Ontario, though, the OEB, or Ontario Energy Board, sets the rates, and utilities must make their case whenever they want to raise prices.”
-Tim Kiladze, Globe and Mail, September 29th, 2016
Patrick Brown claimed: “We give away electricity at a loss to Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, New York.”
Fact: We’ve seen this one from Patrick Brown before. The last time the provincial Conservatives were in power, they spent $900 million importing electricity over two years just to keep the lights on. Given our position of strength, Ontario is a net exporter now, benefitting ratepayers to the tune of $230 million in 2015 (as estimated by the Independent Electricity System Operator).
Patrick Brown claimed: “you know there would be really, there would be significant opportunity to, to get rid of the surplus just in the, just in the bad deals.”
Fact: PC Energy Critic Todd Smith admitted earlier this week that renegotiating contracts would come at a huge cost to taxpayers and would cause electricity prices to rise. (Source: [4:38] CFRA)
“I think they’d find themselves in court for years and years to come. It sends a terrible message to the market that they can’t rely on government to enter into a binding agreement. They get sued and it can end up costing the taxpayer an awful lot of money.”
-Paul Harricks, Energy, Infrastructure and Mining Industry Group Lead, Gowlings WLG
“The costs of ripping up Ontario’s renewable energy contracts would be staggering.”
-Ron Clark, Energy Law at Aird & Berlis LPP, teaches Energy and Infrastructure Law at Osgoode Hall
Patrick Brown claimed: “She won’t share them [contracts] with the public, we only have a copy of one of the contracts which is completely wrong. The opposition should have access to these contracts but the one contract we have a copy of the Samsung deal.”
Fact: Template contracts - all over 100 pages - for the FIT program rounds 1 to 5 are publicly posted. Brown has had almost 2 years as Leader of the PCs to provide his opinion on ‘ripping up’ these contracts, but instead has decided to spread misinformation. (Source)