Patrick Brown said: "So let me start with the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund. The question I have asked the government in the legislature is why has this fund been slashed by $93 million since 2012?"
Fact: Since 2012 our government has increased its support for municipalities. In 2012, the provincial uploads combined with OMPF was $1.8 billion and in 2017 that number is increasing to $2.4 billion.
Patrick Brown said: "how has Ontario become a province that receives equalization payments?"
Fact: Wrong! According to the Mowat Centre “Ontarians have consistently contributed more to the federal government in total tax revenue than they have received in federal spending in return”. In fact in 2016-17, it is estimated that Ontarians will contribute approximately $6.9 billion to the Equalization program and only receive roughly $2.3 billion in return
Patrick Brown said: "we have given away $6 billion dollars in surplus electricity."
Fact: We’ve seen this one from Patrick Brown before. Considering the net benefit to Ontario ratepayers that we get from selling our electricity to neighbouring jurisdictions, it’s curious as to why he continues to rail against this practice. Even his Conservative colleagues know better. When the Member for Simcoe-Grey was Energy Minister in 2001, he called these exports “pure profit.” He even went further, noting that “if we can make money on surplus power in the United States, we’re damn well going to do that.”
The last time the provincial Conservatives were in power, they spent $900 million importing electricity over two years just to keep the lights on. When we came into office, we inherited their dirty, unreliable electricity system and cleaned it up. Now, thanks to those necessary investments, Ontario families and businesses know the lights will go on and stay on when they need them to. 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).
(Source : Independent Electricity System Operator)
Patrick Brown said: "there is no guarantee that we’re going to see the new owners invest in transmission lines in rural Ontario."
Fact: Not true. When it comes to transmission, the Ontario Energy Board sets and enforces provincial reliability standards. Regardless of the ownership of Hydro One, it is the role of the OEB to ensure that robust electricity infrastructure – including transmission lines – is built and maintained. This is true for Hydro One, under old and new ownership structures, just as it is true for all local distribution companies. Patrick Brown’s suggestion otherwise is nothing more than fear mongering.
In addition, at the same time as broadening of the ownership of Hydro One, Cabinet took on new powers to designate certain new transmission lines to underserved rural and remote communities as “priority projects”. This is allowing Cabinet to accelerate the processing of certain important projects, such as the connection of remote First Nation communities to the grid.
(Source: Ontario Ministry of Energy)
Patrick said: "We should not be managing your infrastructure dollars in an incompetent manner, that’s what's happening in the province of Ontario” and “We’re spending $130 billion over 10 years on infrastructure, if we have cost overruns of 35%, can you imagine how much is not getting to municipalities?"
Fact: We procure large infrastructure projects through the Alternative Financing and Procurement model, which places the risk of cost overruns onto the private sector. This model has saved the province $6.6 Billion in avoided risks. Independent 3rd party organizations have looked at our infrastructure procurement model and found that 96% of projects were completed on budget. Oh, and our plan isn’t $130 billion over 10 years, it’s $160 billion over 12 years – supporting over 110,000 jobs on average each year.
Patrick Brown said: "Of the first $4 billion in, in hydro one sales, guess how much has been spent on infrastructure so far? Zero"
Fact: Every dollar from Hydro One will be invested in new infrastructure projects like GO Regional Express Rail, Mississauga and Hamilton LRT’s and the new connecting links program.
Fact: Patrick Brown wouldn’t build infrastructure that takes longer than 4 years to build, meaning no new subways, no LRT’s and no infrastructure projects of any significance. "I think if you are Premier of Ontario and you are going to make an infrastructure commitment it should be within your mandate…When you make a promise saying I am going to do this in twelve years you are not going to be there to honour that commitment".
(Source: Patrick Brown, Building Trade Council Speech, Oct 14 2016)
Patrick Brown said: On our Climate Change Action Plan, "if it’s really about the environment, why does government need to get 1.9 billion?"
Fact: Wrong Again! Every dollar generated through capping pollution from businesses must be, under law, deposited into a dedicated account and reinvested into green projects like transit, electric vehicle incentives and housing retrofits that fight climate change. This means every dollar goes back to families and businesses to help them successfully make the transition to a low-carbon economy.
Patrick Brown said: “I understand you need a government that will address the fundamentals for economic growth”
Fact: In the first three quarters of 2016, Ontario’s economy grew faster than the rest of Canada, the U.S. and all other G7 countries.
Patrick Brown said: "You know, a 2015 report found that 40% of rural roads and 30% of bridges were found to be in poor or very poor condition"
Fact: In 2007, 59% of provincial pavements were classified as being in good repair – that number is now nearly 80%. In 2007, 69% of our provincial bridges were classified as being in good repair – that number is now 85%. (Source: Ministry of Transportation)