VIDEO: Hydro One Sale Proceeds Must Legally Be Used for Debt Payments
(April 2nd, 2015) Any money from the sale of Hydro One must be directed to the province's electricity debt, Jim Wilson, Interim PC Leader said today in the Legislature. The Electricity Act "prevents you from putting that money toward anything but that $27 billion debt. Are you going to obey the law or will you simply ignore it?" Wilson asked the Premier.
Wilson noted that when he was Minister of Energy the law was put in place to ensure taxpayers wouldn't be left having to pay off Hydro's debt. The debt of $27 billion translates into $5,400 per Ontario ratepayer that would have to be found if the law wasn't followed. "Is the cost of new infrastructure going to become another expensive line item on people's hydro bills?" Wilson demanded of the Premier.
Additionally, PC Energy Critic John Yakabuski noted that Hydro One profits are currently used to pay down current stranded debt, but if any portion of Hydro One is sold, including Brampton Hydro One, those profits will be reduced and the revenue stream being used to pay down that debt will shrink. Yakabuski charged that the government will have to raise hydro rates to replace the lost money. "What new taxes will the ratepayers of Ontario see on their bills in order to pay off the debt that you seem to be ignoring?" Yakabuski demanded. "When are you going to tell ratepayers that hydro bills are going to continue to skyrocket to pay down the electricity debt?"