Premier Wynne, are you listening?
(November 2, 2015) For months now we've been telling the Wynne Liberal government that the fire sale of Hydro One is a dumb thing to do.
We've said it will remove provincial control, we've said it will result in higher rates and we've pointed out that once you cast off an asset you can't easily get it back.
And we haven't been alone. The business community across this great province has also raised some serious red flags.
Of course, we've also heard from citizens. We get phone calls, we get letters, and we hear from people through social media.
Just the other day I received a comment on my Facebook page.
"I can't afford any more increases," a person wrote, adding, "my wife and I live in the dark literally and only have our fridge and freezer sucking hydro, yet my bills are nuts. This has to stop or we'll be living on the street."
These comments are heartbreaking. Why the Liberals don't listen to what people are saying about the sale of hydro is beyond me.
The Financial Accountability Office is also saying the sale is a bad idea and predicting it will negatively impact ratepayers.
Last Thursday, the FAO released a report on its assessment of the financial impact of the sale of Hydro One.
The FAO says that if the province sells Hydro One the financial health of Ontario would be worse than if the sale didn't happen.
Simply put, the sale would represent short-term gain in exchange for long-term pain.
My colleague Vic Fedeli, our party's PC Finance Critic, has noted the sale could cost the province around $700 million in revenue every year and the net profit could be as low as $1.4 billion.
The FAO has requested additional cabinet documents on the sale of Hydro One, but the Liberal Government has refused to turn them over.
This once again demonstrates the Liberals don't know the first thing about honesty, accountability or transparency.
Quite frankly their conduct is disgraceful.
And every day – in a blatant attempt to change the topic – they make some new proclamation or arrange a photo op.
Ontarians are smarter and they want a government that is responsible.
If Premier Wynne had an ounce of credibility as a leader, she'd comply with the FAO's request for the additional documents.
Better yet, she'd do what people across the province are demanding and drop this fire sale of Hydro One.
PC Leader Patrick Brown put it best.
"The public does not support this fire sale. Ontario's financial watchdog says the sale will deteriorate the province's budget balance. The Wynne Liberals should do the right thing, and put an immediate stop to the sale of Hydro One."
The Liberal government's flippant disregard for Ontarians is just galling. In my 25 years at Queen's Park, I can't recall a government so arrogant and out of touch with the people it supposedly represents.
Jim Wilson is the Progressive Conservative MPP for Simcoe-Grey.