Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday March 2, 2017
Premier Kathleen Wynne to cut hydro rates by 25 per cent
Premier Kathleen Wynne will slash electricity rates by 25 per cent this year, the Star has learned.
In a dramatic move to be finalized at cabinet Wednesday, Wynne’s government is poised to unveil sweeping measures to rein in the soaring hydro bills that currently have the Liberals’ popularity plummeting.
Sources say the massive reduction in rates will come mostly by “smoothing out” the financing costs of electricity generation contracts over longer periods.
It’s the equivalent of refinancing a mortgage to enjoy lower payments over a longer time on nuclear reactors, natural gas-fired power plants, and wind turbines.
Wynne’s office refused to confirm details of the 25 per cent solution Tuesday night.
But cabinet ministers are expected to approve the plan during a noon cabinet meeting at Queen’s Park with an announcement coming as early as Thursday.
The 25 per cent reduction includes the 8 per cent rebate of the provincial portion of the harmonized sales tax that took effect on Jan. 1.
While the provincial Liberals have not convinced Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to eliminate the 5 per cent federal share of the HST on hydro bills, they have found other savings.
“We’re taking it to the next level,” Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault told the legislature during Tuesday’s question period.
“We do recognize the system that we built — eliminating coal, rebuilding the grid — that cost billions of dollars. We know that cost actually came at the expense of many families,” he said. (Source: Toronto Star)