Queen’s Park — Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke MPP John Yakabuski expressed his shock at Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli’s comments earlier this week that smart meters are a ‘good-news story’ for the province and that the Liberal government is contemplating yet another increase to time-of-use pricing.
Despite the fact that the Auditor General has found that the smart meter program has run almost a billion dollars past its original budget—and the devices often do not relay accurate information back to the utilities—the Energy Minister continues to sing their praises. “From the very beginning the smart meter program has been a boondoggle” said Yakabuski. “These devices are one of the leading reasons why ratepayers have seen skyrocketing increases in their hydro bills in recent years.”
Even more worrisome is the Energy Minister openly musing about changing the time-of-use pricing. “When Liberals use the word ‘change’ people should hide their wallets” said Yakabuski. “We have seen time and time again that this is just a code word for the Liberals to raise the cost of hydro. Increasing the time-of-use rates will decrease people’s disposable income and discourage businesses from investing in the province.” He also remarked that ratepayers already pay some of the highest power rates in North America.
“Ontarians are struggling. A decade into the Liberal’s failed energy program, many families are unable to pay their hydro bills month to month. The energy ideas of the Liberals have failed ratepayers and if they do not chart a new direction soon the damage will be irreversible” Yakabuski concluded.