Musings —05.12.2017 07:45 AM—
It’s difficult to understate the political importance of the Ontario government’s 25 per cent hydro rate cut: all of the chips are riding on it, pretty much. Youth pharmacare and free tuition are terrific, but they’re aimed at a demographic who don’t vote. The hydro rate cut, ipso facto, is the sine qua non. If it doesn’t fly, the Ontario Libs are in big trouble.
So, check out this Toronto Star Queen’s Park bureau scoop, which apparently emanated from the Ontario PC war room:
The short-term gain of a 25-per-cent hydro rate cut this summer could lead to long-term pain as a leaked cabinet document forecasts prices jumping again in five years.
In the briefing materials first revealed by the Star and obtained by the Progressive Conservatives, rates will start rising 6.5 per cent a year in 2022 and top out at 10.5 per cent in 2028, when average monthly bills hit $215.
That would be up from $123 this year once the rate cut — the subject of long-awaited legislation unveiled Thursday by Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault — takes full effect.
The leaked papers overshadowed Thibeault’s efforts to tout the price break, which will be followed with four years of hydro rate increases at 2 per cent, roughly the rate of inflation.
This is revelation is disastrous, pretty much. It discredits just about every claim that has been made about hydro for the past several months. And it landed, literally, while I was having expresso with a long-time Ontario Liberal stalwart, a Kathleen Wynne loyalist, who had told me they were going to “sit out the next election.”
If this secret cabinet document is true – and it likely is – all that is left is a hoped-for bump from the budget. So, where is the polling to show that there was one? Given how much the wizards are being paid for research, you’d think the Liberal caucus would have been shown it by now.
Over espresso, yesterday, my old friend said we are going to come third in the upcoming Sault by-election. After yesterday, I don’t doubt it.