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Constituency Office
39 Norfolk St. N.
Simcoe, ON N3Y 3N6
Phone: (519) 428-0446
Phone: (905) 765-8413
Fax: (519) 428-0835

Queens Park
Rm 206, North Wing
Legislative Building
Toronto, ON M7A 1A8
Phone: (416) 325-8404
Fax: (416) 325-8408

Dunnville Outreach Office
Chamber of Commerce
231 Chestnut Street
Dunnville, ON

Why has electricity become so expensive?

By MPP Toby Barrett
After doubling the cost of electricity over the past ten years, the present government will see
prices increase 40 per cent by 2018 - and independent analysts have presented even more
pessimistic outlooks. While Ontario’s power sector has strong fundamentals, we see prices
continue to increase far in excess of inflation, while rates are falling in competing jurisdictions.
Ontario is now boasting the highest energy prices in North America and people are asking, how
did this happen? When we were in government, rates were frozen at 4.3 cents a kilowatt hour -
- government now charges 12.4 at peak. I have a photocopy on file of a constituent’s February
electricity bill - $641.67 to heat a 790 square foot house.
Ontario’s power policies took a profound turn in the wrong direction with the advent of the
Green Energy and Green Economy Act of 2009.
There’s nothing cheaper than coal and waterpower – but the coal plants were shuttered just
before this hard winter. Our gigantic Nanticoke generating station, a billion dollar asset that is
the largest of its kind in North America, sits empty. Over supply from wind generators leads to
spilling water over dams or wasting nuclear power, or selling electricity over the border at a
loss. While replacing conventional, and cheap, power generation like coal and water with
massive amounts of wind and solar, the government signed 20-year power deals at
uncompetitive prices. The result has been sharply escalating electricity prices and the growing
surplus of power.
We propose scrapping the Green Energy Act and implementing an immediate moratorium on
industrial wind turbines until the jury is in on health and environmental studies. We will not
sign any more FIT contracts and will take a look at the existing ones.
Taken together, 40 percent of the average electricity bill is comprised of regulatory and delivery
charges. After eight years, the power towers at Caledonia, marching in from Niagara, have yet
to be strung with wires due to threats from native militants. OPG remains plagued with cost
overruns. Both OPG and Hydro One suffer from high labour costs and top executives have the
highest salaries in the public sector. As well, consumers have been hit with the high costs of
smart meters and smart grids - that computer system cost $250 million, and the bill is now due.
In Ontario, we have a hybrid market that relies partly on prices set in the open market, but
more and more on prices set by government decree through long term, high-priced contracts.
When government controls a vital element of the economy, as it does with the electricity
sector, we see it’s easy to distort the rational market forces that usually promote innovation
and price competition. We can’t keep contracting for power that we don’t need, at prices that
consumers can’t afford. That won’t change overnight, but introducing an element of private
ownership and competitive bidding for power contracts will begin to move us back in the right
direction.
Consumers have been hit with smart meters, overpriced energy contracts, money-losing
exports, redundant government agencies like the Ontario Power Authority, and the list goes
on…
Power bills shouldn’t be used to fund a failed job creation program. Instead, government
should take steps to make sure Ontario’s power system is efficient, dependable and delivered
at the best price.
Government can and must do better.

Newsroom

College of Trades one year old

QUEEN’S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett joined the spirit of thousands of
apprentices across the province who noted the first anniversary of paying new fees to the
Ontario College of Trades with frustration and grief.

[Read More]


Ontario’s long-term economy forecast is dismal: Barrett

QUEEN'S PARK – Ontario’s Long-Term Report on the Economy is additional proof the
McGuinty-Wynne government has no plan to create jobs or balance the budget, Haldimand-
Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett has charged.

[Read More]

 

Government “turning a blind eye” to illegal tobacco…again

SIMCOE – When Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett heard about a constituent who will be
forced to put their house for sale due to skyrocketing energy costs, he hit the roof.

[Read More]

 

People can’t afford hydro rates

QUEEN’S PARK – Following the introduction of Ontario’s Invasive Species Act, Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett renewed the call for evisceration of all Asian carp entering Ontario for food.

[Read More]


Government picking on barbers and hairdressers

QUEEN’S PARK – Barbers and hairdressers are the latest victims of government taxes and
restrictions.

[Read More]


Consumer rights require a trustworthy market: Barrett

QUEEN'S PARK – Recently Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett acknowledged “Consumer Rights” in the Ontario Legislature. The theme for this year’s Consumer Rights campaign is the digital age.

[Read More]

 

The end of the mission in Afghanistan

QUEEN'S PARK – The end of the 12-year mission in Afghanistan marked the conclusion of
the longest war fought by the brave men and women in our Canadian Armed Forces – a
milestone recognized this week by all parties in the Ontario Legislature.

[Read More]


Is it time for a separate minimum wage for agriculture?

QUEEN’S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett feels suggestions for a separate minimum
wage for agriculture workers is worth exploring.

[Read More]

 

Barrett renews call for gutting of Asian carp

QUEEN’S PARK – Following the introduction of Ontario’s Invasive Species Act, Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett renewed the call for evisceration of all Asian carp entering Ontario for food.

[Read More]

 

Barrett launches Lyme disease petition

QUEEN’S PARK – MPP Toby Barrett is calling on the government to include all currently available and scientifically verified tests for Lyme disease under Ontario health coverage.

[Read More]

 

Legislature flag lowered in support of Ukraine

QUEEN'S PARK - Recently the Ontario Legislature witnessed a special debate with respect to the violence in the Ukrainian city of Kiev.

[Read More]

 

Time for an immediate moratorium on wind turbines

Queen’s Park – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett and his Opposition colleagues are once again urging the Wynne government to stop the onslaught of industrial wind turbines and the damage they are doing, by implementing an immediate moratorium.

[Read More]

 

Why do we still pay a Debt Retirement Charge: Barrett

Queen’s Park – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett and his Opposition colleagues are once again urging the Wynne government to stop the onslaught of industrial wind turbines and the damage they are doing, by implementing an immediate moratorium.

[Read More]

 

Hydro One investigation overdue

SIMCOE – “It’s about time,” MPP Toby Barrett said of the news Ombudsman Andre Marin would be investigating Hydro One’s treatment of its customers.

[Read More]

 

Barrett testimony highlights risk to Lake Erie
NEW ORLEANS – The Great Lakes are too valuable a resource to be put at risk, Haldimand-
Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett told a committee looking into options to keep Asian carp out of the
Great Lakes.

[Read More]

 

Barrett to testify at Asian carp hearings
NEW ORLEANS – MPP Toby Barrett will make a case for creating a permanent ecological divide
between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River during Army Corps of Engineers hearings.
[Read More]

 

Fuel tax hike could be disaster for border towns: Barrett
SARNIA – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP and Opposition Consumer Services Critic Toby Barrett
predicts more border hopping for cheap gas if there’s a hike at the pumps.
[Read More]

 

Local MPP calls for action to keep Asian carp at bay
PORT DOVER – More than the Great Lakes fishery is at stake if Asian carp were to become
established in Ontario waters.
[Read More]

 

MPP calls for physical barrier to stop Asian carp
PORT DOVER – Permanent separation of the Mississippi River system from the Great
Lakes is the only solution, Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett said in the wake of a
report on options to keep Asian carp out of the lakes.
[Read More]


Ice storm illustrates need for emergency review

SIMCOE – The call for a select committee to study the province’s emergency preparedness has the full backing of Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett.
[Read More]


Trillium locomotives wind to a halt today

SIMCOE- Trillium Railway locomotives have ground to a halt today.
[Read More]

 

Bring back the spring bear hunt: Barrett

SIMCOE – One of the last pieces of business before Queen’s Park wound down for Christmas
was passing the second reading of legislation that will bring the spring bear hunt back on a
limited basis.

[Read More]