Photo: Bill Walker
Bill Walker MPP Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound

Bill Walker MPP

Media Release:

For Immediate Release
October 17, 2017

Government's hydro scheme makes their other scandals look like child’s play: MPP Walker

QUEEN’S PARK – Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker says the auditor general’s scathing indictment is more proof of the Liberal government’s disregard for Hydro ratepayers and for democracy.

Auditor Bonnie Lysyk slammed the government yesterday, exposing another shell game inside the Liberals’ so-called Fair Hydro Plan and warning it will “unnecessarily” cost Ontarians $4.4 billion in interest payments.

“That’s $4.4 billion wasted that will not go to hospitals, schools, long-term care, social services or mental health,” Walker says. “This is yet another example of this Premier and government putting the partisan needs of their party before the needs of the people they’re given the privilege to represent.”

The provincial watchdog also said the Liberals’ hydro plan runs under a complex structure and this serves to "obfuscate" the financial impact of the plan. Lysyk explained that the scheme is designed to allow the Liberals to borrow funds to keep electricity bills artificially low, without the debt showing on the province's books.

“The Auditor General has suggested the Liberals are going to great lengths to hide the debt to OPG and off of their books so they can claim a balanced budget,” Walker says. “It’s an election ploy because the reality is, the debt is there and the people will have to pay for it, plus interest.”

Lysyk explained that the total borrowings to be repaid by ratepayers will be about $39.4 billion, with half of it in accumulated interest. She concluded the scheme will cost Ontarians $4 billion more in interest payments than if the Liberals had borrowed the funds directly.

“Why should the people of Ontario trust this government when they’ve just been caught making up their own accounting rules? Personally, I trust this Independent Officer of the Legislature who felt the need to issue a Special Report to protect the public interest. I know whose purpose she serves,” Walker says. “She is looking out for the people of Ontario.”

“The reality is this government has borrowed billions of dollars that our kids and grandkids will have to repay,” he says. “The reality is this is a shell game, a scheme that makes Chris Mazza’s Ornge boondoggle and all other Liberal government spending scandals look like child’s play.”   

CONTACT: Ana Sajfert | | 416-325-6242

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