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Wynne hatches another dismal plan for Ontario

Already saddled with the highest electricity rates on the continent, Ontarians can look forward to more rate hikes in the name of greening the province. The Liberal government’s massive, state-planned action plan climate action plan calls for sweeping changes to how we use energy, but its only guarantee is that it will cost already indebted residents even more.
What’s not guaranteed, of course, is that the plan will have any benefit.
A leaked cabinet document made public this week by the Globe and Mail shows the Ontario government is looking to spend $7 billion over four years on measures ranging from phasing out the use of natural gas to incentives for electric cars. Along with its cap-and-trade scheme for carbon – another direct cost to residents – the plan would boost the cost of all energy consumed by Ontarians, while adding to the rampant nanny-statism.
The cornerstone of the plan sees $3.8 billion earmarked to retrofit buildings currently using natural gas for heating to electric or geothermal sources. Proposed new building codes would ban all natural gas heating in homes and small buildings by 2030 even though natural gas currently provides 76 per cent of heating in the province. And at a fraction of the cost of ever-increasing electricity rates.
Short of a major breakthrough that boosts the efficiency of electric heating, or reduces hydro costs dramatically, the idea is a non-starter.
There’s also $1.2 billion to help industries cut emissions through changes such as boosting energy efficiency; $285 million for incentives to buy electric vehicles, $375 million for research into green technologies; more than $500 million for improvements to the likes of GO trains and cycling infrastructure.
There have already been plenty of calls – many of them literally – for the widely-loathed head of Kathleen Wynne following this latest example of her government’s detachment from reality, economic or otherwise.
Some of the new spending – which goes beyond plans for spending billions on transit and other infrastructure projects – will come from Wynne’s carbon tax. That scheme sets limits on emissions and forces businesses to buy credits in order to continue production. Similar schemes in other countries have forced up the prices of all manufactured goods and fuels, and the 2016 Ontario budget slated gasoline prices to rise $4.3 cents a litre under the plan. Average household costs will increase a low-balled $300 a year, though the natural gas industry estimates shifting to electrical heating from natural gas could increase costs by $3,000 a year – not hard to imagine if you’ve ever used electrical heat.
While going green is a motherhood issue, Ontarians no longer trust the motivations of this government – too many favours to large donors and the unions that skew the vote – just as they’ve come to expect its execution on just about every file to be done incompetently and fiscally mismanaged. Outside of those whose pockets would be lined by this plan, no one in the province is prepared to place their trust or their dwindling economic prospects on another ill-considered scheme.

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