A lump of coal for the Ontario Liberal government [OPINION]

Send Chiarelli a message to convey how you feel about the management of the province’s electricity supply



You have likely read the PLANT e-News article (Canadian Press) describing Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk’s report that emphasizes the “ouch” factor Ontario taxpayers endure when their electricity bills arrive.

To summarize, her report says Ontario electricity customers paid $37 billion for the Liberal government’s decisions to ignore its own planning process for new power projects. And more bad news, the report warns that’s just one factor driving up hydro rates. Look forward to paying another $133 billion by 2032.

The article also notes hydro customers will pay $9.2 billion more for their wind and solar projects under the Liberals’ 20-year guaranteed-price program for renewable energy than they would have paid under the old program.

Energy minister Bob Chiarelli is defending the Liberal’s Green Energy Act as a “Wayne Gretzky move – skating to where the puck was going to be.”

A poor analogy since Gretzky didn’t leave a massive financial crater in his wake when he set up a shot.

As homeowners and participants in the wonderful world of manufacturing, you are likely seeing red, and it’s not because the Christmas season is approaching.

Speaking of Christmas, it’s time for Santa to decide who has been naughty or nice, and it’s a good bet the Ontario Liberal government, and Chiarelli, are on the black, …no, let’s make that the “red” … list.

If you are having trouble coming up with gift ideas, the jolly elves at PLANT have a suggestion: send Energy Minister Bob a lump of coal. If you are having trouble finding a lump of coal, ask the folks at US Steel in Hamilton if they have any extra they can spare. Still coming up short? Head out to your backyard and gather up some biomass. That’s twigs, bark and other bits of forest flotsam.

Energy Minister Bob will appreciate the irony.

The auditor general found Ontario’s last coal-burning station in Thunder Bay was converted to biomass, says the article, but the power generator has to import wood products from Europe to burn, pushing the cost of the electricity it generates 25 times higher than other biomass generators.

So act now. Gather up your Christmas stocking stuffer, put it in a small box, wrap it up with ribbons and gayly appointed Christmas paper, then head to Canada Post or your favourite courier company. You’ll want to beat the rush. Co-ordinates are below. Feel free to pass this Christmas wish along to others.

And a Merry Christmas to all. Be sure to turn off your Christmas lights earlier this year.

Joe Terrett
Editor, PLANT


Ministry of Energy
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8 Comments » for A lump of coal for the Ontario Liberal government [OPINION]
  1. Malcolm Bird says:

    The long term impact of the provincial Liberals energy decisions cannot be understated. As bad as it will be for all of us as taxpayers footing the bill for all the boondoggles, the great unknown is how many companies will opt not to set up shop in Ontario because of high energy costs.

  2. Andrew says:

    @Malcolm Bird, you are spot on with your concern for how a decade of energy boondoggles will impact Ontario’s marketability as a business-friendly environment. These politicians do not seem to realize that there are so many jurisdictions fighting to attract new business to their region and there are very little barriers preventing any company from relocating, in fact the contrary is true. There are a ton of incentives to get companies to move (e.g. Startup New York). The future does not look bright for Ontario in my opinion.

    What is more frustrating for me is the fact that if another election was held next week (and in light of this report) the current government would probably still win a majority.

  3. Ken Lewis says:

    What was Premier Wynne’s explanation about the nearly 4 million dollars that was given to the teachers union, for food and lodging?
    It seems as though all questions that get asked, are left long enough that people forget.
    Is that how our government deals with issues?

  4. Leslie Rattan says:

    this is a fine example of getting elected and to hell with what the people want till next election.

  5. Fred says:

    Let’s just say that the last name of our premier of Ontario – is the epitome of the “Big Lie”. This province is headed for the hardest of landing economically – something never seen. These guys are not just re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, they are throwing them overboard in the hopes that it helps the ship stay afloat. Between electricity rates that are the highest in North America; Infrastructure that is badly out of touch with the needs; Industry closing and leaving – (Moving companies are having a great Christmas!) – we are now nothing more than a ghost of the former boon economy.
    I expect that within 2 years, my customer base will have become 50% of what it is now – and that is not healthy. Unfortunately if that does happen, we are the point of an inverted pyramid, so there will be many other losses above.
    Find a mattress people – to protect your future retirement.

  6. Paul Bonner says:

    We have had some terrible governments in Ontario over the past 30 years. Bob Rae was the first but he was outdone by David Peterson, Dalton McGinty, and now Kathleen Wynne. The Ontario Liberal voters got exactly what they asked for and in my opinion what they deserve. We who did not vote for this bunch of amateurs are getting screwed. The one thing that really is disturbing is whole gang are still on the taxpayers teat and sucking it dry. Where is Mike Harris?

  7. Annoyed Citizen says:

    The Liberal policy seems to be “ignore the public and carry on.”.

    There is a simple equation that most people are missing;

    Wynne for Ontario = No-win for industry.
    No-Wynne for Ontario = Win for industry.
    Win for industry = Win for economy.

    No-Wynne > No-Win.

    I have lived off-grid for 10 years. I have offered on numerous occasions to advise, free of charge on “green energy”. I never get a response. I can clearly see the technical as well as economic flaws in this plan from first-hand, practical experience.

    Green energy will NEVER work this way. (And, I have to question, how “green” is it to destroy hundreds of acres of mature forest and farmland to install these things and their support systems? I’m guessing nobody did the math on that either.) The intelligent thing to do would have been to offer incentives for installing the equipment on rooftops, etc and then implement a net-metering plan. (But then, when was the last time a Liberal government did ANYTHING intelligent?)

  8. Annoyed Citizen says:

    P.S. You can buy coal from Home Hardware in 70# bags. You can also order it from Thak Ironworks (

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