Attached below is the text of a press release issued by Tim Hudak’s Ontario Progressive Conservative election campaign office yesterday. On every important issue mentioned in the press release, Hudak’s position is based on an inaccurate understanding of Ontario’s electricity problems and his promises, if implemented would make Ontario citizens worse off, not better.
Contrary to Mr. Hudak’s claims, the smart meter is no more a “tax machine” than the meter it replaces. Hudak’s rate increase anecdotes are exaggerated relative to typical experiences. The new smart meter fee he criticized in his press release yesterday has not been secret. If a consumer was to follow Hudak’s recommendation, “unplugging” their smart meter would be dangerous, illegal and would land them in the dark. Hudak says that he will “close the new hydro bureaucracy associated with (smart meters)”. He has said that he will also close the Ontario Power Authority. In both cases, I don’t see a realistic way to do this without recreating or shifting the necessary functions performed by these agency to other remaining or new agencies.
>>> Ontario PC Party 9/1/2011 10:45 am >>>
For immediate release:
September 1, 2011
Coming Soon – Yet Another Dalton McGuinty Tax Grab
A Tim Hudak PC Government Will Stop McGuinty’s Secret Smart Meter Tax
TORONTO – Today Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak was joined by Ontario PC candidates Mike Yen and Karlene Nation to expose Dalton “The Tax Man” McGuinty’s latest attempt to sneak in a new tax on Ontario families. A review of the 2010 Ontario Public Accounts reveals that McGuinty’s Minister of Energy has quietly approved charging Ontario families a new “smart meter service fee”. This new tax is being charged to cover the costs of the “Smart Metering Entity” that runs the smart meters which themselves are nothing more than government-sponsored tax machines.
The new Smart Meter Tax will be applied on top of the current costs of the smart meter scheme – which already charges families $200 per household to install, and drives up family hydro rates by 150%. One of Dalton McGuinty’s energy bureaucracies is already budgeting to collect this tax which will cost Ontario families at least $132 million dollars over four years.
While Dalton McGuinty seeks new and creative ways to force Ontario families to pay higher taxes, a Tim Hudak government will cancel the secret Smart Meter Tax and close the new hydro bureaucracy associated with it. In addition, an Ontario PC government will unplug mandatory smart meter time-of-use pricing.
An Ontario PC government will provide Ontario families with further relief by removing the HST from hydro and home heating bills and removing the debt retirement charge from home hydro bills – which will save the typical Ontario family $275 per year.
“I remember a time when Dalton McGuinty would be embarrassed enough to stand up and apologize when he broke his promise not to raise taxes. Yet while Dalton McGuinty and his Ministers crisscross the province announcing and re-announcing everything under the sun – the one McGuinty promise we can all take to the bank – higher taxes – is kept completely under wraps.”
–Tim Hudak, Ontario PC Leader
“The choice Ontario families face is clear. Dalton McGuinty who plots tax hikes in secret. The NDP who plot tax hikes out in the open. Or a Tim Hudak Ontario PC Government – that will cancel the Smart Meter Tax, unplug the mandatory smart meters, and give families the relief they deserve.”
–Tim Hudak, Ontario PC Leader
· Buried on a footnote on page 1-102, of volume 2a of the 2010 Ontario Public Accounts is a revelation that Dalton McGuinty’s Minister of Energy quietly approved a request from the Independent Electricity Systems Operator to apply to the Ontario Energy Board for a new tax called Smart Meter Service Fees.
· Page 13 of the Independent Electricity System Operator’s 2011-2013 Business Plan confirms that the Dalton McGuinty Liberals are already budgeting to collect $33 million per year in Smart Meter Service Fees beginning in 2012. Over the next four years, this would cost Ontario families $132 million to run the smart meter super computer.
· This new Smart Meter Tax will be applied to smart meter hydro bills above and beyond the higher costs of ‘time of use pricing’. Already under Dalton McGuinty, hydro rates have gone up 84 percent and 150 percent for homes with a smart meter, not to mention the $1 billion ($200 per household) price tag that came with installing smart meters.
CONTACT: Alan Sakach | 416-848-8154 | [email protected]