Since prorogation, Ontario’s disgraced Energy Minister, Chris Bentley, has spent in net present value terms many hundreds of millions of dollars of public money. He is responsible for an avalanche of spending announcements from agencies he controls or directly influences.
Yesterday alone, the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) started accepting applications under a revised Small FIT program and a new industrial rate discount program was announced.
The Small FIT program creates public liabilities extending out over 20 years from now. The industrial discounts extend over 3 years.
Bentley issued directives to the OPA November 23 and December 11 likely to exacerbate social tensions and governance problems in Aboriginal communities across Ontario while locking in even more ratepayer liabilities.
These measures are all contemptuous of Ontario’s electricity consumers.
There is no way for our elected representatives in the House to question the Minister. Bentley is never going to be accountable for the decisions he is taking. There is no limit to how much he can spend.
Postscript December 18:
Here is an example of the Ontario Power Authority, once a somewhat arms length expert agency, now being treated as a puppet by Bentley. On December 13, Bentley ordered the OPA to finalize a relocation deal with TransCanada Energy. On December 17, the deal is released.
Postscript January 25:
Bentley has now issued six directives to the OPA since prorogation.