Here is a rough summary of my interview with Scott Thompson on AM900 CHML in Hamilton around 1:35 November 27th.
An audio player version is available here: https://globalnews.ca/pages/audio-vault-chml/
Q: You don’t sound happy with Brown’s plan.
A: I was hoping that the 2018 election would be an occasion for an adult conversation about Ontario’s electricity options. Instead, the PC’s have decided to endorse and amplify the core of the Liberal power program. The PC’s starting point is to flipflop on their previous opposition to the Liberal Fair Hydro Plan scam. Once upon a time, the PCs recognized that scam to be just smoke and mirrors that increases real costs.
Q: Should Brown cancel the Fair Hydro Plan?
A: The first step to addressing Ontario’s electricity problems is to start telling the truth. Cost shifting and cost deferral, which is where the fake savings of Wynne’s Fair Hydro Plan come from, have to stop.
Q: What does Brown want to do?
A: His first proposal is to shift the Hydro One dividend to households. That might sound good, except that Brown’s plan spends dollars twice. Customers already get the Hydro One dividend payments, so there are no savings. His second proposal is to shift conservation costs from ratepayers to taxpayers. Brown declares that cost shifting to be cost savings. He’s not being straight with people.
Q: Why is he doing that?
A: He seems to want a nice-sounding phrase for campaigning. If you look at the long-term impact of Brown’s plan vs. Wynne’s plan, Wynne’s plan is better.
The starting point to fix Ontario’s power problems is to be straight with people. Wynne’s rate cut is pure junk. The Auditor General and the Financial Accountability Officer correctly attacked the Liberal plan to shield the impact of the Fair Hydro Plan from the deficit. Until mere days ago, the PC’s were solidly in support of the AG and FAO. Now, the PC side with the Liberals.
1:43 What should the PCs have done?
The PCs should have attacked the fake savings that the Liberals call their Fair Hydro Plan. Instead, they are getting further away from telling the truth. Until Saturday, the PC had endorsed the AG and the FAO.
It should be easy to explain to people that Wynne’s 25% rate cut is a fraud.
Q: What should Brown be doing?
A: The real job to stabilizing the power situation is to attack the underlying costs. No more tricky accounting games. There are no magic bullets. A 37% rate cut is not responsible and honest with people.
If we are going to subsidize power costs, focus it on people who need it.
Q: Is Brown just playing a shell game? Does the Brown put us further in debt.
A: Brown’s shell game uses the same shells that Wynne plays with.
Brown’s cost shifting puts further pressure on the provincial deficit. The PCs used to endorse the Auditor General’s criticism that the Fair Hydro Plan losses belong in the calculation of the deficit. Now the PCs have endorsed Wynne’s fake deficit calculation.
Q: How does a politician reverse the rate cut?
A: Ask yourself how is this going to work in the long term.
We’ve been moving toward a politicized power system. Brown is proposing to simply add to this politicization.
Q: Should Brown dismantle some of this?
A: We have to stop digging this hole. I’m outraged that we are will miss the opportunity to seriously debate Ontario’s electricity future during the next election.
The PCs have not put in the effort to understand the power system. The depth of their research was to rely on a few newspaper editorials. They are caught by surprise by every new development. Without a depth of understanding, all they have been able to deliver is a shallow, fluffy junk plan.
Wynne’s plan is all cost shifting and cost deferral. Brown’s plan is all cost shifting and cost deferral.
That’s the other thing that is so phoney about this. Why was Wynne’s plan a 25% rate cut rather than 22% or 26%? 25% sounded better. Why is Brown’s plan 12% more rather than some other number? 12% sounds better. This is all fakery.