On Thursday morning, Ontario Premier Ernie Eves gave a press conference. As he did on the CBC earlier this week, he attempted to mislead the press and the public concerning Ontario's electricity self-sufficiency. A reporter cited the widely held and informed view that, even if supply returns to pre-black-out levels, Ontario is still in a very serious domestic power shortage situation. Premier Eves said that he "could not disagree more" and proceeded to say that Ontario has a capacity of 28 to 29 thousand Megawatts of capacity, well in excess of the daily needs of Ontario. He added comments to the effect that this is just a "wires" problem.
The Premier left out entirely the fact that, in claiming 28 to 29 thousand Megawatts of capacity, he is including units that have been shut down for years. Prior to last Thursday's blackout, on hot days in Ontario, demand would reach approximately 25,000 Megawatts. Lacking enough domestic supply to meet that demand, Ontario would typically have to import as much as 4000 Megawatts, at relatively high prices.
Eves' denial that supply is problem, and that he has done anything wrong, angered one reporter who yelled out "You've taken no responsibility at all...The recovery is all about supply!"
"The most truthful thing said at that press conference this morning came from the mouth of that angered and frustrated reporter", says Freedom Party of Ontario leader Paul McKeever. "As I told the Premier in my open letter to him on August 19th, his decision last November to impose a 4.3 cent price cap has made Ontario's recovery from the black-out more painful and harmful that it could have been. The Premier resorted to socialist subsidies last November purely for political gain and, as a result, Ontario residents were left relatively unprepared for decreased electricity supplies. Had the cap not been imposed, our consumption would have decreased considerably well before the black-out. We all would already have taken steps to conserve."
McKeever says that Eves' refusal to accept responsibility is revealing. "His party's abandonment of common sense - in numerous ways since red tories elected him Premier - leaves Ernie and the red tories within his party blameworthy for worsening the impact of the power shortage this week. A real leader admits his faults and reverses the harmful decisions he has made. That Ernie Eves refuses to do either is probably telling the voter volumes about his ethics and about the questionable value of his experience."
With respect to the reporter's comments, McKeever adds "We should all be thanking the fellow who had the guts to speak his mind. In a daily, highly controlled setting designed to pump-up Ernie's poor reputation, it is relatively likely that that reporter will not be permitted to ask the Premier another question. He must have known that, but he spoke his mind anyway. Now that's a defender of a free press! That reporter has also reaffirmed the fact that truth is the first casualty in any war. Right now, Ernie's in a war to prevent his party from joining the federal PCs in collapse."
The Freedom Party of Ontario is the only registered political party in Ontario that supports the elimination of the 4.3 cent price cap, the sell-off of OPG generation facilities to numerous competing companies, and the facilitation of net-metering. Its electricity proposals can be found in Freedom Party's election platform, The Right Direction:
https://freedomparty.on.ca/platform.pdf (Adobe .pdf format)
https://freedomparty.on.ca/platform/html/cover.htm (HTML format)
Paul McKeever (who will be running in the riding of Oshawa, against Sid Ryan and Jerry Ouellette) is available to discuss this matter. You can contact him directly at:
Freedom Party is expected to run candidates in approximately half of Ontario's ridings in the coming election.
further information: Paul McKeever, Leader, Freedom Party of Ontario.