PCs criticize Ontario government approach to hydro rates

The Ontario Progressive Conservative leader is critical of the Liberal government’s planned hydro rebates, but even more so of its planned sell-off of Hydro One shares.

At Queen’s Park on Thursday, MPP Deborah Matthews defended Liberal plans to offer hydro rebates for Ontario’s urban and rural regions. PC Opposition leader Patrick Brown reiterated his position after Monday’s throne speech.

“For the last two days, I have said that if the Liberals actually wanted to get hydro rates under control, they should stop signing ludicrous contracts,” he said.

In April, the government announced it would privatize to 60 per cent of Hydro One in hopes of raising as much as $9 billion for infrastructure investment. Acting Premier Matthews defended the government position.

“I can tell you that, on this side, we have made choices that reflect the wishes of the public of Ontario,” Matthews said. “We have made choices, when it comes to energy. Is there a cost to that? Yes, there is.”

Brown questioned the choices made by the Liberal government and whether or not their choice was made for the party or the people.

“For once, will the government of Ontario think about the people of Ontario, not the Liberal Party?” Patrick Brown asked through the speaker.

The government of Ontario said it will bring in the hydro rebates as of Jan. 1, 2017, according to the throne speech.