Hudak to OEA: Energy Cornerstone of Jobs and Growth
18 October 2012
NIAGARA FALLS: It’s time for a new approach to Ontario’s power sector – one that recognizes that affordable energy is an economic fundamental to create jobs, growth and prosperity, Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak said today.
Hudak made the comments during a keynote speech to the Ontario Energy Association (OEA) during the organization’s tenth annual conference. Hudak discussed his vision for Ontario’s energy sector, as presented in his party’s Paths to Prosperity: Affordable Energy white paper, to an audience of policymakers, business leaders and industry professionals.
“In nine short years, the provincial government has taken our energy prices from below the US average to the highest in North America,” Hudak said. “As a direct result of this government’s decisions, energy has moved from being an asset to a liability on Ontario’s balance sheet,” Hudak added.
The government’s Green Energy Act has fuelled the made-in-Ontario debt and jobs crisis, with its costly Feed-in-Tariff program for wind and solar producers, resulting in outrageous energy bills for job creators. The government’s complete mismanagement of the $15-billion energy file, including a $700-million price tag for the politically-motivated decision to cancel two gas plants to save Liberal seats, is partly to blame for over half a million unemployed Ontarians, a looming $30-billion deficit and a future of anemic economic growth.
“I believe affordable energy is a cornerstone of economic growth,” Hudak said, citing that Paths to Prosperity: Affordable Energy presents 13 different paths to transform Ontario’s energy sector back into a job-creating competitive advantage. Specifically, Hudak detailed three different paths to achieve this during his address, including:
- First, a smaller, more focused role for government.
- Second, creating a long-term plan for supply.
- Third, looking beyond Ontario’s borders to pursue sensible trade agreements.
On the first and second paths Hudak said “I want government to get out of the day-to-day tinkering of the energy file. Instead, I believe government has a responsibility for long-term planning and to make sure we have the right mix and volume of energy.”
Finally, citing the need to deal with Ontario’s surplus of power issues, Hudak said “Ontario must follow the lead of Quebec and Newfoundland. We need to look beyond our borders and enter into trade agreements with neighbouring jurisdictions to export our surpluses of power at reasonable prices.”
To read Paths to Prosperity: Affordable Energy and all the PC white papers, please visit www.ontariopc.com.