Energy Minister out of touch with reality for Northern businesses

Northern PC MPPs Vic Fedeli (Nipissing) and Ross Romano (Sault Ste. Marie) blasted the Energy Minister in Question Period today for a recent suggestion that businesses in Northern Ontario have it rosy when it comes to electricity prices.

Fedeli quoted the Association of Major Power Consumers of Ontario’s most recent analysis, which states “Ontario has the highest industrial rates in Canada and one of the highest industrial rates in North America.”

“The Minister can ask North Bay’s Arclin about how their operation had the highest energy costs of all their North American branches,” Fedeli started.

“Actually, Speaker, he can’t, because their entire city-block-long factory is now closed. They left Ontario because of skyrocketing hydro.”

Romano quoted Frank Dottori of White River Forest Products, who told Pre-Budget consultations last year  “most jurisdictions use energy costs to promote economic development, not to kill jobs, which is what we’re doing in Ontario.”

“Why does this Minister pretend that Northern Ontario rates are competitive?  Why do you continue to pretend that wasting $4 billion is a plan, when we all know the truth – that your Liberal hydro disaster is costing us jobs in Northern Ontario?”