It is no secret that Kathleen Wynne, the Ontario premier and her cabinet ministers are masters at fake news and alternative facts. The latest show of which was made during the speech of Charles Sousa, the Finance Minister, where he went on about how the Liberals managed to save the electricity in Ontario by making rapid improvements. Sousa further claimed that due to the efforts of the Liberals, the electricity grid of Ontario has become the ‘envy of North America’, since the Liberals have brought about ‘reliability and integrity’ back to the state, unlike the rust belt states and neighboring Canadian provinces.
Nobody really knows what Sousa was talking about, because the Hydro One provides electricity to only 1.3 million customers, and according to the 2015 annual report, Hydro One customers had to experience 24% more outages, which lasted 30% longer, and costs for running the system increased by over 31%. Hydro One has remained as one of the least reliable Canadian electricity distributors in Canada, and there are even more power failures predicted for Hydro One because it hasn’t yet replaced the $4.5 billion transmission assets that have exceeded their service life.
Hydro One already has a record of dreadful practices related to customer billing, with 10,000 customers filing complaints against it. Over the years, Hydro One has issued 100,000 incorrect bills, with no explanation to customers. Wynne is planning to sell about 60% of Hydro One to the private sector, which will mean that it doesn’t get scrutinized by the auditor general.
The Hydro One system is in dire need of upgrading, and it is up to the Liberals to ensure that they follow through with that, instead of feeling the public with fake news and alternative facts.