EDITORIAL: Ontario hydro uses ALTERNATIVE FACTS

You may be being sold a “bill of goods” when you are given information about HYDRO and HYDRO RATES from anyone in public office in Ontario.

Take a look at the “alternative facts” which you are being told about HYDRO in Ontario and you judge its veracity.

I would not want to use the word liar but Fareed Zakaria, a CNN journalist/reporter recently used the label bullshitter in reference to Donald Trump. Yes, you read that correctly, bullshitter. Well, that same label may be applicable to civil servants in Ontario who make claims about Hydro and nuclear energy generation in the province.

They are selling you a pack of “alternative facts.” Are you going to believe them? Follow it up and do a little research to see how truthful they are or aren’t.

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Alternative fact #1
Since 2002 Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG’s) price of nuclear power has risen by 60%. And to add insult to injury OPG is now seeking a 180% price increase to pay for the continued operation of its high-cost Pickering Nuclear Station and the re-building of Darlington’s aging reactors.

Alternative fact #2
Meanwhile, OPG continues to tell MPPs and other decision makers that nuclear power is our lowest cost option for keeping the lights on and that it is simply not possible to import low-cost power from Quebec. Both of these claims are false.

Alternative fact #3
According to Hydro Quebec’s CEO, Eric Martel, Quebec has 3,000 megawatts of surplus power available for export. Furthermore, according to Mr. Martel, Hydro Quebec is more than willing to sign long-term fixed-price export contracts.

Alternative fact #4
Hydro Quebec has power available to export for at least 99% of the hours in a year. It can further increase the power it has for export by improving energy efficiency in Quebec and continuing to develop its significant low-cost wind power potential.

Alternative facts
Our public utility and the nuclear lobby should stop spreading “false facts.” We need an honest discussion based on transparent information about whether keeping the 46-year-old Pickering Station running and re-building the 30-year-old Darlington Station makes sense.

Tackle the expensive elephant in the room: nuclear
The Premier must say no to the nuclear lobby. No nuclear project has delivered on time or budget.

Increases in the Global Adjustment (GA) are driving up electricity prices. 46 per cent of the increase in the GA is due to nuclear power. Two companies operate nuclear plants in our province: privately owned Bruce Power and publicly owned Ontario Power Generation (OPG). Between 2002 and 2016, their rates rose by 54 per cent and 60 per cent.

And now OPG is asking for a massive price increase over the next decade to finance the Darlington Nuclear plant rebuild.

Instead of pouring billions more into nuclear power, let’s close Pickering Nuclear on time in 2018. This will save us money by reducing Ontario’s electricity surplus. Right now our provincial electricity surplus means Ontario has to sell excess power at a loss. If we need additional power, Quebec water power is much less expensive.

A final word
Instead of playing shell games designed to hide the rising cost of nuclear power, our government should be looking at grabbing some real cost savings – by making a deal with Quebec.

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