Jack MacLaren’s Affordable Energy Act Passes Second Reading in the Ontario Legislature

Jack and Friends

Jack MacLaren successfully introduced a Bill in the Ontario Legislature on February 21, 2018 to make sure that electricity policies put the interests of families and businesses ahead of partisan political interests.

Jack’s Bill will:

  • allow sound and rational electricity planning to proceed;
  • it will free electricity users in Ontario from high costs and destructive subsidies for unreliable electricity supplies; and
  • it will allow families and businesses to buy electricity at the lowest possible cost over the long term.

It will bring an end, as quickly as possible, to policies that have had devastating effects on families, businesses and the economy of Ontario by:

  • removing subsidies to domestic and foreign firms to build and operate unreliable solar and wind energy plants,
  • ending the absurdly-high prices that we are forced to pay for electricity produced by renewable electricity facilities;
  • restoring full use of the cheap, reliable and clean electricity-generating capacity that the public already owns in the hydro and nuclear power plants in the province – and that has been curtailed by policies that promote expensive electricity;
  • stopping the practice of forcing customers to pay electricity producers so that they do not produce electricity; and
  • taking steps to ensure that Ontario’s electricity customers will not be forced to subsidize customers in the United States by selling that surplus power to them for far less than we are forced to pay to buy it.

The provisions of Jack MacLaren’s Bill to make electricity affordable for families and businesses in Ontario are as follows:

Affordable Electricity Act

The Bill directs the Minister of Energy to take steps to ensure that electricity is provided to consumers at the lowest possible price by taking a number of steps as follows:

  • It directs that maximum use must be made of the extremely valuable electricity generation facilities that the public already owns; and it requires full transparency in the process by which the price of electricity is set.
  • It compels the Minister to take all possible steps to eliminate preferential treatment for high-costs non-reliable renewable electricity sources.
  • It directs the Minister to terminate the conservation subsidy programs that the Auditor General has confirmed have added significant costs to the electricity bill of businesses and residents in Ontario.
  • It makes the Minister responsible for establishing regulations that will improve the efficiency and to reduce the costs of running the electricity grid and that will ensure that cost reductions are passed on to electricity users.
  • It prevents government from artificially lowering electricity prices now by pushing the costs into the future – payments that will add many tens of billions in interest costs onto the bills that electricity customers will have to pay.
  • It requires electricity bills to show the real effect on the future price that consumers will have to pay as a result of specific policies that defer payments or force customers to pay for other past debts.
  • It requires electricity bills to identify the portion of current electricity bills that were imposed by government policies and arrangements that were made to hide past debts.
  • It requires the electricity system in Ontario to be operated in a way that will provide maximum benefits to the citizens and businesses of Ontario – including by modifying smart meters to allow customers to buy electricity at the lowest price at which electricity is being sold to anyone in other provinces or in the U.S.A.

When Jack’s Bill was introduced in the Legislature on Thursday, February 21, many of its provisions found strong support from members of both the NDP and the PC party – and with their support Jack’s Bill passed Second Reading and it is now recommended for detailed review by a Committee of the Legislature.

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