Weather

Current Conditions
8.7 C
Mainly Clear
Today's Forecast
18 C
Mainly sunny
Sponsored by Highland Ford

News And Views

Classifieds

Announcements

Entertainment

Shop Local

More Local

Search The Web

Google Search

Editorials

View Room Comments for Monday, Jun. 9 2014

Monday, June 09, 2014   by: The View RoomWelcome to the SooToday.com View Room. This editorial feature is for you to post comments. To comment on a specific news story please post your comment directly under the news story.
Comments
55
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
Just Curious 6/9/2014 7:27:30 AM Report

Just shy of 7:30 and no posts??? Must be Monday...
Jimssm 6/9/2014 7:48:12 AM Report

The 45 BILLION dollar approval of the F-35 purchase is coming this week.

That ought to rile people up a bit.
Just Curious 6/9/2014 7:55:25 AM Report

Probably wind up at 65 billion before they are all delivered...
Jimssm 6/9/2014 8:05:09 AM Report

It was 'just' 18 billion when we first got into this deal.

....for something we can't use.
Me Myself an I 6/9/2014 8:14:27 AM Report

Wow, those gas plant cancellations look like a steal now compared to that
Wild Turkey 6/9/2014 8:39:15 AM Report

Re-new jets
Right now you can book a one hour flight to the edge of space for $11,500 Euros in a supersonic Russian Mig 29.
Maybe Canada will offer this tourist attraction to keep Canadian Aviation buffs at home.Those jets will pay for themselves in no time!
Jimssm 6/9/2014 9:15:26 AM Report

WT:

The brand new $1 billion (each) F-35 cannot fly as high as the 30-year-old $29 Million (each) Mig 29 (and it is much slower) there wouldn't be as much of a thrill for tourists.

As well, the government has said they will cut the flying time of the new jets substantially (including training) because they are too expensive to fly.
flyhawk25 6/9/2014 9:16:34 AM Report

We are in the home stretch of the provincial election and time for some fearless predictions.
We should end up with a minority government. If Hudak is leader the only good news might be that Vic Fedeli in NB might get a cabinet post.The Harris Blue Machine is still working in the Gateway City so let's hope.
If Wynne is back then David O can continue in cabinet.
If the NDP leads get ready for chaos in Queen's Park.
Have I nailed it?
Keep in mind even a broken clock is right twice a day.
Just Curious 6/9/2014 9:24:50 AM Report

Fly, not being politically inclined, I don't see that it makes much difference who gets in in a minority situation, even the NDP. I'm quite sure we will be into another election in 2 yrs in any event unless any two parties form a coalition. By the way Hudac treated Horwath in the debates I think he is leaning that way if he wins, and Wynne probably is too.
Bill_the_Cat 6/9/2014 9:24:55 AM Report

jimssm: Disagree on whether Canada can 'use them'. Certainly. That brand of fast air is just not very useful, outside of usnorthcom integration.

For cost, the Grippen ought to have been the choice; a good balance would have been the Typhoon or Rafale.

But defence procurement is a long and winding path.
Bill_the_Cat 6/9/2014 9:34:45 AM Report

fly: predictions. A Wynne minority. I just don't think Hudak is trusted. Time for him to move on and get someone else--Elliott, Miller, or Fedeli.
Budster 6/9/2014 9:52:44 AM Report

Bill: I agree we will probably have a minority Lib. Gov't only this time I think we may see a shift in official opposition to P.C. I also think that IF Fedelli was to head up P.C. they would surely upset the Libs. The reason I say this is because Fedelli from N.B. led them through some troubling times and is a proven leader that can get things done. #2 being that Northerners in On. would turn out to vote if someone from the north that knew we existed were to run. #3 I believe that the NDP cut their own throats in bringing down the gov't. The Lib. budget was a classic NDP platform budget and to topple the gov't for that people lost interest in Horwath's capabilities. that is my predictions. I should add that I really don't know much about politics.
Snobank 6/9/2014 10:28:26 AM Report

This is how Canadian Fascism works! It convinces you that it is working in what looks like your best interests; while slowly eroding your freedoms, rights, and civil liberties.....all the while growing in control, power, and oppression.

From the National Post of all places!

http://tinyurl.com/kjqutbb
flyhawk25 6/9/2014 11:50:53 AM Report

Some really good theories on the election.
None of us is an 'expert'. Who knows what the voters will do?
Just Curious 6/9/2014 11:52:55 AM Report

Most of them will probably stay home, as usual ...:).
Wild Turkey 6/9/2014 12:18:15 PM Report

Many were surprised at the outcome of The Belmont stakes on Sat.The favorite had won the first two legs of the triple crown and was poised to capture the big prize.However, it was not to be, and once again the Triple Crown trophy was unclaimed.
This provincial election is similar to a horse race.Many people vote with their hearts, and not with their heads.I don't know the answer for sure, but the bets are on the Liberals for a minority, with the Conservatives taking on the role of opposition.
That could be a good thing, as the Liberals will be forced to reduce the size of the civil service-but not by wholesale firings, but hiring freezes and attrition.
notpc 6/9/2014 1:07:13 PM Report

Wild Turkey

You mentioned that the Liberals would reduce the size of the civil service in Ontario by means of hiring freezes and attrition. Given that they have already had a decade to do this but instead have actually increased the size of the civil service during that time, why would we expect that they will suddenly do something like that now? They have promises like all-day kindergarden to fulfill and have shown no interest in implementing the cost-cutting measures they hired Don Drummond to give them.

The PC plan involves attrition (about 25% of the cuts) and contracting out. The latter may be a bad word to unions, but it's what governments and business do to cut back their benefit and pension costs, and it works.

Countries like Greece resisted these sensible measures for too long. The result for Greece was that when their debt became unsustainable, they had to cut everything a lot more than anyone expected. Health care costs alone in Greece were cut by 25%. Imagine the impact of that in Ontario if we ever got to that point. Given the unwillingness of the Liberals to do anything to rein in their costs in the past, I would worry that they would continue to take us closer to the brink of financial disaster.
flyhawk25 6/9/2014 1:31:23 PM Report

I read Rod Frewmlin's comments on the news site.
Refreshing.
But naive.
He won't have to worry because I doubt he'll win.But good for him for straight talk.
T-rat 6/9/2014 2:32:34 PM Report


Brought to you by Orazietti and Company


THE WYNNE VERSION OF ELECTRICITY RATE RELIEF

On April 24, 2014, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced that the Debt Retirement Charge (DRC), a 0.7 cent-per-kWh charge on Ontario electricity consumers, would be terminated at the end of 2015. The Premier described this as a move that would "bring significant rate relief". Is this true?

As background, the 0.7 cent charge may sound small, but it isn't. It collects about $900 million every year from Ontario electricity ratepayers. The charge was introduced in 2002 to pay for the "residual stranded debt" of the former Ontario Hydro. The original residual stranded debt, back in 1998, was $7.8 billion.

In the 2012 Ontario Budget, it was revealed that, up to March 31, 2012, the Ontario government (through the Ontario Electricity Financial Corporation) had collected $12.8 billion dollars as a result of the debt retirement charge. In the fall 2013 Update, the Finance Minister reported that, although about $1.5 billion more had been collected to that point in time, the remaining residual stranded debt was $11.3 billion. So, after paying about $14.3 billion to retire a $7.8 billion debt, Ontario ratepayers still owed $11.3 billion. This amazing arithmetic is due to the Ontario government's addition of interest to the original amount owing and its switching of certain costs incurred by Ontario Hydro's successor companies unto the "residual stranded debt account".

This is a story that the Ontario Auditor General may someday want to investigate. Let us return, however, to the claim that removing the DRC will result in significant rate relief.

By the end of December, 2015, the DRC will have collected $15.5 billion, so Ontario ratepayers will have paid almost double the original $7.8 billion owing.

Just one year ago, the Ontario Energy Board approved an electricity (i.e. commodity charge) rate increase that cost the average ratepayer $3.63 a month, or $44 annually. It followed that with another increase in November 2013 raising rates by $4.00 per month, or $48 annually. Then, on April 1, 2014, there was another increase of $2.83 per month, or $34 annually. Those increases did not include rate increases for the "delivery" or "regulatory" lines on our electricity bills, which also increased. So, in just one year, the electricity rates jumped $126 annually and Wynne's announced rate relief won't happen until the end of 2015.

2015 just happens to also be the year the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit (OECB) ends. The OECB reduces the average bill by $13.30 per month or $160 annually. Ontario's taxpayers pay it, so it is a subsidy from residents' right pockets to their left pockets. The average bill (electricity, or "commodity charge " only) at the start of 2016 will thus be $286 higher on an annual basis than it was as of April 30, 2013. Adding the HST brings the increase to $323. There will also be further increases from the Ontario Energy Board's scheduled rate setting on December 1, 2014, May 1, 2015 and December 1, 2015; those will add a minimum of $100 to homeowners' electricity costs.

In other words, the average residential bill will have jumped by approximately $425 per year. That represents a 25% increase in electricity rates in two years before Premier Wynne's "significant rate relief" of $160 per year occurs. Just as the DRC is ended, another scheduled charge from the recent announcement (aimed at reducing energy poverty) of $11 will be added.

By December 1, 2015, our electricity costs for residences will be charged out at over 21 cents per kilowatt (kWh). That will only get worse as more contracted wind and solar plants enter the grid. Add in expected increases in the "delivery" and "regulatory" lines, tack on HST and all-in costs will be in the neighbourhood of 30 cents a kWh! Ontario residents will be challenging Germany and Denmark for the privilege of having the most expensive rates in the industrialized world.

Some relief!






soowat 6/9/2014 2:40:24 PM Report

One thing about a Liberal win is that you would get the crooks you know as opposed to the crooks you don't know
Wild Turkey 6/9/2014 2:50:41 PM Report

Surely the opposition parties have found all of the existing boondoggles and scandals by now so it should be smooth sailing for Wynne and Company for the next four years.
AlwaysAWinner 6/9/2014 2:58:42 PM Report

oh god

you people who think rising energy rates have something to do with wind farms are a) stupid b) wrong c) needs help

Ontario's energy prices are set by the OEB.

The reason we have high electricity prices is because the OEB allows the generation companies to gouge consumers, and that's about it.

The price of electricity the first month of 'open market' privatized power generation, in May 2002?

3.01 cents per kWh.

The price of electricity two months later, with the privatized market that was supposed to lower electricity prices for Ontarians in full swing, in July of 2002?

6.2 cents per kWh.

Largely in response to that (extremely predictable) debacle, they created a board to cap energy prices for 2003. We're just seeing the results of that board increasing the cap at the behest of the power companies.

In the last three years alone OPG has brought in almost a billion dollars in profit. Hydro One brought in close to $2 billion in profit in the same period, and has declared almost $5.5 billion dollars in profit since being privatized.
Consider that Hydro One's profit in 2002 was $344 million, and in 2012 it was $745 million, more than double. That's why Ontarians are paying higher electricity prices.

"Green energy planning has tripled power rates", my ass.

Giving companies the ability to gouge consumers by way of a friendly board at the OEB has tripled the rates.
Just Curious 6/9/2014 3:10:22 PM Report

Always a Winner, one of these days you are gonna make a post without profanity or belittling everyone who posts an opinion different than yours. I have to admit you are getting better but you still have a ways to go.
T-rat 6/9/2014 3:16:05 PM Report

Read the story again 'whiner'. There was a scant reference in the last paragraph about wind and solar. The story was about the billions more that have been bilked from taxpayers for debt retirement charges and yes, those obscene rate hikes that you refer to. Useless 'green energy' doesn't bring any relief either.
T-rat 6/9/2014 3:16:05 PM Report

Read the story again 'whiner'. There was a scant reference in the last paragraph about wind and solar. The story was about the billions more that have been bilked from taxpayers for debt retirement charges and yes, those obscene rate hikes that you refer to. Useless 'green energy' doesn't bring any relief either.
redranger 6/9/2014 3:56:29 PM Report

Is Alwaysawinner the same know-it-all poster who went by a name something like "dust"? He has the same supercilious attitude and the paucity of vocabulary forcing him to express his myopic viewpoint in such a puerile fashion.
notpc 6/9/2014 3:59:51 PM Report

Always a Winner

In your comments you seem to have missed some relevant facts. For example, the price paid to wind operators in Ontario is over 11 cents per kwh for power generated, but they are also paid an amount to not produce power. See this link;

http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/blog/posting.asp?ID=881

That 11.5 cents is more than what we pay on our bills except for the highest time of use, which means that it is subsidized by consumers. The numbers are even worse for solar with amounts being paid to solar energy producers ranging from 30-82 cents per kilowatt hour, far more than the amount paid on our bills. Again, it is being subsidized already and will be to an even greater extent.

Then there is the cost of maintaining gas, nuclear and hydro to back up the far less dependable wind and solar generators. In addition, there is the cost to sell the overproduction because of overcapacity, to neighbouring provinces and states at a loss, calculated at over $1B last year. That hasn't yet factored into our bills but will factor into the increases planned over the next 5 years.

In case you doubt what I say about overcapacity, here's the facts about that. In Ontario the highest demand we ever had was 27005 MW in 2006. Our current capacity is nuclear 13000MW, hydro 7900 MW and gas 9900MW. That totals 30800MW, some 3800MW more than the most we ever needed. Yet we've already added another 3700MW of wind power to that total and who knows how much solar to put us way over what we need, and regulations say that we have to buy the expensive wind and solar before we can buy the cheaper alternatives. That means we pay the maximum for our power.

To make it worse, the Liberals plan to add another 7000MW of wind and solar that we don't need by 2021. Any body who thinks all of this isn't already having a big impact on our energy bills, and won't in the future, probably has a hard time understanding principles of money management. Frankly, this is a financial disaster in the making.
lookaround 6/9/2014 4:30:02 PM Report

Hydro bills or not rather take the safe road so I am voting Liberal. Sorry it is My vote. By the way my hydro bill went down 100 dollars a month.
notpc 6/9/2014 4:50:15 PM Report

lookaround

So did mine but it wasn't because the Wynne government did anything. It's because May's power bill is always cheaper than April's.


By the way, your vote certainly is your own to give, but I'm always curious as to why people who have been abused by a government as much as we have by the provincial Liberals would continue to reward them with another opportunity to to do it some more, instead of giving someone else a shot who has never had one before. Does the prospect of trying Hudak or Horwath really scare people more than the prospect of seeing all the future suffering involved in having the province go bankrupt like Greece? Is the prospect of losing about 9% of our civil servants through attrition and contracting out really worse than seeing 25% of our health and education services needing to be cut because the province can't borrow any more money to pay for those things?

I guess I'm just too much of a pragmatist to understand these things.
lookaround 6/9/2014 5:00:13 PM Report

notpc yes having workers who know their job adhere to regulations lose their job for workers who are contracted out does scare me. Remember Walkerton?
Ontario gives 12 billion to the Federal government . maybe we should reduce this.
T-rat 6/9/2014 5:03:55 PM Report

notpc: good point on the April/May power bills. I find it strange that Hudak hasn't pointed to the elimination of vacancies in the public service. Many government managers are little turf builders. They carry unfilled vacancies. The position is there, there's nobody in it but they still get the salary allocation in their annual budgets. Then they use the money for other things. Make them declare and get rid of unfilled vacancies. And then let attrition work as well.
steelworker 6/9/2014 5:05:38 PM Report

After ten years of Liberal corruption and gross mis-management some people just get used to grabbing their ankles.
pony 6/9/2014 5:07:09 PM Report

Re: The most recent poll.

I think "coconut" icecream should have been an option, because it blows everything else out of the water!!!!
notpc 6/9/2014 5:30:23 PM Report

lookaround

Interesting that you mentioned Walkerton. The 2 brothers who caused the deaths were civil servants who knew the regulations but for various reasons, chose not to follow them. This can happen whether a person is a civil servant or an employee of a private company. Both need to know the regulations and both need to have the integrity to follow them.
Wisenheimer 6/9/2014 5:54:41 PM Report

New Jet will be the 35 or the Super Hornet.
Libs are pulling for old British Typhoons that could be refitted at minimal expense and the NDP want ethanol fueled crop dusters.
Mean while Jimssm is being veted for chief RCAF equipment procurer.
flyhawk25 6/9/2014 6:13:31 PM Report

So...as the price rises what exactly will do with this thing? My next two generations will pay for them so I'd love to know the plan.
Jimssm 6/9/2014 6:15:54 PM Report

Wisen....

Why buy a ground attack aircraft with nothing to fly air superiority for it?

What scenario do you see where we would need ground attack aircraft ? (NATO Europe maybe)

Single engine aircraft flying high Arctic missions... good luck with that.

It's better to put it out for competition and see what else comes up.

Do you see a problem with a bidding process or would that hurt your Pratt and Whitney stocks ?

steelworker 6/9/2014 6:18:14 PM Report

Didn't the Libs get us a super deal on some subs a few years ago??
flyhawk25 6/9/2014 6:25:44 PM Report

And here we go again with the 'deflect' argument.
Nonsense.
BIG BROTHER 6/9/2014 6:40:01 PM Report

Wisen...'Mean while Jimssm is being veted for chief RCAF equipment procurer.'

I, for some reason or other, trust Jim more than McKay. All the experts are stating twin engine over single engine.
Bill_the_Cat 6/9/2014 6:47:53 PM Report

Dassault is already positioning itself to bid for those f35 buyer's jitters. Canada is looking for frigates soon enough, and France seems to be the contender. A good deal can be arranged perhaps.

The knock on effects would be to severely antagonise Lockheed-Martin. Not necessarily a good thing.

Steel: caveat emptor on the subs. I believe the operational procedures have been revised.
BIG BROTHER 6/9/2014 6:57:42 PM Report

I think what Bill is saying is watch out for so-called friends and allies when it comes to a buck.
Bill_the_Cat 6/9/2014 7:03:19 PM Report

Well...France is France.
BIG BROTHER 6/9/2014 7:12:41 PM Report

I was referring to our British friends and their so-called loyalty to Canada. England is England!!! Watch your backs.
ROLAND_ROLLY 6/9/2014 7:14:39 PM Report

I have voted Liberal for years, but this government has to go !

Wake up people ! They will screw us over and over without a kiss. I guess you have all forgotten the health care tax, solar and wind fiasco, the gas plants.

A vote for them tells them that it okay to steal, lie, cheat etc.

Bill_the_Cat 6/9/2014 7:36:49 PM Report

BB: I believe a Board faulted CF training and procedures. Still, a distasteful incident.

Dealing with the US is not much better. As part of the US initial funding of the F35, costs were to be shared with the main partner, the UK. The agreement was for technology sharing. As the project proceeded, the DoD began to balk at this. This stalled an even sluggish procurement process even more. With the inherent technical flaws in the design, the result is the (almost) white elephant we see today.
flyhawk25 6/9/2014 7:53:42 PM Report

Oddly enough the two resident snipers are suddenly quiet.
I suspect it's because they really don't have much to offer.
I expect they'll resurface after we all are in bed and then ...
Workingagain 6/9/2014 8:47:33 PM Report

There is a lot of complaining about how the Liberals screwed the tax payers. I agree with that but it is funny how people forget the gut job that Harris did and the repercussions - are you without a doctor - thank the PCs for cutting the seats in the medical schools, long wait times - lack of doctors and nurses. Do you think cutting 100,000 jobs will not effect you - it isn't the high paid managers that lose their jobs it is the workers. remember when Harris cut the welfare and disability rates - they then gave themselves a raise. We have had programs cut in the schools including special classes, if you think the cuts won't effect you think again. It will be worse. Think twice on who you vote for. We know that Ontario does not exist for the PCs passed Parry Sound and if you think any of the so called "million jobs" will occur in the north keep dreaming. People like to complain that we are loosing parks, services, special classes it is nothing compared to what is to come .... Would you like someone from southern Ontario tell you that you don't need to hunt for your meat that you can go to the grocery store and get it? Why let Southern Ontario tell us how we should live.
steelworker 6/9/2014 8:58:03 PM Report

fly: you in bed yet?
flyhawk25 6/9/2014 9:15:57 PM Report

Why?
Do you suddenly have something to offer?
bounder 6/9/2014 9:17:22 PM Report

Ice cream poll sucks, no Butterscotch Ripple.
Bill_the_Cat 6/9/2014 9:24:44 PM Report

Turtle ice cream ftw. Not there as well.

Mint chip a distant second.
mallet 6/9/2014 9:37:57 PM Report

Workingagain..

Hate to rain on your parade, but the folks in Southern Ontario already do that. Add up the legislature seats in Northern Ontario and then add up the ones down south and in a democracy majority rules.. I am still not sure who to vote for, but I do not think I want to pay for the Liberal largess anymore. I think we need to tighten the purse strings for a while otherwise when the interest rates start going up our purse strings will be controlled by someone else.. Ask the people in other countries who have had to be bailed out what the bankers demand, a little dose of medicine today maybe better than the surgery required later on...
Workingagain 6/9/2014 9:50:04 PM Report

Mallet people are forgetting yes the Liberals screwed up and cost us billions of dollars cancelling the gas plants but Hudak also promised to do that the last election. Do you think Horwath has any pull with Harper over CPP - I don't think so. She is too busy holding the province hostage to get what she wants. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I just made a statement after reading everyone complaining over the past little while. I just find it funny how people forget the wrongs of others when it suits them. Every govt is going to screw us one way or another. I didn't hear any complaining when the govt spent money to keep people working. I know I was thankful my husband didn't get laid off. As for pensions - 1.9% isn't that much. Union workers pay into their own pension why shouldn't everyone - it isn't going to break the bank like everyone thinks. Harper is wrecking the country and people think Hudak is going to save Ontario it is a joke. I realize there are many more seats in southern Ontario but hey why can't the north fight for what we have. We should have a voice too!
Workingagain 6/9/2014 9:51:43 PM Report

The only money that will be saved from cuts is off the backs of the ordinary Joe not the big shots that make the $$. We will all suffer because of it and won't be any further off.
Comments
55
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
Advertising | Membership | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | About SooToday.com | Contact Us | Feedback

Copyright ©2014 SooToday.com - All rights reserved