The Honourable Glenn Thibeault, Minister of Energy
Dear Minister Thibeault:
I just read your “Guest Column” in the Toronto Sun headlined: “Energy minister rips report on closing coal plants.”
Your article seeks to discredit the work of the Fraser Institute referring to it as a “right-wing” institution, and the principal author as a “climate change denier” despite their record of achievements!
Interestingly enough, you don’t stop there to insult the authors, but ramble on with further insults and launch into rhetoric without any discernable facts. You cite a variety of organizations without offering any specifics on how they; either researched the relationships between Ontario’s coal plants and those in neighbouring jurisdictions, or the effects of what those plants were spewing that wound up in Ontario’s air. If you bothered to actually research the information the report contains you will see the authors effectively proved closing Ontario’s coal plants did little to improve air quality but what was effective turned out to be the switching of electricity generation in our neighbours’ land from coal generation to gas generation. The prevailing winds did the rest!
Throwing insults around is not an effective way to make a point.
It is interesting that you pick one year only to note the number of “smog days” Ontario experienced. If you had checked with the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change you would have learned that in 2012 we had 30 such days, in 2009 we had only five, but in 2007 we had 39. If you are going to cite statistics you should not just pick one that makes the weak point you are striving for unless you can prove it wasn’t an aberration.
Your closing was presumably meant to show your compassion (like the Prime Minister’s hug the other night) and it does a nice job but I would note a lot of people remember back in July, August and September when all the bad news was hitting the press about energy poverty, people having to choose between eating or paying their electricity bill. At that time Ontarians found out that at the end of 2015 there were 566,902 ratepaying households in arrears and 60,000 ratepayers were disconnected. Those households in arrears represented over 12% of all of Ontario’s ratepayers and the many of the 60,000 households cut off had some very sad stories that the mainstream media picked up on.
Your compassion at that time was not flattering and the fix you brought in has been mitigated by the advent of the “cap and trade” tax that will continue to cause energy poverty.
It is time your Ministry accepted responsibility for the mess that has been created in this province, home to the highest electricity prices in the country and the fastest rising in the U.S. or Canada.
A concerned citizen