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Pot, this is kettle, over – Thibeault’s lack of self-awareness

Toronto Sun

2 February 2018

Re: Conservative promises don’t add up (Glenn Thibeault, Toronto Sun, 21 January): Gee, where do I start with this one?! Minister Thibeault demonstrates an incredible lack of self-awareness when he states in his first paragraph that, “PC MPP Rick Nicholls’ column is proof that his party will say anything to get elected.” I picked up a saying in the navy, “Pot, this is kettle, over.” Minister Thibeault should know a lot about saying and doing anything to get elected as that’s the mantra of his government and the Liberal party in general.

Minister Thibeault’s next point is to say “…let’s get some facts straight,” and then launches into extolling the virtues of the Fair Hydro Plan that reduces rates by 25%. Well Minister, the facts are this “reduction” is being paid for with borrowed money that will end up costing Ontarians more in the long run, while failing to address the root cause of why the rates are so high in the first place, mainly because of the disastrous Green Energy Act, with its needlessly excessive above-market rates paid to “green” hydro producers.

So Minister Thibeault, your “…single largest rate reduction in Ontario’s history,” is merely a shell game who’s bill will have to be paid back, with interest, by my children and grandchildren. It blows my mind that even celebrated Canadian politician and “Father of socialized medicine” Tommy Douglas, a socialist, understood that debt is bad because the interest that must be paid takes money away from much needed social programs.

Minister Thibeault’s next point is to evoke the name of the “great Satan” of Ontario politics, Mike Harris, in saying that he created a crisis in education and health care, cuts that were made even more necessary after the disastrous NDP government of Bob Rae nearly bankrupt the province. While I don’t agree with everything Harris did or how he did it, something had to be done to return Ontario to financial stability, much like what Patrick Brown will have to do.

Well Minister Thibeault, even if you are correct that Harris’ cuts were harmful, your government has been in power for almost 15 years. What has your government done to correct these “harmful“ cuts? Oh, that’s right; you did nothing.

I get so tired of hearing the Harris argument from a government that has been in power so long. Even my super Liberal mother has said that I have a point and stopped arguing with me about Harris’ cuts.

Minister Thibeault then goes onto talk about raising the minimum wage “…so people are paid what they deserve.” Oh, where to start!

Minister, no one is arguing that people shouldn’t be paid a decent wage, but even a non-economist like me understands that the real problem is not a $15 wage, but the speed at which your government is raising it; a 31% increase over 15 months. How many of us have received such a large increase over such a short time frame? Even our public sector unions don’t have the chutzpah to ask for such an increase and we all know the outrageous demands unions, both public and private sector, sometimes make.

It also deserves to be said that sometimes making the bare minimum is what some people truly deserve due to a lack of education (and not upgrading), skills or motivation. It’s also true to say that if you find yourself still making minimum wage after 30 years, that maybe you need to be honest with yourself about what you did or didn’t do that make earning minimum wage your only option. Most workers in all professions will eventually rise up through the pay scales either through hard work or promotion to a higher wage job. Some others will upgrade their education and seek out other employment that pays better.

Minister Thibeault next notes that his government is providing free prescriptions to kids and young adults under 25. Well bravo Minister; another unnecessary shell game being played on us. Most of the under 25 crowd would still be covered under their parents workplace health plans or for the lucky ones, under their own workplace plan. I had a full workplace plan by the age of 23, but had selected benefits at the age of 18 when I joined the navy reserve (not bad for a part-time job). What you are really doing Minister, is shifting the cost of these prescriptions from private businesses onto the taxpayer and Liberals like yourself have the audacity to criticize Conservatives of cozying up to big business.

If you really feel the need to give out free prescriptions, how about extending health benefits to seniors, most of whom have to buy supplemental insurance unless their unions have negotiated “benefits for life.”

Finally Minister Thibeault, many people more economically astute than me have pointed out your claim of 40, 000 jobs in the renewable energy industry is greatly exaggerated, along with the fact that for every one job created, two have been lost due to your government’s disastrous handling of the energy file, a conservative estimate as many of the green jobs were temporary construction jobs.

Minister Thibeault, I too would encourage my fellow Ontarians to be weary of anything “…that sounds too good to be true…”  From your government, that is.

 

http://torontosun.com/2015/08/18/green-job-boasts-fail-to-deliver/wcm/1245dd98-c9e6-40ef-9fdf-5cb4b6bd1de6, http://business.financialpost.com/opinion/75000-manufacturing-jobs-lost-thats-the-price-of-ontarios-electricity-disaster

 

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Edited version submitted to the Toronto Sun:

 

Re: Conservative promises don’t add up (Glenn Thibeault, Toronto Sun, 21 January): Minister Thibeault demonstrates an incredible lack of self-awareness when he states in his first paragraph that, “PC MPP Rick Nicholls’ column is proof that his party will say anything to get elected.” That’s rich minister.

Minister Thibeault’s next point is to say “…let’s get some facts straight,” and then launches into extolling the reductions in the Fair Hydro Plan. Well Minister, the facts are this “reduction” is being paid for with borrowed money that will end up costing Ontarians more in the long run, while failing to address the root cause of why the rates are so high in the first place, mainly because of the disastrous Green Energy Act.

This is merely a shell game who’s bill will have to be paid back, with interest, by my children and grandchildren. Even celebrated Canadian politician and “Father of socialized medicine” Tommy Douglas, a socialist, understood that debt is bad because the interest that must be paid takes money away from much needed social programs.

Minister Thibeault’s next point is to evoke the name of the “great Satan” of Ontario politics, Mike Harris, in saying that he created a crisis in education and health care, cuts that were made even more necessary after the disastrous NDP government of Bob Rae.

Minister Thibeault, your government has been in power for almost 15 years. What has your government done to correct these “harmful“ cuts? Oh, that’s right; you did nothing.

In regards to the minimum wage, no one is arguing that people shouldn’t be paid a decent wage, but the real problem is not a $15 wage, but the speed at which your government is raising it; a 31% increase over 15 months. Even our public sector unions don’t have the chutzpah to ask for such an increase.

It also deserves to be said that most workers in all professions don’ stay at the minimum wage, but will eventually rise up through the pay scales either through hard work or promotion to a higher wage job.

Minister Thibeault next notes that his government is providing free prescriptions to kids and young adults under 25. Most of the under 25 crowd would still be covered under their parents workplace health plans or for the lucky ones, under their own workplace plan. What you are really doing Minister, is shifting the cost of these prescriptions from private businesses onto the taxpayer.

How about extending health benefits to seniors instead, most of whom have to buy supplemental insurance unless their unions have negotiated “benefits for life.”

Finally, your claim of 40, 000 jobs in the renewable energy industry is greatly exaggerated, along with the fact that for every one job created (mostly temporary construction jobs), two have been lost due to your government’s disastrous handling of the energy file.

Minister Thibeault, I too would encourage my fellow Ontarians to be weary of anything “…that sounds too good to be true…” From your government, that is.

Bruce Forsyth is a freelance writer and the webmaster of www.militarybruce.com.

 

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Minister Glenn Thibeault’s column:

THIBEAULT: Conservative promises don’t add up (21 January 2018):

BY GLENN THIBEAULT, SPECIAL TO THE TORONTO SUN

Progressive Conservative MPP Rick Nicholls’ column (“Be wary of Liberal promises,” Jan. 16) is proof that his party will say anything to get elected.

To help himself out, Nicholls trotted out a few numbers cherry-picked to make his case. 

So let’s get some facts straight.

It is true that electricity rates rose faster than expected, and made things difficult for Ontario families.

That’s why we took action last year, through Ontario’s Fair Hydro Plan, to reduce rates by 25% on average for all households across the province.

As many as half a million small businesses and farms are also benefitting.

Ontarians who live in remote areas, or qualify for low-income assistance, are eligible for more relief – as much as 50%.

This is the single largest rate reduction in Ontario’s history.

The fact is our rates are in the middle of the pack in Canada – more expensive than Quebec and Manitoba, but less expensive than PEI and Nova Scotia.

We’re also significantly less expensive than other major North American cities, like Detroit, Boston, New York or San Francisco.

We can’t ignore that the Conservatives voted against our hydro rate reduction for Ontario families, and have spent nearly a year criticizing it.

And now they have sneakily included it in their platform.

We appreciate the endorsement, but they can’t have it both ways – if they support our Fair Hydro Plan, that’s exactly what they should be saying.

Supporting the Fair Hydro Plan isn’t the only thing they’re not telling Ontarians. 

They’re not telling us about the $12 billion in cuts they’re planning, $6 billion of which are not earmarked.

It’s not possible to remove that amount of money from the budget without impacting healthcare or education. 

The last time we saw this under Mike Harris, the Progressive Conservatives created a crisis in both education and health care. 

They removed 10,000 hospital beds. They closed two dozen hospitals. 

Ontarians deserve better than that. 

Not only is Ontario one of the best places in the world to live, we have the fastest-growing economy in the G7.

Our government is committed to making sure everyone in the province gets a fair shake at that prosperity. 

We’re increasing the minimum wage, so people are paid what they deserve.

We’re making prescription drugs free for kids and young adults under 25, and we’re making tuition free for more students.

On the energy file, we’ve banned winter disconnections, launched a renewables industry that came with more than 40,000 jobs, and eliminated coal generation. 

As a result, we haven’t had a smog day since 2014. 

These are game-changers that will benefit generations to come.

Experts are saying the Conservative platform uses “magic money” and is “fiscally risky and economically incoherent.”

Given their promise to magically increase government spending and cut taxes at the same time, that’s not really surprising.

Like any deal that sounds too good to be true, I would encourage Ontarians to read the fine print before signing on the dotted line.

Glenn Thibeault is Ontario’s Minister of Energy.

 

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MPP Rick Nichols original column:

NICHOLLS: Don’t be fooled by Liberals’ promises

BY RICK NICHOLLS

For Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals, 2017 wasn’t a good year.

Wynne’s approval ratings have barely budged, and most people have a very low opinion of her government.

This is reflected recent polling. As of late last year, polling firm Abacus Data  found 53% of Ontarians strongly disapprove of the Wynne Liberals. Only 11% “somewhat approve.”

But, get this. Only 1% of Ontarians “strongly approve” of the Wynne Liberals.

It’s for good reason people are not impressed.

Let’s start with the hydro file.

Between 2008 and 2015, electricity costs in Ontario rose four times the rate of inflation, and our hydro bills jumped higher than in any other province in Canada.

Meanwhile, Ontario has accrued a huge surplus of energy. But we’re either giving it away or selling it at a massive loss. Last year, according the the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers, we exported enough power to run 2 million homes.

Let me explain why this is outrageous.

Hydro is so expensive for the average person that we’re now seeing record numbers of disconnections and arrears.

Since Wynne became premier four years ago, hydro disconnections have risen by about 20%. There are now just under 400,000 accounts in arrears, and that’s an increase of 30% since Wynne came to power.

It’s also egregious that the Liberals don’t want the people of Ontario to know that hydro rates have helped create a new Millionaire’s Club at Hydro One. We now have the highest paid Hydro One CEO in the history of Ontario. And he’s the highest paid CEO of his type in the entire country.

But exorbitant hydro isn’t the only way the Liberals have been grinding Ontario down.

Inflation-adjusted growth in Ontario is stalled at about half the Canadian average. Growth in disposable income lags significantly behind that of every other province. And private-sector investment in business has become anemic.

Apparently, though, the Wynne Liberals believe their policies represent social justice and fairness.

If this is their idea of fairness, I’d hate to see what they think is unfair.

We’re now five months from the next election.

Between now and then, the Liberals hope you’ll forget about their economic abuses and their special treatment to insider friends.

They hope that you’ll ignore the mess they’ve made at Queen’s Park.

They hope that a new round of vote-buying schemes will trick you into enduring another four years of incompetence and waste.

However, the people of Ontario don’t want waste. We are tired of seeing the political equivalent of handing out tax money with a leaf blower.

We don’t want crooked accounting practices to cover up Ontario’s enormous debt.

We rejected the fire sale of Hydro One. And we shook our heads at the shameful borrowing scheme to make our grandchildren pay for our hydro bills

When the Ontario parliament resumes in February, the Liberals will probably introduce their budget early. This will be the basis of their election platform.

My advice to Ontarians is: don’t be fooled.

— Rick Nicholls is PC MPP for Chatham-Kent-Essex

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

Permanent link to this article: http://militarybruce.com/pot-this-is-kettle-over/

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