In a bold new attempt to stem the tide of job losses in Ontario our government is offering a discount of about 27% to large new and existing companies. It seems that even this government has realized that their plan to increase electricity rates by 50% over 5 years may not be such a great idea. But, is this new Industrial Electricity Incentive Program as good as it sounds? The idea is to sell about half of the projected surplus power to large businesses that bring new jobs to our beleaguered province. Little mention was made about why there is such a surplus in power but certainly some of it is due to the reduction in demand due to businesses leaving or scaling down their energy needs.
This great deal, unfortunately, is geared to businesses new to Ontario that invest at least $250 million in a Ontario operation. Existing businesses may also be eligible but are subject to greater scrutiny.
Energy minister Chris Bentley claims that this initiative will not cost other power users (consumers and small businesses) anything because it will involve power that would otherwise be exported. Furthermore he states that if the demand for the program exceeds the surplus then its a great problem to have because, according to Bently, it will mean companies are lining up to create jobs. In typical politician fashion Mr. Bently just doesn’t understand the possible negative side. If the program is successful then the pressure on the supply system will return, prices will rise, and the little guys get shafted again. The same scenario will develop should there be any shutdowns in the nuclear power sources resulting in restriction in supply.
So, in typical political fashion, a plan is put in place to create jobs in one sector while jobs in the small business community are put at risk. Just more typical hot air from a government that has little understanding of basic job creation strategies. That hot air would be better used to generate wind power instead of raising the temperature of small businesses and consumers across the Province.