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From the December 3rd edition of Ontario Farmer, an excerpt from the Stories from Eastern Ontario feature by Ottawa area writer Tom Van Dusen. Powerless

I recently listened to one of the most horrifying hours of radio programming I have ever heard.

I was driving the truck at the time and almost leapt out of the seat I became so incensed. I was receiving information I already knew in general terms but that didn’t make it any less tormenting.

The show wasn’t about disaster or disease. It wasn’t about the Senate. It wasn’t even about Rob Ford.

It was a discussion about that outrageous cash guzzler Hydro One, its stunning rates and the crippling effect they are having on all aspects of Ontario commercial and residential life.

It was a tale of gross mismanagement, incompetence, political interference and total indifference for consumers–you and me–in Hydro One’s grossly inflated charges…charges poised to make Ontario the most expensive place to buy electricity in North America.’

Listeners were calling in to tell horror stories about dealing with Hydro One, of having their service cut off because they could no longer pay, of planning to move because their electricity bills had become too exorbitant to manage.

There was an overall feeling of helplessness, of being able to do nothing but stand by as the bandits running Hydro One and related government agencies continue to jack prices without explanation. …

The radio show* featured guest energy analyst Tom Adams, who was a pleasure to listen to, a man who seemed to know his stuff and who pulled no punches in describing how Ontario’s electricity future is being burdened with “stupidly expensive junk generation.”

Adams and callers raised several of the issues particularly frustrating to the people who have to pay for all the blunders–that would be you and me–including compensating electricity producers to remain idle and selling off surplus power at cut rate prices to other jurisdictions.

Let’s take wind power. I’m a great fan but enough is enough…taxpayers can’t justify any more subsidized turbine erection under the Green Energy Act when a surplus is being produced for the grid.

Ottawa city council has passed a motion asking the province to give communities more say in where wind power projects are installed.

A little way south in Brinston, 10 turbines are in the works with little backing from neighbours or local government, South Dundas Township. Council passed a motion that additional turbines won’t be supported until a need is proven. With no legal clout behind the move, more than 70 Ontario municipalities have officially become “unwilling hosts” for turbines. Yet this provincial government continues to push its alternative energy agenda while failing to curb Hydro One’s scandalous misuse of our money.

The waste can only be shut off with an election and a complete makeover of the shirt circuiting Ontario Hydro bureaucracy.

tomvandusen@sympatico.ca

*Editor’s note: this sounds like Ontario Today hosted by Rita Celli with guest Tom Adams. A podcast of the show is available at cbc.ca

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