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Describing Ontario’s electricity pricing system as a train wreck doesn’t do it justice. That’s because it isn’t just one train — it’s the entire railroad — as a new report by the C.D. Howe Institute, Power Surge: The Causes of (and Solutions to) Ontario’s Electricity Price Rise Since 2006 makes clear. Authors Benjamin Dachis and Joel Balyk warn that staggering taxpayer subsidies of the cost of electricity in Ontario are out of control, creating an electricity market that is so distorted that prices go up while consumption goes down — the opposite of how the law of supply and demand is supposed to work. The cost of Ontario’s electricity system increased by 75%, from $12 billion annually in 2006 to $21 billion in 2019, while demand dropped 10%. The McGuinty/Wynne Liberals were in charge from 2003 to 2018 and are primarily responsible for this mess — my conclusion, not the authors — while Premier Doug Ford’s Conservatives have done some tinkering, but nothing substantial to right the system. Meanwhile, the skyrocketing cost of electricity to Ontario consumers is being subsidized by Ontario taxpayers by $6.5 billion this year alone — the problem being they’re the same people.

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