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Energy Minister Counters NDP Over Fair Hydro Plan

Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault says Timiskaming-Cochrane MPP John Vanthof is mistaken with his comments over the Fair Hydro Plan.   Vanthof and the NDP have criticized the Liberals for getting Ontario Power Generation to borrow $40-billion so the debt to lower hydro bills doesn’t show up on the province’s books.  The Auditor General has also questioned the move.  However, Thibeault says world-wide experts like KPMG and Deliotte say the accounting methods the Liberals used are legitimate.  He says they are in accordance with Public Sector Accounting Standards and he adds six of eight electricity operators across North America use the accounting methods the Liberals have employed.   Thibeault also says matters involving electricity should remain on the books of the electricity system.   He says when electricity generators build hydro dams or power stations they’re not paid for by provincial money.  Thibeault says it’s no different with OPG borrowing the $40-billion adding it’s the logical thing to do and there’s no reason to pay for the Fair Hydro Plan with provincial money.   The energy minister also says it’s wrong-headed for the New Democrats to say the plan should be on the tax base.   The Opposition claims the Liberals put the $40-billion on the books of OPG to give the illusion that the deficit will be eliminated.

(Written By: Rocco Frangione)

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