QUEEN’S PARK — Mike Schreiner released the following statement in response to reports that the government will spend more than $6 billion subsidizing hydro rates over the next year.
“For years, I have been calling on the government to stop funding irresponsible energy subsidies for the wealthy and redirect taxpayer dollars to reduce energy poverty and invest in better public services and efficiency programs that help people save money by saving energy.
It is well documented that these subsidies disproportionately benefit the wealthy, rewarding higher consumption with bigger rebates.
Last year, the Financial Accountability Office estimated that hydro subsidies will cost taxpayers $118 billion over the next two decades.
Think of how that money could be used to make life better for people across the province.
We could hire 33,000 new nurses and commit to paying them fairly.
Build 122,000 affordable rental homes over the next decade.
Invest in retrofit programs that would create thousands of jobs and provide long-term solutions to our climate, energy, and economic crises.
And help people save on their energy bills through efficiency- and conservation-based solutions.
No one should have to worry about unaffordable electricity costs. But it is far more fiscally responsible to target rate subsidies to the people who need it the most.
Instead, the Premier is playing political games and leaving us to foot the bill.
With the provincial budget just around the corner, the Premier should press pause on rebates for the wealthy and invest in the services we all rely on: education, health care, social services and climate solutions that save people money.”