|Posted on June 8, 2016 at 5:45 PM|
Living in a northern climate, Ontarians are quite sensitive to the costs of heating our homes in the winter months. Each year, we hear dreadful stories of seniors and low income families having to choose between home heating and food.
Things are about to change for the worse.
Earlier today, Kathleen Wynne announced her strategy on Climate Change. While she didn't mention the earlier "leaked" strategy of eliminating natural gas heating altogether, she did promise to hike the costs of natural gas heating - to a point where it will become unaffordable for most of us.
Natural gas is a fossil fuel, but it also emits 50 to 60% less CO2 as compared to oil or coal. Under the premier's plan, natural gas heating will only be for the very rich. The alternative for most of us will be electric heat: which presently costs an average of $3,000 more annually than heating with natural gas today.
Kathleen Wynne intends to punish Ontarians for living in a northern climate. We won't be able to use any less energy to heat our homes, but we will all pay more for the luxury of living here.
Yesterday was Tax Freedom day. We worked the first 5+ months of the year to meet our obligation to the taxman. Any money we make from here on, we get to use towards our living expenses, such as our food and accommodation.
Let's put Wynne's extra heating costs into perspective. According to employment website Workopolis, the average Ontarian earns $49,088 a year. If the first five months went towards tax obligations, that leaves $28,635 after tax income. Wynne is proposing to take more than a whopping 10% of your after tax income for more expensive electric heat.
Ontarians are already under terrible economic strain. The average mortgage debt in this province is approximately $193,000, according to an article published in the Wall Street Journal. That commitment alone means most taxpayers are struggling to keep ahead. In fact, a recent article by the CBC predicted dire consequences for many households if interest rates were to rise; or job losses, like we've seen in other parts of the country, were to hit Ontario.
In short, Kathleen Wynne is proposing the economic ruin of too many families who are just getting by today with her reckless Climate Change strategy.
Liberals are proposing their Climate Change strategy will cost ordinary Ontarians like you and me an extra $8.3 Billion. That's twice the amount of money we invest in our justice system, and more than what we spend on post secondary education.
There are going to be consequences to the level of government services that we currently have. Our hospitals, schools, children with special needs, mental health services, and a slew of other services are already facing the brunt of the austerity measures Wynne is forcing on them as she continues to divert valuable public resources to her personal political ideals.
If Kathleen Wynne gets her way, how many doctors, nurses, teachers, fire fighters and police officers will have to lose their job to pay for her Climate Change plan? How many hospitals, schools and colleges will be forced to close to pay the $8.3 billion she has ear-marked for the environment?
But it's the private sector that will ultimately bear the biggest burden.
Last night I stopped by my local convenience store to pick up a few things. I thought it was closed because most of the lights were off. Only the neon "Open" sign made me aware that the store wasn't actually closed. The local shopkeeper told me that he turned down his lights to save energy costs. That's the state we are in today.
After Wynne implements her Climate Change strategy, he might not be able to afford to keep his neon "Open" sign going too.