SHORT CIRCUITING HYDRO
In politics, nothing beats a tax cut. Dalton McGuinty should try it instead of screaming in imperial bureaucratic measure as the Tories propose them.
As a scarred participant in too many budget "lockups" at Queen's Park, I was another cynical columnist about provincial tax cuts. Until the day I opened up the book of misleading figures to find that the addition that Mary and I were building had just got cheaper.
We decided to indulge ourselves for a change and were going to buy a Jacuzzi. The government in an attempt to stimulate the economy had decided to drop the sales tax immediately on bathtubs. And there were some other savings in the construction and alteration fields.
The treasurer paused, as if he was passing a snake pit, when he went by the Sun table. I said that for the first time in my life there had actually been a measure in the budget that saved me money immediately. I added: "I may actually vote for you guys."
One thing stands out for me from the rhetorical garbage flying in this campaign. We have the Grits trying vainly to show they haven't raised taxes that much. And the Tories targeting all the provincial unrest over Hydro and heating bills.
Over the years in my blog.johndowning.ca, I have fulminated about Hydro bills. The last one on July 15 was titled Hydro's Cheating Smart Meters when I encouraged the Conservatives to short circuit Hydro. Blow the breakers in the entire damn headquarters!
I am not one of those who believe that the smart meters are either smart or a danger to our health. I just know they can't add, and there are thousands of people in Ontario who will agree with me.
I had an unfortunate interruption in my cottage life due to my being imprisoned in various hospitals.
At least, I thought stupidly, my bills will be lower. Fat chance of that, but the shocker to me, like I had grabbed a 220 line, was the cottage bills were so exorbitant. On my main cottage, Hydro says I used the grand total of 1 kWh. The bill was $86.88. You don't have to know what a kWh is particularly to know that is a staggering charge.
It gets even worse with the bunkie to which we try to banish the grandkids who prefer to sleep in front of the fireplace. No electric usage at all. Even the infamous smart meters couldn't manufacture the smallest trickle of electricity.
Oh yes, the charge was $75.30 for three months of no use at all.
So I really don't care whether Tim Hudak has a certain chipmunk look and that the Tories for some reason are slumping in the polls.
The Tory leader promises me a minimum of $275 savings and there may well be more. He would really lock in my vote if he had a Royal commission into why the grand promise of Hydro, on which the provincial economy rested for a century, turned into a bloated grabbing enemy of the poor suckers in the middle class who have to pay $75.30 when a cottage is not used.