Trying to build off the momentum gained by the missteps made by the Liberal party this past summer, Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak is beginning to outline his Energy Strategy bit by bit. Hudak told the Ontario Energy Association last Thursday that Ontarians should have a flat-rate electricity pricing option alongside Dalton McGuinty’s. Under McGuinty’s relatively new program, customers pay different rates at different times of the day. This was intended as a means to promote conservation through rewarding customers with lower rates at low-demand times. The plan has been faced with a great deal of controversy, and Tim Hudak is looking to take advantage of people’s weariness. Hudak accused McGuinty of being inconsiderate of Ontario’s familial variability, suggesting some people with unique work schedules will be undeservedly punished under his scheme, and that they deserve an alternative option that meets their unique needs. When questioned as to how he would implement such a scheme, Hudak claims he could look to California and Florida, who have initiated similar multi-option systems, for inspiration.
Hudak went on to criticize McGuinty’s “green” energy policies, and troubled implementation of renewable energy sources, adding that if he were elected he would “move forward immediately,” in renewing Ontario’s nuclear energy strategy. This position, though incredible sparse on details, is nevertheless a stark contrast from McGuinty’s seemingly non-nuclear sustainability strategy.
Refurbishing and increasing nuclear capacity in Ontario is a no-brainer. Considering the current technological state of advanced renewable energies, it’s the essential segue from dirty power to clean power. Renewables aren’t ready for prime-time power production just yet, and until that time, nuclear is the only emission-free answer. The vagueness of Hudak’s strategic assertions thus far leave me reluctant to have any real hope for pragmatic sustainable energy production in Ontario, but it’s a start. Now that the Progressive Conservatives have started outlining their strategies, the NDP need to chime in to help generate some healthy political competition.