COLUMN: Cheap electricity, fiscal prudence, and the Liberals

SOUTH DUNDAS — How lucky the consumers of Cornwall Electric are to have such low electricity rates. No increases this year in electricity bills, just smooth sailing with the cheapest rates in the province. Yet in the coffee shops, one can still hear people grouse over it. A suggestion to those complainers, move to somewhere served by Rideau-St. Lawrence Utilities, or Hydro One, then you will really have something complain about with your electricity rates. While Cornwall simmers along with level rates, everyone else will receive a 5% hike on May 1st, again. Thanks Kathleen Wynne.

When the St. Lawrence-Seaway was flooded almost 60 years ago, it was done with the guise of cheap electricity for all. Now Cornwall is the only municipality which has it, thanks to Hydro-Quebec. Why is the city, and its home builders and realtors, not marketing the cheap electricity rates to draw more people to live there?

In 2019 the current Hydro-Quebec agreement will expire and if the rumblings out of Toronto are to be believed, Cornwall Electric will be forced to buy from Ontario instead of Quebec, but this could be an election wedge issue in 2018. Which candidate/party will guarantee that Cornwall will retain its competitive electricity edge. Stay tuned.

TAG deflation

Kudos for Cornwall, a modicum of fiscal prudence. Voting down a further hand out to TAG Cornwall was the right thing to do. Cornwall city councillors voted to not hand out the leftover funding from Lift Off. This is not a slight against TAG, but a win for taxpayers. That money will go into reserves and hopefully be saved for next budget year. This way when expenses go up, there is a slight savings that can help offset a tax increase. Taxpayers cannot be milked every year for increases. Government needs to live within the means of those who fund it, so this move is a win for fiscal prudence.

Clement still best of the Liberals

A counterpoint to Bill Kingston’s commentary yesterday. Kingston asserted that Clement should have stepped aside to allow younger blood from the counties area of the riding to fight it out for the nomination. That Clement does not have a profile outside of the boundaries of the City of Cornwall. While it is true that Clement has a diminished profile in the counties, Clement is the perfect Liberal candidate for the riding. With her connections to the power levers in the provincial Liberal party, and at Queen’s Park, plus the number of Ontario Liberals now running the show with the federal Liberals, she is well placed within the party apparatchik.

Her saving grace during the writ period will be her ability to garner local voters who know her, and capitalize on the cult of Trudeau. Those who will vote based on “hope”, and “feeling”, those are the ones who will vote for the Liberals in this riding. In the event that Clement can unseat Lauzon, her connections will be what rewards this riding, in the event of a Liberal government in Ottawa. If not, there still could be benefit with her connections to Queen’s Park. It’s not the first time a federal MP helped with a provincial issue. Its all about the party connections, and Clement has that in spades.


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