COLUMN: The definition of insanity

There is an old adage that states the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different outcome. This could be said believing the Ontario Liberals’ Hydro rebate of the PST portion of the sales tax will help lower hydro bills. Or believing that yet another semi-pro hockey team in Cornwall will make a go of it. Either way you have to wonder when the Merry-Go-Round will stop and people will try to do something different.

The ‘new’ Hydro rebate plan to cut the sales tax on electricity does not make it more affordable for Ontarians. It only robs the province of legitimate tax revenue and fails to tackle the real issue of energy rates. The province’s Green Energy Act imposes the global adjustment fee on energy rates, which artificially inflates the cost of electricity. An unfair and unbalanced distribution cost for rural electricity users adds insult to injury. For some users in rural Ontario the delivery charge is higher than the energy consumed. At no point does this new plan from Kathleen Wynne address these issues.

In addition, Ontario has too much generating capacity and not enough users. The manufacturing base which consumed most of the electricity in the province has left. Even though we have a surplus of generating capacity, the province continues to add new green energy plants when they are not needed.

What is the point of having publicly owned utilities that do not act in the best interest of the public? An 8% reduction on how much tax you pay on an artificially inflated electricity rate is small comfort. Wynne and McGuinty pulled this before with the 10% clean energy rebate. This time you’ll only get 8% in the hopes you’ll vote Liberal again in 2018. Insane.

To soften the blow, and maybe distract yourself for a while from the extremely high energy rates you will be able to go to yet another incarnation of a semi-pro hockey team in Cornwall this season. Unlike the Cornwall Aces, or the Cornwall River Kings — or even the legendary Cornwall Royals — this time the new hockey team, the Cornwall Nationals will work out.

Hopefully it will work out. For no other reason then it would be a bad thing for yet one more investor or investor group to lose money on hockey in Cornwall.

It would be nice to not have yet one more example of the punchline to the following joke: How do you make a small fortune in hockey in Cornwall? Start with a large one.