From the desk of Jim McDonnell – QUEEN’S PARK – Today during Question Period, Liberal Minister for Environment and Climate Change Glen Murray confirmed his plan to eliminate natural gas as a fuel in Ontario. Industry officials estimate that switching homes from natural gas to electric heat will cost each Ontario household $3,000 more each year. Approximately 62 per cent of Ontario homes use natural gas for heating.
“If given the chance, Minister Murray has confirmed he would cut off affordable natural gas to Ontario’s cities,” said Ontario PC Energy Critic John Yakabuski. “Instead, Ontarians in cities would have to rely on electric heat, switch out their gas stoves and get rid of their gas barbecues. Minister Murray seems intent on eliminating natural gas in the province and making life even harder under the Liberals.”
In response to a question from PC MPP Bob Bailey regarding the expansion of natural gas, Murray suggested “in Toronto, where I live, my building and others in my neighbourhood don’t need to be running on natural gas.” The Minister also stated that “home heating in the future is going to have to come from sources other than natural gas.”
“Nothing has been more damaging to household budgets and to our economy than the province’s electricity rates,” added MPP Yakabuski. “The elimination of affordable natural gas would devastate family budgets and destroy the province’s natural gas industry. This government seems intent on making life more unaffordable in Ontario.”
“Kathleen Wynne’s ministers make no secret of being completely out of touch with Ontarians and with the realities of not living in downtown Toronto,” MPP Jim McDonell stated. “Natural gas is an affordable heating alternative for all Ontarians, especially residents of suburban and rural communities where Hydro One rate hikes are causing financial hardship for thousands. There is a strong desire by currently nonserviced areas to receive natural gas service, and Minister Murray’s comments throw a spanner into work being done by the Ontario Federation of Agriculture and other stakeholders to make natural gas expansion possible”.
The Cap-and-Trade scheme alone, being introduced in Ontario, is expected to increase the cost of home heating by $475 for every household.
“The Liberals take offence at affordability” MPP McDonell concluded. “They won’t stop until there’s no money left for any of life’s necessities”
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