PRIVATIZATION. No one uses this word to explain the obvious reason our electricity bills are so high in Ontario. Canadians in other provinces are paying less for electricity. Critics of the high bills blame “government incompetence” as the main reason for the high bills. No critics use the “P” word.
Paul Kahnert, a retired Toronto Hydro worker, has written several articles on the reason for Ontario’s high electrical bills. Two of the articles are linked below. He wrote the first article on June 9, 2014, before the provincial election on June 12. He wrote the second article on February 22, 2017. The second article says the same as the first, but goes into more detail.
According to Kahnert, Adam Beck pushed for publicly owned electricity in 1905. Beck was a Conservative Member of Provincial Parliament. Beck had the support of industry and business leaders who were tired of “being gouged by private power producers.”
Everything was fine until 1998 when Conservative Premier Mike Harris, promising lower electricity rates, started privatizing electricity. The Conservatives dodged the question, “How do you get lower rates when you add in profits to generators, profits to distributors, profits to retailers, dividends to investors and commissions to commodities brokers?”
In 2003, when he was elected, Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty promised to reverse what Mike Harris had started. Premier McGuinty broke his promise and continued the privatization process. And Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne is still continuing to the privatization process.
So now we are once again “being gouged by private power producers.” Paul Kahnert is the only one I have seen use the “P” word as the reason for the gouging. The mainstream media and politicians don’t mention the “P” word as the reason. Why?
We always hear how privatization will lower costs, yet it hasn’t so far. The public always ends up paying more when something is privatized.
Hold onto your wallets when you see the “P” word.
I have mentioned my conservative friend before. His thinking is black and white. Conservatives are good and Liberals are bad. Only Conservatives do any good for the country.
I love how he rationalizes, or spins things, to keep his beliefs the same.
“Only Conservatives do any good for the country?” I asked him.
“That’s right!” he said.
“But you’re currently collecting a Canada Pension that the Liberals introduced way back when,” I said.
“Are you sure it was the Liberals that introduced it? I thought it was the Conservatives,” he said.
“The Conservatives opposed it. Judy LaMarsh helped push the Canada Pension Plan through under Prime Minister Lester Pearson’s Liberal government,” I said.
“So?” he said. “Back then Liberals were more like Conservatives.”
The other day he heard about the Auditor General’s report on the Immigration Department allowing people with criminal records, using fraudulent ways, to become Canadian citizens. He let loose with a rant.
“See? Those goddamn Liberals will do anything to get more votes! They allowed people who should not have become Canadian citizens to become citizens! The Liberals are incompetent! They got duped by immigrants.”
And he went on and on and on about how the Liberal immigration policies are ruining Canada.
When I read the news article, I saw that the period of the audit was from July, 2014 to October, 2015. The Conservatives were in power until October, 2015, and then the Liberals were voted in. The immigration problems occurred under the Conservative’s watch. I brought this to my friend’s attention.
“You’re wrong,” he said.
“Check it out,” I said. “You have the paper there.”
“Okay, but letting in immigrants to get votes is what Liberals always do,” he said.
“But it looks as if the Conservatives were doing it,” I said.
“But the Conservatives don’t do this. It’s a Liberal ploy. Conservatives are tough on immigration. Liberals are soft.”
“Well, they weren’t too tough from July, 2014 to October, 2015,” I said.
“Well,” he said, “you can’t judge the Conservatives by what happened the past few months they were in office. For the past nine years they’ve been tough on immigration. The Liberals are soft.”
“Few months? Try fourteen months. And it was likely going on before July, 2014. Perhaps the past nine years,” I said.
“No it wasn’t,” he said.
“How do you know?”
“Because the Conservatives are tough on immigration and Liberals are soft.”
“But Conservatives allowed immigrants with criminal records to become Canadian citizens.”
“Why are you picking on the Conservatives for something that happened for a few months, when it’s the Liberals who are ruining the country with their immigration policies?”
See how my rational conservative friend is always right?
I have mentioned my dear conservative friend before. He hates liberals. No matter what liberals do, it is wrong, wrong, wrong. Liberals could come up with a cure for cancer and he would find something wrong with it.
Liberals run the government in Ontario. My friend goes on long rants about how they are ruining the economy. Yet the Canadian economy is not doing well with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his conservatives at the helm. My friend blames “the world’s poor economy” and not the conservatives.
He will go on about the corrupt acts involving liberals. When I point out corruption involving conservatives, my friend says, “Oh that’s a nothing story. I would not waste my time reading about it.” Fascinating how he refuses to see the double standard with his thinking. Any news story about conservative misdeeds is always a “nothing story.” No matter how minor a liberal misdeed is, it’s a great sin.
Sometimes he cannot dismiss a conservative-misdeed story as “nothing.” He has a catchall solution. If I mention such a story he says, “Alright. Let’s move on. This topic is boring me.” By ignoring the facts, he can keep his fantasy world where conservatives are good and liberals are bad.
How fascinating that some of us will believe what we want to believe no matter what facts stare us in the face. We find ways to justify beliefs we want to keep.
A friend of mine is a stanch conservative. Let’s call him Kenny, Kenny Conservative.
According to Kenny, conservatives can do no wrong. Recently I mentioned how U.S. President George Bush lied about Saddam Hussein having weapons of mass destruction. Kenny said that I was wrong because Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. I said that they never found the weapons of mass destruction, and Bush had lied to justify invading Iraq.
“Just because they never found them doesn’t mean that Hussein never had them,” said Kenny. “Bush never lied. The liberal media twisted the facts.”
I could not believe what I heard, but Kenny was serious.
In Kenny’s world, there are no grays or uncertainties. Things are either black or white, good or bad, right or wrong. Conservatives are always right and good; liberals are always wrong and bad.
Kenny worships Rush Limbaugh. If Rush Limbaugh said that the moon was made of red cheese, then Kenny would believe that the moon is made of red cheese. Any scientific proof showing otherwise would be “a plot by the liberal media to discredit Rush Limbaugh.”
Another example of Kenny’s rational thinking concerns God and afterlife. Kenny says that there is no God or afterlife. During one of our discussions, I asked Kenny, “What if a scientist produced scientific proof of God and an afterlife? Would you accept this scientific proof?”
“No,” said Kenny.
“Because,” said Kenny, “the scientist would be wrong.”
“How is he wrong if he produces scientific proof?”
“The scientist is wrong because there is no God or afterlife, and the scientist cannot prove what does not exist.”
Kenny makes me ask, “Do I twist truth to fit my beliefs?” I probably do. But unlike Kenny, I am not afraid of uncertainty or life’s gray areas.
Although he would never admit it, Kenny trembles with fear behind his rigid beliefs.