This, our second commentary on Climate Change Questions to Leaders of the Ontario Political Parties, has been a challenge. We delivered our questions to Tim Hudak’s constituency riding and the Party’s Campaign Headquarters in Toronto. We didn’t get an answer directly from Mr. Hudak or his Party’s Election HQ but we twice received this response from his constituency office:
“Thank you for your email to Tim Hudak.
Please be advised that you have contacted the constituency office, which is a non-partisan office. We are not permitted to respond to election or campaign enquiries. Please direct your enquiries to the appropriate campaign office for a response. If you are not aware of who your local candidates are, please contact Elections Ontario at 1-800-677-8683 for more information.
During the campaign period, Mr. Hudak is not able to review and respond to enquiries. Should he be successful in his re-election, he would be pleased to respond to your enquiry.”
A bizarre response: Mr. Hudak does not consider an election as the appropriate time to ask questions of a party leader who wants to be the next Premier of Ontario.
So we went to the PC’s campaign Website. We could not find any reference to climate change, but we noted that the PC’s promised to make energy affordable. The party says it would stop expensive power subsidies, reduce costly bureaucracy and invest in more affordable sources of energy.
We tried to identify these “affordable sources of energy” worthy of provincial investment. We excluded nuclear power on the grounds of cost. Having just phased out coal fired plants, we assumed that no Ontario Government would invest in new sources of electricity powered by fossil fuels, even though this power is the most affordable in today’s energy demanding world.
Clearly the PC’s object to the cost of “expensive and inefficient wind energy”. They would cancel Feed In Tariffs that kick-started the provinces renewable program.
The best overview of PC policy we could find was not on the Campaign Website, but on a Website page maintained by the Ontario Association of Power Producers. The text, which was a summary of Hudak’s remarks to that Association, included the following:
“The current Liberal government has sometimes treated energy policy as a kind of social program, he [Hudak] said, and that needs to be changed.”
At this point we concluded that not only were we not on the same page as Mr. Hudak, we were not reading the same text book.
We confess failure: we cannot get to the bottom of the PC’s affordable energy policy or what, if anything, the PC’s would do about climate change.