Timiskaming-Cochrane MPP John Vanthof didn’t get anywhere with the Liberals over their plan to spend $5.5 million promoting their Hydro One plan. Vanthof wanted to know if the commercials will also tell Ontarians the plan will cost them an extra $21-billion over the next 20 years. Vanthof also wanted to know if the commercials will tell voters that their hydro bills will begin growing after next June’s provincial election. Vanthof directed his questions at Premier Kathleen Wynne but she deferred to her energy minister, Glenn Thibeault.
However, Thibeault avoided answering Vanthof’s questions and instead defended the expenditure saying the government has a responsibility to explain its programs and services to Ontarians. The energy minister says the commercials do that. Thibeault also says the ads refer people to a website that helps them save money on their hydro bills. The New Democrats have been hammering the Ontario Liberals this week over the advertisements. It was the NDP who released the documents showing the Liberals plan to spend several million dollars to advertise their Hydro plan. Although the government says the money is to help increase awareness about the initiative, the New Democrats claim the advertising is the Liberals’ way to counter the negative media coverage they received over the plan.