Helping Christie Lake Kids instead of subsidizing pollution
My October electricy bill has arrived and this issue's 10% pollution subsidy (or "Clean Energy Benefit" as it's called on the bill) is $6.96. This will be the smallest amount for the year but, across Ontario, the 10% discount adds up to $950 million in new debt. This is money down the drain today and more money down the drain forever to pay the interest charges.
There are much better things we could do with that amount of money:
- Not spend it, avoiding $1 billion a year in debt just to make electricity seem cheaper than it really is.
- Shift the subsidy to HST rebates or a similarly progressive system. My house doesn't need this help. Someone else needs this help AND MORE. Send my discount to them please.
- Fix our schools.
Until a Green MPP is elected this will never come up during Question Period. The Liberals already spend $1 billion a year subsidizing electricity. The NDP and PCs will expand that by $400 million to subsidize home-heating too. It's popular to tell voters your party supports "helping them with their bills" even though it's a shell game, and the "help" comes from the next generation that will have to pick up the tab. It's a morally bankrupt proposal and it makes steam come out of my ears everytime I open up my bill.
For the moment all I can do is take control of my share of this budget atrocity. Last time I sent my share of the new debt to a good cause: Causeway Work Centre. This time I'm redirecting my $6.96* subsidy to Christie Lake Kids (Ottawa Citizen). They deserve help because they do good work with the money.
If Ontario is going to go into debt on my behalf, it's going to be for a good cause, not to mollify me as a voter.
My next bill will arrive in December. Do you have a suggestion on where the next pollution subsidy could go? Also, if you do join this mini ad-hoc campaign against wasteful spending I'd love to hear about it!
Let's do some good while we have to suffer the bad.
(* Christie Lake Kids is a registered charity. I actually sent in $50 because after rebates it's less out of pocket and I wanted to make sure I covered any credit card fees that would come off the top. Also: a good cause plain and simple.)