Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, Indigenous Affairs and Kenora Rainy-River MPP Greg Rickford has cancelled 758 renewable energy contracts across the province, in an effort to lower hydro bills for Ontario residents.

The Progressive Conservatives say that ratepayers across the province are set to benefit from $790 million in savings thanks to the decision to cancel and wind-down the renewable energy contracts, part of the PC party’s promise to cut residential hydro rates by 12 per cent.

"We clearly promised we would cancel these unnecessary and wasteful energy projects as part of our plan to cut hydro rates by 12 per cent for families, farmers and small businesses," said Rickford, in making the announcement.

"In the past few weeks, we have taken significant steps toward keeping that promise. For 15 years, Ontario families and businesses have been forced to pay inflated hydro prices, so the government could spend on unnecessary and expensive energy schemes. Those days are over," added Rickford.

The provincial government says that the cancelled projects did not reach any significant developmental milestones, and were terminated in their early stages – saving ratepayers more money.

Rickford also confirmed that the government intends to introduce a legislative amendment that, if passed, will protect hydro consumers from any costs incurred from the cancellation. Even after all costs are accounted for, the government says that ratepayers can expect to benefit from $790 million in savings from this decision.

Rickford wasn’t finished there however, he went on to introduce the Urgent Priorities Act and the Hydro One Accountability Act in legislature. Rickford says that the acts would improve transparency and accountability at Hydro One, will address Hydro One executive compensation, and will help lower hydro bills across the board.

The legislation also addresses still-striking instructors at York University.

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