PCs and Liberals outline energy plans

Plans for P.E.I.'s electricity and renewable energy future were laid out Monday by the two main political party leaders — just one week away from the election.

Plans for P.E.I.'s electricity and renewable energy future were laid out Monday by the two main political party leaders — just one week away from the election.

Electricity and energy are always important issues for Island voters because the costs are high and Maritime Electric holds a near monopoly on power distribution in the province. That's why both major parties set out their energy platforms in this final week of campaigning.

Progressive Conservative Leader Olive Crane promised more wind and renewable energy projects, and said her party would protect wind as a natural resource for the province.

She said her government would provide incentives to Islanders to invest in small-scale energy projects and would provide assistance for low-income Islanders to heat their homes.

"A new Progressive Conservative government will implement a home heating oil subsidy for Islanders who struggle to pay their bills," said Crane.

She also said the PCs would review the Liberals' new energy accord with Maritime Electric.

Meanwhile, Ghiz said again how his government had provided Islanders with predictable electricity rates until 2016 and signed an energy accord with Maritime Electric that cut rates by 14 per cent for two years.

Ghiz also repeated an old promise to build 40 more megawatts of wind and renewable energy.

"The Liberal team is confident that these measures, coupled with our previoius work in creating a sustainable and safe environment, will further promote the interests of all Islanders," he said.

Both Ghiz and Crane said they'd try to convince Ottawa to pay some of the $90-million cost to provide a third power cable to New Brunswick, but that's proven to be a tough sell.

There was a surprise visitor at the Liberal press conference.

Martie Murphy, the PC candidate for the York-Oyster Bed district, watched the press conference and talked to some party supporters.

She said the Liberal press conference was in her riding and she wanted to hear her opponent's plans for the environment and electricity. Murphy left right after the formal part of the event ended.