Ontario’s Liberal government went on the offensive Thursday, gearing up into full campaign mode even though the provincial election isn’t until next October.

The election issue, according to Finance Minister Dwight Duncan, is energy and what he says is the Progressive Conservatives’ lack of credibility on the issue.

The Tory experiments with opening the electricity market to competition and then freezing rates left Ontario struggling just to keep the lights on after they were defeated in 2003, said Duncan, who claimed the Opposition doesn’t have a plan for the future.

“It’s the beginning of an election and it’s about time the Opposition said where they stand,” said Duncan.

“(Opposition Leader Tim) Hudak’s hiding out, distorting facts.”

The Liberals released their $87-billion, long term electricity plan this week, showing rates will jump 46 per cent in the next five years as the province turns off coal-fired generation, builds new nuclear reactors and moves to more green energy sources.

It’s the Liberals who are in power, so it’s their energy plan that should be debated, said Opposition energy critic John Yakabuski.

“It’s clear that he doesn’t want to talk about their plan,” said Yakabuski.