FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 9, 2017
SIMCOE – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett called for the government to put the brakes on a planned hike in electricity distribution rates.
Hydro One recently filed an application with the Ontario Energy board to increase distribution rates, resulting in the average family paying another $141 annually.
Opposition Leader Patrick Brown recently wrote a letter to Premier Wynne, urging her not to allow the increase.
“This hydro rate increase, which begins January 1, 2018, is extremely unfair and unaffordable,” Brown wrote. “I am urging you to immediately reject this application, and all subsequent applications, until executive compensation is reined in at Hydro One and the government has stopped signing expensive, new, unneeded power contracts.”
But, the protests fell on deaf ears. Earlier this week, Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault said in a radio interview that he would not use his powers to stop an unfair and unaffordable rate hike for Hydro One customers.
When asked by Andrew Lawton on AM980 if he would issue a ministerial directive to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) to reject an application for a $141 per year increase he said, “so right now, I’m not going to ask them to consider rejecting anything.”
“The premier is talking out of both sides of her mouth,” Barrett said. “On one hand she cut rates to try to boost her popularity while a month later she allows an increase in distribution rates that will counter the cut. Did the cost of distribution actually go up, or just the cost of Hydro One executive salaries?”
Barrett continues to hear regularly from ratepayers struggling to pay their electricity bills.
The Ontario PC Party is fighting the proposed distribution rate hike by launching the web site www.StopTheRateHike.ca to encourage people to write the Ontario Energy Board. The deadline is Wednesday, June 14.
“We knew all along that Kathleen Wynne would raise rates after the next election, but we didn’t think she would raise them before the next election,” Barrett said.
Since the cut in prices, Ontario’s Financial Accountability Officer confirmed Opposition allegations that electricity rates will actually increase in the long term.
For more information, contact MPP Toby Barrett at 519-428-0446 or [email protected]