Canadian Transportation Museum & Heritage Village in Essex facing soaring hydro bills, potential closure

Today during Question Period the Ontario NDP raised the case of skyrocketing hydro bills at the Canadian Transportation Museum & Heritage Village in Essex and demanded to know why the Wynne Liberals still haven’t taken any action to help Ontario families and organizations that are struggling to keep up.

“Staff at the Canadian Transportation Museum & Heritage Village reached out to the NDP to tell us that they are receiving hydro bills so high that don’t know if they can keep the museum doors open,” said Essex MPP Taras Natyshak.  “By privatizing Hydro One and hiking the cost of hydro bills, the Wynne government has squeezed an important piece of heritage in my community.  How did Wynne let it come to this?”

The museum cannot hire needed staff and they can’t grow their Children's Education program to reach more students in the region. They have put exhibition design on the back burner and much-needed capital projects have been put on hold.

“Due to the increase in hydro bills, particularly the delivery and global adjustment costs, we have been put in a position of questioning whether the museum can sustain itself and continue to operate in the public trust of Canada, hosting our classic car collection and heritage homes,” said museum official Megan Meloche. “Our bookkeeper is forced to choose who can be paid at which time, because we simply do not have the revenue to keep us afloat.” 

The NDP’s plan for hydro will lower hydro bills for everyone, including the museum, by up to 30 per cent. It will reverse the Liberal and Conservative governments’ costly privatization in our energy system, bringing Hydro One back into public hands; as well as take a number of immediate steps and long-term fixes that will ensure that hydro bills in Ontario go down, and stay down.

The NDP plan is in stark contrast to Premier Kathleen Wynne’s press releases and PR stunts. Although her Liberal government is buying ads about hydro – paid for with public money – it’s still leaving families to pay massive hydro bills every month.

“We want a cut to hydro bills implemented immediately, but Wynne’s Liberals voted against doing that,” said Natyshak. “Plus, our plan will bring an additional $7 billion in dividends to the province – money that can be used in schools, hospitals and for the public good. It’s a win-win.”

The Conservatives haven’t provided any sort of a plan at all to deal with sky-high hydro bills.