March 1st, 2017

MPP Natyshak calls on premier to keep promise to reduce unfair rural hydro rates

During question period this morning, Essex NDP MPP Taras Natyshak, demanded that Premier Kathleen Wynne honour her promise to reduce rural hydro bills after sharing the story of an Essex woman whose hydro bill has skyrocketed since last year. 

“Mrs. Linda Eaton shared her hydro bills with me.  Last year, her January bill was $372.  The premier promised that bills would go down for rural ratepayers like Mrs. Eaton. But that is not what happened. This year, her January bill was over $500. And her hydro delivery charges have doubled in just two years,” Natyshak said. 

“Will the premier provide real relief for ratepayers like Mrs. Eaton, and reduce her rural delivery rates to what urban households pay, as the NDP has proposed?” 

Natyshak said families in rural Ontario continue to face ever-increasing bills simply because they live in a rural area. The delivery rate problem is only made worse by Wynne’s decision to charge time-of-use premiums.

“Mr. and Mrs. Eaton are seniors living on fixed incomes. They don’t have access to natural gas. They have no choice but to heat with hydro.  And they have done what the premier has told them in order to lower their bills,” Natyshak said. 

“They do their laundry and dishes during off-peak hours. They keep their living room temperature at 18 degrees. They even keep their kitchen at 13 degrees.  But their hydro bills keep going up, even though the premier promised they would go down. 

“Will the premier get rid of unfair rural delivery rates, and reduce the bills for families like the Eatons?”

On Monday, Ontario’s New Democrats released a plan for Ontarians to own more and pay less for electricity in the province. The plan would see Ontarians’ hydro bills cut by up to 30 per cent through a comprehensive plan to fix the system. The NDP will bring Hydro One back into public ownership, end mandatory time-of-use pricing and end premium delivery charges. The plan will start lowering bills immediately, and will result in billions of dollars being returned to Ontario instead of ending up in the hands of private and foreign corporations.