November 29th, 2016

Singh to government: stop just apologizing and start fixing the problem with hydro rates

Today during Question Period Ontario NDP Deputy Leader Jagmeet Singh implored the Liberal government to stop just apologizing for high hydro rates and finally take some action to provide relief for people and businesses that are suffering.

“Bob and Janine of Sundridge, Ontario thought they’d be able to afford to retire. They had budgeted to live on Old Age and CPP,” said Singh.  “But then their Hydro bills started to climb. In spite of heating their home with wood,their hydro bill was almost as much as their rent and they were forced to leave their community, where Bob had lived for 80 years.  Bob and Janine didn’t need just an apology, they needed lower hydro bills.”

It’s not just seniors like Bob and Janine that are suffering under this Liberal government’s incredibly poor handling of Ontario’s energy system, small businesses are suffering too.  On Monday we learned that Mucci Farms, which has been growing tomatos in Kingsville for 45 years, is opening its newest greenhouse in Ohio, because of electricity costs.  Bert Mucci said, “We are paying one of the highest rates in North America… It's causing us to move out of Ontario right now.'

“Small business people are at their wits end,” said Singh. “The Windsor Essex Chamber of Commerce says they’re hearing from more and more businesses ready to relocate to Ohio, or simply go under because of their bills.  Admitting a mistake is a good step, but it doesn’t help a single small business owner.  Will the Acting Premier take a first step and stop the sell-off of Hydro One?”

Amidst the slew of non-responses to the NDP Deputy Leader’s questions today, the Minister of Energy touted various government programs that are simply inadequate in addressing the growing hydro bills of both families and businesses across Ontario.

“Over and over Liberal Ministers stand up in Question Period and pat themselves on the back and tell themselves what a great job they’re doing on hydro.  And every time they do that they show just how completely out of touch they are with people struggling to pay their bills,” finished Singh.