Premier Wynne’s hydro costs continues to hurt northern businesses: MPP Campbell

(VIDEO)

QUEEN'S PARK– During question period Thursday, Kenora-Rainy River NDP MPP, Sarah Campbell, demanded answers from Premier Kathleen Wynne about why she has no plan to help local businesses like the Nickel Lake Lumber sawmill near Fort Frances, which has seen its hydro bill go up 50 per cent.

“The premier’s hydro plan does next to nothing to help medium-sized businesses like Nickel Lake Lumber,” Campbell said.

Campbell said under Wynne’s hydro mismanagement, the sawmill is too big to receive the eight per cent hydro rebate, and it will not receive any potential reductions restricted to small businesses. 

“The NDP’s plan would reduce hydro bills for all ratepayers, including medium-sized businesses like the Nickel Lake mill,” Campbell said.  “Why does the premier’s plan exclude medium-sized businesses from any savings she claims is coming?”

Nickel Lake Lumber employs 25 people near Fort Frances.

“Mr. Kendall Lundy, the owner, tells me he has ‘just about had it,’ and that ‘everyone’s jobs are in jeopardy,’” Campbell said. “Meanwhile his competitors in Minnesota have hydro bills that are half what he pays. What’s worse, he is subsidizing cheap hydro exports to these competitors, costing ratepayers like Mr. Lundy billions of dollars each year.”

“Why does the premier’s hydro scheme have no solution at all to rein in these wasteful hydro exports and reduce overall hydro costs?” Campbell asked.

This week, Economic Development Minister Brad Duguid confirmed that under the new Liberal hydro plan, many Ontario businesses would receive as little as 2 per cent savings, not the reductions the Wynne government initially claimed.