Will people in the Northwest see 20% off their hydro bills, as promised?
Sarah Campbell, MPP for Kenora-Rainy River called upon the Ontario Liberals to state how many people in Northwestern Ontario will qualify for a 20% savings on their hydro bills.
CAMPBELL DEMANDS PREMIER COME CLEAN ABOUT LEAVING OUT KENORA-RAINY RIVER FAMILIES FROM RURAL HYDRO REBATE
Queen’s Park – During Question Period today, Kenora-Rainy River MPP Sarah Campbell demanded answers from the Premier about why the Liberal government is leaving out most northern rural families from its rural hydro rate relief program.
“According to Statistics Canada there are about 1.8 million people who live in rural Ontario. The Premier has told rural Ontarians that they will see an additional 12 per cent on average savings off their hydro bill from an enhanced rural rate relief program. But it turns out, only 330,000 rural customers will see the extra savings, including non-residential customers,” Campbell said.
“When will the government tell people in Kenora-Rainy River how many of them will be getting 20 per cent off their hydro bills, and how many won't?”
New regulations will force local utilities to start adding special government messaging about rural rate relief on their hydro bills.
“You can bet these bills won’t mention that most northern and rural Ontarians are not getting the full 12 per cent savings in the rural rate relief,” Campbell said. “And they need relief. One woman in my riding recently wrote to me and said, ‘My husband is on disability. My goal now is to work until 70 and then drop dead,’ because she can’t afford out-of-control hydro rates.”
“When will the Premier tell us how many people in Kenora-Rainy River will actually get the full 12 per cent in rural rate relief, and how many people will just get another high bill with government spin?” Campbell said.
Residents in Kenora-Rainy River have contacted MPP Campbell to tell her they can no longer afford their hydro bills. Residents like a Dryden-area senior, whose total income is $880 a month, while her hydro bill is $1000 a month.
“This senior lives in a tiny trailer. Hydro One told her she needs a new furnace, but she can’t get out from underneath her hydro bills to afford a new one. My office is holding off the disconnection. She was afraid she would be disconnected while she was in the hospital for surgery,” Campbell said.
Another woman living on a First Nations reserve in Kenora-Rainy River is now living in a hotel room because her hydro was disconnected. Her hydro bills are higher than her monthly income.
“She was on home dialysis on reserve, but when she had to go for a short hospital visit in Thunder Bay, her hydro was disconnected. She couldn’t go home, so instead the government is now paying to put her up in a hotel room,” Campbell said.
“The Wynne Liberal government is allowing people and their families in Kenora-Rainy River to go through these hardships without any relief. And they will make life worse for even more people by selling off the rest of Hydro One, driving up hydro bills even higher.”