Kenora Rainy-River MPP Sarah Campbell has done her homework.
At Queen’s Park, Campbell brought a few more papers with her than usual. She brought thousands of petitions from her constituents – calling for a variety of changes to Hydro One.
“The petitions are calling upon the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to immediately return Hydro One to public hands. End the practice of paying for electricity that Ontario doesn’t need. Review and renegotiate bad private power contracts. End unfair rural delivery charges. Re-examine the impact that density has on cost. Cap private profit margins. End time of use billing. Negotiate the permanent removal of HST from electricity bills. I support this petition wholeheartedly,” she said.
Campbell says that Northerners are unfairly paying a skyrocketing price for electricity. She listed some of the issues that northwestern Ontario residents – as well as Ontario residents as a whole – have been dealing with.
“Peak-hour hydro rates have nearly quadrupled in the last ten years. Time of use pricing has not achieved its policy goals while punishing people with little flexibility with their hydro use. The Ontario Energy Board has raised rates after a mild winter, essentially penalizing Ontarians for doing too good of a job of conserving energy. Delivery charges and northern hydro bills often exceed the cost of electricity used, despite an abundance of locally generated electricity. Northerners are now left feeling like we are in a no-win situation when it comes to lowering our hydro bills,” she said.
In November, Ontario NDP leader Andrew Horwath initiated a debate on a motion that forced the NDP, Conservatives and Liberals to vote on whether Ontario would keep Hydro one privatized or to start the process to make the utility a publicly owned company once again. The motion did not pass.
NDP Energy Critic Peter Tabuns is also demanding that families should not be footing the bill for the $15 million redesign of Hydro One bills. The changes were prompted by complaints by customers that bills were difficult to understand, and follows over a year of research and consultations of over 5,000 customers, conducted by the utility.
For more information:
Leaders focus on hydro
Hydro One bill changes
Ontario voting on Hydro One