Photo: Bill Walker
Bill Walker MPP Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound

Bill Walker MPP

Media Release:

For Immediate Release
May 16, 2017

Government's hydro plan will make rates higher than ever been before: Walker

QUEEN’S PARK -- Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker says the government's hydro reduction plan should be scrapped immediately as it will force unprecedented hikes on already strapped ratepayers in Ontario.

“It’s electioneering. Short-term gain for long-term pain,” said Walker.

Walker’s comments arrive after a leaked cabinet document showed the government’s debt financing plan for Ontario hydro rates will send bills skyrocketing after the next election. By 2024, the rates will hit a new record high in Ontario.

“Sadly, the documents show the government is still in denial that hydro rates are a true and persistent problem for people’s pocketbooks. This is why they set up the rate reduction to last only until after the next election,” Walker said. “

Their plan also includes the return of the contentious Debt Retirement Charge (DRC). But at $22 a month, the new debt retirement charge will be four times bigger than the original one.

“This $40-billion hydro rate reduction plan is nothing more than a short-term ploy to feed their re-election narrative. The secret documents clearly reveal that rates will go back to record levels, thus not serving the benefit of the ratepayers in the long run,” Walker said.

“And most upsetting is they have transferred the responsibility for this debt shell-game to our kids and grandkids,” he said. “Rather than taking action to address the issue of exorbitant rates today, they borrowed more money and pushed the payback out for another 10 years while trying to tell you should enjoy the reduction. How can they be proud of a 25 per cent rebate when they have been responsible for a 200-400 per cent increase in rates over their tenure?”

Walker explained that the cabinet document was leaked by a whistleblower who was troubled by the government’s plan that was going to make the problem worse for Ontario ratepayers.

Average monthly residential bills will jump to an average of $151 per month in 2023. By 2024, rates rise to a record $161 per month. Rates will rise again in 2026 to an average of $183 per month. By 2030, that number rockets to $216 per month.

“It’s designed to get them through the next election,” he said. “It’s designed to provide short-term political gain for themselves, in exchange for long-term pain for the rest of us. Most of their members elected today will probably not be in the Legislature when this has to be repaid and will not have to be responsible for their actions. It’s reprehensible.”

Walker also voiced his constituents’ concerns during yesterday’s debate on Bill 132.

Year                        Average Monthly Residential Bill
2010                       $104
2015                       $136
2016                       $158
2017                       $123
2018                       $126
2019                       $128
2020                       $131
2021                       $133
2022                       $142
2023                       $151
2024                       $161
2026                       $183
2030                       $216
2040                       $225

CONTACT: Ana Sajfert | | 416-325-6242

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