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

Bill Walker MPP

Media Release:

Media Release: image

For Immediate Release
June 21, 2017

MPP Walker tells OEB to zap hydro hikes

OWEN SOUND – Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker today told the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) hearing in Owen Sound to reject an application for a rate hike at Hydro One in the name of fairness and affordability.

“The rate hike should be rejected, and all subsequent applications for rate increases from Hydro One should be rejected until executive compensation is brought in line with other Canadian jurisdictions,” said Walker.

He said Hydro One should not raise rates while it at the same time allows its CEO to take home $4.5 million a year, which is ten times higher than those of the CEOs of Hydro-Quebec and B.C. Hydro.

“Everyday local families are struggling to put food on the table, local businesses are struggling to stay in the black and our public institutions like hospitals and schools are forced to divert money from public services because hydro costs keep climbing higher and higher. “

He explained that Hydro One wants OEB approval to hike distribution rates, adding another $141 to the average family’s bill in five years.

“Consider that families have already faced hikes between $1,000 and $1,400 per year. Some 60 households in my riding of Bruce–Grey–Owen Sound alone had their lights, heat and hydro shut off in the fall of 2014 because they could not afford the monthly bills,” Walker said.

“Likewise, small business operators like Pat Cottrell of Saugeen Cedars Campground and Peter Knipfel of the Chesley Grocery Store are finding it harder and harder to stay in business. In 2011, Pat’s cost for electricity was $8,000 per year; today, it’s $37,000. And with Peter’s hydro bills at $119,100 a year, 120% higher than in 2003, how long can they keep absorbing the costs before they shutter? Meanwhile, Grey Bruce Health Services saw its hydro bills rise by $350,000 a year, a 40% increase in just one year.

“This is not the direction the government should be taking,” Walker warned. “It’s irrational to try to burden hard-working Ontarians with another unaffordable rate hike while Hydro One CEO takes home $4.5 million a year.”

Walker said he was disappointed the Liberal government has refused to stand up for ratepayers who have already overpaid their hydro bills by $37-billion since 2006 and who, according to the province’s budget watchdog, will continue to pay higher rates under the government’s so-called Fair Hydro scheme.

“I’m asking you to stand up for the people of Ontario, and to stop this attack on the wallets of hard-working Ontarians,” said Walker.

CONTACT: Ana Sajfert | | 416-325-6242

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