Over the past several months, my office has heard from so many Kingstonians who are experiencing significantly higher hydro bills every single month than they are used to. A number of Kingstonians who called my office said that their bills have gone up $100 compared to the same month last year.
For over 100 years, affordable, public electricity helped build Ontario into an economic powerhouse and a province where opportunity attracted people from across Canada and the entire world. It has allowed each successive generation to build new opportunities. However, since the Conservative and the Liberal governments privatized Ontario’s hydro system, the system has come to include healthy profit margins for private and foreign companies, all at the expense of Ontario ratepayers and their families.
The current government did inherit a mess from the Liberals, but they’re making it worse. Few issues exemplify the incompetence of governments like the energy sector in Ontario. While campaigning in 2018, the Premier did promise that he would reduce electricity rates by 12%. Instead, they’ve jumped significantly, from 13 cents to 21 cents per kilowatt hour for some folks, since the Premier took office. Even band-aid solutions like the Ontario Electricity Rebate—my constituents are still paying more, even making use of those programs. During a pandemic, with so much financial strain, this is unfair for the people of Ontario.