City Councillor Joe Krmpotich, the NDP candidate in the upcoming Sault. Ste. Marie by-election, says the concern he hears most often when he is out talking to people in his community is their skyrocketing hydro bills.
“Nearly every day, I talk to someone who has a hydro horror story,” said Krmpotich on Monday. “Last week, I spoke with the Campbells. They’re seniors, and their bill has gone up to $350 a month. They are on a fixed income – how does Premier Wynne expect this couple to get by? Does she understand the value of $350 to a couple on a fixed pension? And why won’t the Conservatives say what they’d do about sky-high hydro bills?”
Margaret and Wilmuir Campbell told Krmpotich that they have done everything they can to keep bills down. They even try hard to avoid using appliance and lights during peak hours, but it never seems to be enough – and the bills just keep getting bigger.
“My hydro bill is too high and the supposed plan that the Liberals have come up with is nowhere to be seen,” said Mr. Campbell. “I say, their plan is what got us in this mess in the first place. My wife and I are elderly, and we only have a certain amount of money per month to live on – keeping up with our hydro bill really hurts our finances.”
Krmpotich also spoke to Jamie LaCross while out canvassing last week. Jamie is a mom of two who told him that she has completely shut off the electric heat in her home, and is now keeping the house livable using propane heaters.
That’s because LaCross’ hydro bills had gotten up to a whopping $1,200 per month, she said.
“People like Jamie are doing their best to make a good life for their little ones right here in the Sault,” said Krmpotich. “But Kathleen Wynne doesn’t get it. She’s using public dollars to run ads about hydro – but she’s not actually fixing the problem. For a mom like Jamie, that makes no sense.”
Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath asked the Liberal government today in question period what she was going to do to fix the mess she made in the hydro system. While Horwath has already released a complete plan to cut hydro rates, Premier Kathleen Wynne’s failure to take action means the Campbell and LaCross families have no idea if, or when, relief could come for them. The Conservatives also have no plan at all – but at one time supported the privatization of Hydro One.
The plan from Horwath and the NDP will cut hydro bills by as much as 30 per cent, and includes returning Hydro One to public hands – a move that will provide Ontario with an additional $7 billion that can be invested in Ontario services. The NDP plan is in stark contrast to the Wynne government’s suggestion that they’ll use a band-aid borrowing scheme that will force people to pay $40 billion more in interest to bankers.