On Friday, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and NDP byelection candidate Joe Krmpotich visited with local business owners and employers Lucy and Steve Fronzi to discuss their soaring hydro bills.
“Business owners like the Fronzis are job creators in this community,” said Horwath. “They need relief from their soaring hydro bills, but Wynne and her Liberals are offering the exact opposite.”
Hydro bills will get much higher after two major developments this week. First, the Wynne Liberals doubled down on their disastrous privatization, and moved to sell-off a majority stake of Hydro One. Then, on Thursday, confidential Liberal documents leaked by a whistleblower suggest the Wynne government plans to pay for its bizarre borrowing scheme by hiking hydro bills, reaching to an average of an extra $72 per household, per month.
“It’s absolutely shocking that Premier Wynne still doesn’t understand that families simply can’t take anymore,” said Horwath. “Then again, the hikes won’t come until after the election – so maybe she just doesn’t care.
“People like Lucy and Steve in the Sault shouldn’t have to pay for Premier Wynne’s political games.”
The Fronzis own five small franchises in the Sault area including a number of Country Style restaurants. Their hydro bills have been going up for years and have now reached $2,000 per month at each location. They employ over 50 people and are worried about the impact that their skyrocketing hydro bills will have on their ability to provide jobs in the Sault.
“We have done everything we can to keep costs down. We installed timers on all the lights in our businesses, we switched everything over to LED and we’ve even installed we’ve even installed a mechanism to control the energy used for the freezer doors,” said Lucy Fronzi. “We’ve done everything right, but still our hydro bills are insane. The NDP has a good solid plan to fix this mess and I liked what I heard today from Andrea and Joe, so I’m hopeful for the future.”
“What we saw from Lucy and Steve is genuine concern not for themsleves, but for the people they employ in our community who will be out of work if something isn’t done soon to relieve the pressure that these ludicrously high hydro bills are causing,” said Krmpotich.
New Democrats know that electricity isn’t a luxury, and it shouldn’t be priced like one. If elected in 2018, the NDP will fix the electricity system broken by private power deals signed by Liberals and Conservatives and reduce hydro bills for Ontarians by up to 30 per cent. New Democrats will put Hydro One back into public hands where it belongs, so that the benefits can help fund hospitals, schools and vital public services and so that business owners like the Fronzis will finally get some much-needed help in their mission to create decent jobs in the Sault.