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Rebates for electricity nice, but not enough: Smith

Rebates to offset high electricity rates were offered in the Ontario Liberal government throne speech Monday.

Hastings Prince Edward MPP Todd Smith, Associate Energy Critic for the official opposition at Queen’s Park, says some relief is there but it’s not the solution as rates are going up again in November and next May.

Lt.-Gov. Elizabeth Dowdeswell delivered the speech outlining priorities before the next election, expected to be in the spring of 2018.

Beginning in January 2017, the government will remove an amount equal to the provincial portion – eight per cent – of the sales tax from hydro bills. Rebates of about 20 per cent on bills for eligible residents in rural areas where electric heating is more prevalent. Small businesses will also receive the rebate.

“Whether in Kenora, Sudbury, Belleville, London or Barrie, your government has listened to and has heard your concerns. It recognizes that the cost of electricity is now stretching family budgets,” she said. “It will therefore act on an idea it has heard from many individuals and groups.”

The amount for a typical household was stated to be a $130 rebate per year. Rural residents who are eligible for the low income rate could save about $45 a month, or $540 a year.

“Premier Kathleen Wynne voted against an HST rebate for your electricity bills in 2011, said Smith. “So, when it was only hurting you, the premier was against it. Now that it’s politically hurting her, she’s all for it.”

Smith notes that in the five years he’s been at Queen’s Park he’s raised the issue of hydro rates and electricity prices more than 160 times in speeches, petitions and debates.

“It’s taken five years for Kathleen Wynne to finally clue in that thousands of Ontarians have had to choose between heating and eating because of her energy policies.”

Highlights of the speech also include:

– An additional 100,000 licensed chid care spaces over the next five years for children age four and under.

– Emphasis on math skills following the determination that half of Ontario’s Grade 6 students failed to meet provincial standards, a decline that has continued for five years.

– Adding an estimated 350,000 hours of nursing care and 1.3 million hours of personal support to enhance home care.

– Over the next five years 18 hospitals will complete major renovations or rebuilds, and approximately20 more major projects will get under way.

– Over the next five years about 5,000 kilometres of highways are to be built or repaved and more than 750 bridges buit, repaired or rebuilt.

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. hockeynan says:

    If we don’t need the power how come they shut my air conditioning on and off this summer as I have a peaksaver thermostat. Also they pay 13 cents a kilowatt for wind energy.there fore they shouldn’t charge any more as they don’t have a cent invested as we pay delivery charges

  2. wevil says:

    she dumps on us again no surprise

  3. Chris Keen says:

    Wynne’s “generosity” in removing roughly $130 per year from my hydro bills makes it crystal clear that she has no idea what she is doing and hasn’t listened to rural Ontario at all. This is simply insulting. This money will have to be made up elsewhere, and guess who will be doing that? We will. With it or without it we continue to lose.

    The solution to this issue lies in the cancellation of ALL outstanding wind/solar projects immediately. We do not need the power, nor do we need to pay billions and billions to produce it to then sell it for cents on the dollar to the U.S.

  4. Marnie says:

    With rates increasing the rebates for those who qualify do little more than maintain the status quo. Big deal.

  5. Gary says:

    Wow! Hooray!! That will pay for a half month of County water fees. Oh, but rate increases still coming in November and May. Get rid of the Turbines and solar and get affordable prices back. Soon, before every industry leaves this have not Province! We have Hydro trucks backed up to every food joint from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. And add in a free lunch on the taxpayer.

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