London MPP Deb Matthews Opposes 30% Cut to Hydro Bills, Supports Privatized Hydro

QUEEN’S PARK – Deb Matthews, Liberal MPP for London North Centre and the Wynne government’s deputy premier, voted against cutting hydro bills for Ontarians by 30 per cent, and in favour of the privatization of Hydro One.

“Everyday families, businesses, municipalities and hospitals are hurting from the Wynne government’s sky-high hydro bills,” said Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath. “But, once again, the Wynne Liberals are focused on Premier Wynne and the Liberal party – not what Ontario people need.”

The vote was on a motion, Addressing the Root Causes of High Hydro Costs, that would have reduced hydro bills for businesses and families by up to 30 per cent. The plan includes eliminating mandatory time-of-use pricing, ending unfair rural delivery charges, and fixing problems in the system like oversupply and exporting power to other jurisdictions at a loss.

The motion would have adopted the NDP’s hydro plan – one it released weeks ago – and includes reversing the privatization of Hydro One. That move would pay for itself, and bring in an additional $7 billion in revenue to reinvest in Ontario.

“The cost of electricity has gone up over 300 per cent under the Liberal government, including 50 per cent just since Premier Wynne took office,” said Horwath. “Instead of taking a serious look at the NDP’s comprehensive and achievable plan, Wynne is musing about borrowing and sticking the next generation with as much as $40 billion in interest to buy some pre-election political relief for herself and her party. We’re all going to pay for that, one way or another.

“And she’s still planning to continue the disastrous sell-off of Hydro one. She’s still planning to charge time-of-use premiums that punish parents for cooking dinner at dinner time and seniors for staying home during the day. Not only does her approach fail to address the mess the Liberal and Conservative governments made of our hydro system – it drives us further in the wrong direction – including selling off even more of Hydro One.”