QUEEN’S PARK – During question period on Monday, NDP MPP Peggy Sattler told Premier Kathleen Wynne that seniors in London, both renters and homeowners, cannot afford their ever-increasing hydro bills. The MPP for London West said that instead of helping seniors, Wynne’s hydro scheme will drive up their electricity bills even more.
Leaked documents from the Liberal cabinet showed that Wynne’s hydro plan will actually cause hydro bills to soar.
“Many seniors, like Steve Everett and his wife, are living on fixed incomes, and have been hit hard by soaring hydro bills,” Sattler said. “Since the Everetts’ $800 monthly rent doesn’t include electricity, they are doing everything they possibly can to cut back their usage.
“They do their laundry off-peak and only turn the lights on when absolutely necessary. Over the winter they even shut off their electric heat, using blankets and a ceramic heater instead, and dressing in layers to stay warm. But still they faced hydro bills of $200 a month.
“People in London West cannot take any more hydro rate hikes. So why is the premier planning to implement a scheme that will jack up hydro rates even higher than they are now?”
Last month more than 100 people attended a hydro town hall organized by MPP Sattler in London West. She said they shared their fears and anxieties about their hydro bills, and the future of their children and grandchildren, because of the $40-billion hydro debt the Liberals are creating, and forcing bill-payers to pay back – with interest.
“Not only is the Wynne government’s hydro fiasco affecting tenants like the Everetts, it is causing London homeowners, like Kurt and Phyllis Gopaul, to worry they will lose their home,” Sattler said.
The Gopauls are seniors living on a fixed monthly income of $1,475, whose hydro and gas bills are eating up more than $400 a month – almost one-third of their monthly income. They applied for the OESP but were told they don’t qualify.
“They are worried that skyrocketing energy bills will make it impossible for them to pay their bills, and force them to have to give up their home,” Sattler said.
“Instead of a $40-billion borrowing scheme that will cause hydro bills to soar, will the premier listen to the concerns raised by Londoners? Will she reverse the privatization of Hydro One in order to bring down hydro rates once and for all?”