Defending A North Hastings Family With Hydro Problems

Mr. Todd Smith: My question this morning is for the Minister of Energy. Minister, too many Ontarians are getting to the point now where they’re having to choose between heating and eating. For one family in North Hastings who contacted my office, energy poverty is a reality. They’ve set up payment plans twice with Hydro One, only to end up defaulting both times. Last year when their child had to have surgery and unexpected expenses arose, they found themselves unable to set up further payment plan arrangements. Their complaints fell on deaf ears with the utility. My office had to work to get them a one-month extension. My office has become an unofficial complaints department for Hydro One.

On May 1, just two weeks ago, electricity rates went up by another 15%. Minister, why is your Liberal electricity policy such a failure? Will you fix it and will you stop forcing families to choose between heating and eating?

Hon. Bob Chiarelli: Mr. Speaker, for the record, the Ontario Energy Board announced an increase of 4.6%. We’ve heard many, many other numbers over there. There are a significant number of people across the province who are finding pressures—

The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): The member from Renfrew–Nipissing–Pembroke is warned, whether he’s in his seat …

Hon. Bob Chiarelli: Mr. Speaker, what I have never seen is any member of the Progressive Conservative Party, such as the member from Renfrew–Nipissing–Pembroke, actually sending out to their constituents the list of all the mitigation measures that are available in the province of Ontario, starting with the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit, starting with the Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit, the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program, the saveONenergy Home Assistance Program and, in the north, a very significant tax credit for customers.

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