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'Hydro prices will soar', says party leader

NDP leader Horwath says Liberals ramming Fair Hydro Act through without enough public input; urges Sault residents to complain
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Andrea Horwath, Ontario NDP leader, and Joe Krmpotich, Sault Ste. Marie byelection NDP candidate, speak to reporters on the Sault boardwalk, May 19, 2017. Darren Taylor/SooToday

Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath is urging Saultites to speak up and be heard during Fair Hydro Act committee meetings the Ontario government is holding next week.

The Standing Committee on Justice Policy will hold public hearings concerning the hydro legislation in Toronto Tuesday May 23  through Thursday May 25.

“I encourage people to get hold of the clerk of the committee, you can do this by phone or written submission…the people of Sault Ste. Marie deserve to have a voice,” said Horwath, in town Friday to support Joe Krmpotich, the NDP’s Sault byelection candidate.

“I will be putting my name forward to speak at this committee,” Krmpotich said, promoting the NDP’s own plan to slash hydro rates by 30 per cent and stop the sale of Hydro One.

Those who cannot attend the committee hearings in Toronto may send a written submission to Christopher Tyrell, Clerk of the Committee, by 5 p.m. Thursday May 25 to Room 1405, Whitney Block, Queen’s Park, Toronto, ON M7A 1A2 or by email to ctyrell@ola.org  

Collect calls will also be accepted at (416) 325-3883.

Horwath once again ripped into leaked cabinet documents which, the NDP says, show the Liberal government’s plan to cut hydro rates by 25 per cent will actually cause rates to climb.

“The documents revealed the Fair Hydro Act, which the Liberals tabled in the Legislature, will actually cause hydro bills to soar by over 50 per cent throughout the next decade,” Horwath said, accompanied by Krmpotich at a media conference on the Sault Ste. Marie boardwalk near Station Mall.

Horwath attacked the Liberals for attempting to force the Fair Hydro Act through the Legislature in only a few days, and for allowing a mere 18 hours for the Ontario public to provide feedback on the bill during next week’s committee meetings.

“They’re not even waiting until the Sault has a representative at Queen’s Park who can speak out against this hydro hike,” Horwath said.

Horwath said it is worrisome the leaked document shows the Liberal plan will reduce hydro rates for the next four years, but that those rates will increase after that.

“People can’t afford it now.  There’s no way they can afford a 50 or 60 per cent increase in their bills four, six or 10 years from now…the Liberals are once again trying to buy votes for the next campaign.”

While encouraging the public to weigh in with their concerns over the Fair Hydro Act, Horwath said she will be formally voicing her criticism of the bill as NDP leader in the Legislature.

Horwath and Krmpotich had a full day of appearances scheduled Friday, planning to visit community members at the Algoma Residential Community Hospice (ARCH), Chartwell Collegiate Heights Retirement Residence, Community First Curling Centre and the Esquire Club.

The Sault Ste. Marie byelection will be held June 1.

Horwath, meanwhile, said the NDP will try to gather more information regarding OLG workers vote to decertify from the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) on Wednesday.

“It’s something I was shocked to hear…it’s disappointing.”

A group of OLG workers were certified with PSAC Local 946 in 2015, and had been in talks with OLG for the past year to secure their first collective agreement.

 



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Darren Taylor

About the Author: Darren Taylor

Darren Taylor is a news reporter and photographer in Sault Ste Marie. He regularly covers community events, political announcements and numerous board meetings. With a background in TV and Radio, Darren has been a reporter for 15 years.
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