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Wynne Liberals Announce 8% Energy Rebate to Replace 10% Rebate They Just Scrapped

September 12, 2016

Queen’s Park – Chatham-Kent-Essex MPP Rick Nicholls says that the Wynne Liberal government’s attempt at a reboot is actually a rehash that is too little, too late.

MPP Nicholls believes the government’s band aid proposal to rebate the HST on hydro bills fails to address the root cause of soaring rates that have doubled over the last decade, and noted that the government is leaving the door open to home heating cost increases.

“Short-term relief is desperately needed, but today’s announcement will not stop hydro bills from increasing,” said Nicholls. “They’re putting a band aid on a wound that requires sutures.”

“If the Wynne Liberals are serious about tackling the province’s energy crisis, the government would stop signing contracts for energy we don’t need which locks us into bad deals for years, and immediately halt any further sales of Hydro One shares,” Nicholls said.

This 8-per-cent reduction of the province’s HST portion comes shortly after the government scrapped the Clean Energy Benefit, which provided a 10-per-cent reduction on all parts of electricity bills.

“After scrapping other rebates, you’re actually getting less of a break on hydro rates than before and the government is trying to sell it as though you’re paying less. It’s just a shell game,” Nicholls said.

Nicholls is skeptical over the proposed hydro relief, because Premier Wynne personally voted against removing the HST from home heating bills in 2011.

“In 2011 I supported a bill that would have seen the HST charge removed from home heating bills, and guess who voted against that? Kathleen Wynne,” Nicholls said. “Premier Wynne will say and do anything to try to hold on to power.”

Nicholls was also disappointed that natural gas was not once mentioned during the speech, especially after it was revealed that added costs from the Wynne government’s cap-and-trade program will be hidden in delivery charges on natural gas bills.

“This government should respect Ontarians enough to be honest and transparent about the real costs that make up their hydro and home heating bills,” Nicholls stated. “Instead, they are misleading consumers by burying those extra costs under the delivery charges line.”