Wynne government failing northern families facing rising hydro bills: NDP MPP Bisson

Click here to view Gilles’ question.

Queen’s Park –  During Question Period this morning, Gilles Bisson, NDP MPP for Timmins-James Bay demanded that Premier Wynne take action to help northern families facing rising hydro bills despite reducing their electricity consumption.

“Hydro prices are a real issue for real people. It is not an abstract thing. There are citizens and businesses across this province that are being hurt,” Bisson said.

Bisson told Premier Wynne and her government about a couple from Kapuskasing, Mr. and Mrs. Oliva Sylvain, who are facing rising hydro bills despite taking measures prescribed by the Wynne government to conserve electricity, even heating their home with wood.

“They use electricity only as a backup if the wood fire was to go out. They used to pay about $275 a month for their electricity bill, but it started to go up some years ago, so they decided to take your advice, and that of your ministers, and to do everything they could to reduce their electricity bill by reducing consumption,” Bisson said.

“They have taken stuff offline. They have bought all of the LED lights they can get. They’ve done everything to reduce their hydro bill, but yet it went up. This month, they get their hydro bill and it’s 375 bucks.”

“How can anybody have confidence in your government when they do what you say they’re going to do, and yet their bill still goes up?” Bisson asked.

Premier Wynne passed the question to the Minister of Energy who admitted Northerners are facing rising hydro bills, and insisted the government’s conservation programs work.

Minister, it doesn’t work for Oliva. He has done everything, along with his wife, that they can do to reduce consumption. They’re doing what you asked, but their bill still goes up. This is why people are so frustrated. It’s not just the fact that they pay more. It’s the question that they do everything to save, and yet it still goes up,” Bisson said.

“Why don’t you admit that your entire hydro policy is a failure, and what we really need to do is to find a solution to reduce their hydro bills and stop talking about it and do something to help Monsieur and Madame Sylvain?”