Open letter to Premier Kathleen Wynne about hydro costs

hydroMs. Wynne,

Your silence on the matter of skyrocketing hydro costs in Ontario is extremely disturbing.

Thousands of Ontarians, particularly those living in the rural areas, are suffering hardships as a result of the decisions that your government has made. The fact that you do not appear to be concerned with the welfare of Ontarians is extremely distressing.

We are witnessing the decimation of a once formidable Province at the hands of your government. In a democratic society, of which Ontario is one, the people are meant to be heard. It seems that you decided upon obtaining a majority government in the last election that you no longer have to listen to the people of this Province.

Your government’s decisions are responsible for Ontario businesses closing; for families having to choose between food and hydro, between hydro and rent, between hydro and Christmas and birthday gifts; seniors freezing during the day and racing around at night to do tasks that require electricity; for farmers facing the loss of their farms; and for shift workers paying premium rates to do laundry and vacuum their homes. And what about Ontarians with medical conditions that require equipment that runs on electricity? These are not the stories of someone who knows someone.

The subsidy programs that your energy minister, Bob Chiarelli, has put in place are not helping Ontarians. Ontarians do not need nor want more programs that discriminate between different income earners; they need a fair price for hydro for all Ontarians. Ontarians are not looking for handouts; they are looking for reasonable prices for a service that is readily available. Ontarians will never be content with paying exorbitant prices while your government is selling our surplus at a loss (a surplus that your minister states will exist at least until 2020). They will not be quiet as long as the company that they are forced to deal with is top heavy with executives whose salaries far exceed $100,000 while they try to get by with so much less.

Ontarians state that they cannot afford to pay the current price for hydro and your government responds with more increases. Not only is your government planning to significantly raise hydro charges, but it is also planning to introduce a carbon tax of some kind. Ontarians CANNOT AFFORD these charges. Ontarians cannot bear the burden of your green energy agenda. Ontarians DO NOT want this. Why are you forcing your agenda on them? Why is your government bent on crippling Ontarians financially despite their pleas?

Your minister states that, “Most importantly, most importantly, it is important that people take some of the responsibility themselves by way of conservation.” Well, Ms. Wynne what more do you expect people to do? Ontarians are already uncomfortable in their own homes. Your government dictated that the “smart” meters be installed and now Ontarians must do their laundry, use their dishwashers, vacuum, and cook their meals after 7:00 p.m. or pay a premium. They replaced all of their lights with CFLs and LEDs. They switched out their perfectly functional electric furnaces and baseboard heaters with natural gas, propane, or oil. They don’t turn up their heat until after 7:00 p.m. If they are home from work sick, they shiver under blankets and wait until 7:00 p.m. to turn up the heat. Please do not suggest buying solar panels or wind turbines on top of what they have already expended. Ontarians cannot keep up with their hydro bills so they certainly do not have any extra money for such idealistic luxuries.

Your minister is correct about one thing: the costs of services go up every year. What does not necessarily go up, and certainly not as fast as the cost of hydro, are the incomes of Ontarians.

If you care at all for Ontarians, not just the rich ones or the ones with a stake in wind turbines and solar panels, Ms. Wynne, please stop destroying the economic viability of this province.

Sincerely,

Tracy Simmons Ontario resident