Sudbury

PC leader Brown touring northern Ontario, targets skyrocketing hydro rates

As Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown makes his way through northern Ontario as part of his second annual “Northern Driving Tour,” the message he continues to hear from people is clear: lower hydro rates.

Sault, Kapuskasing and North Bay on travel itinerary, Sudbury skipped

Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown is touring the northern part of the province today, taking aim at skyrocketing hydro rates. (Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press)

As Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown makes his way through northern Ontario as part of his second annual "Northern Driving Tour," the message he continues to hear from people is clear: lower hydro rates.

And he's promising that a PC government would prioritize those concerns.

"You have seniors, you have family, frankly living in energy poverty. And businesses struggling to stay in operation because of hydro prices," Brown said.

Last year, Brown toured the province's northwest, where he said concerns over hydro rates were the same.

This time, he's planning on visiting Sault Ste. Marie, Cochrane, North Bay, Kapuskasing, Chapleau, Timmins, and Haileybury.

Missing from the list in Sudbury, home to Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault.

Brown expects the stories he hears will revolve around the challenges small businesses face against the province's rising rates.

"One of the things I expect to hear on this tour is hydro," Brown said, "it's what I heard last year, when I went community to community. And at nearly every single stop I will be sharing stories of local businesses, the backbone of our economy, who are struggling with Liberal electricity prices."

The Liberals are expected to announce cuts to hydro rates to combat the backlash, which some sources say might be in the 8 per cent range.  

Brown is planning to be in Sault Ste. Marie today, and Chapleau on Thursday.

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