Sudbury

Liberals' Hydro rebate not enough for Ontario, say critics

The New Democrat MPP for Nickel Belt says she doesn't think yesterday's throne speech announcement of a hydro break goes far enough.

About 5 million families will get rebate on their hydro bills

Ontario's forthcoming rebates for Hydro don't address the cause of rising rates, says NDP MPP France Gelinas. (Colin Perkel/Canadian Press)

The New Democrat MPP for Nickel Belt says she doesn't think yesterday's throne speech announcement of a hydro break goes far enough.

Yesterday, the province announced it's introducing a hydro rebate for eligible Ontarians.

About 5 million families will be able to get a rebate on their hydro bills equal to the provincial portion of the HST.

On average, that will mean savings of $130 per year.

But taking off the provincial portion of the tax is not enough, said Nickel Belt MPP France Gelinas.

"People who come to see me, it's because their bill used to be $67 monthly equal billing. It is now $300," Gelinas said.

She argued that the province should instead address why hydro bills are going up so quickly.

Energy analyst Tom Adams said the plan sounds good for customers, but there are other factors that will affect hydro bills, including rate increases and the introduction of a cap and trade system for greenhouse emissions.

"Those factors will approximately offset all the savings that were announced," Adams said. "So in terms of net benefit, there's not much to go on here."

With files from Martha Dillman. Edited/packaged by Casey Stranges

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