Enwin CAO calls out Ontario government over plan to end hydro cutoffs
Eliminating disconnection notices eliminates valuable tool that forces people to pay their bills, says Enwin
A plan by the Ontario government to end hydro disconnection during the winter months is nothing more than a way to take attention off the real issue of rising energy costs, according to the head of Windsor's local hydro distribution company.
Enwin CAO Helga Reidel criticized the government's plan Tuesday, saying it puts the burden on distributors around the province, while taking away a valuable tool that forces people to pay their bills.
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"This is a bit of an attempt — in my humble opinion — to divert from what the real problem is," she told CBC News. "This will not, and is not, a measure that will change that cost of power that we — as a local distribution company — feel the province needs to tackle."
Province to ban disconnection options
Ontario's Liberal government will introduce legislation Wednesday to end disconnections of electricity during the winter
months, if all of the local distribution companies don't voluntarily stop.
Both opposition parties have been pressuring the government over the practice, calling on the Liberals to table a separate piece of legislation to deal with it, instead of having it as a section of the omnibus Burden Reduction Act.
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But the government denied opposition attempts to get that done Tuesday.
Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault last week asked all Ontario electricity distribution companies to voluntarily stop disconnecting customers' power during the winter months.
Reidel says companies like Enwin already have compassionate procedures in place that uses disconnection as a last resort. Of the 30 disconnections on the books as of Feb. 10, many are vacant properties with absentee landlords.
She will wait until Wednesday to find out what the government intends to do about disconnection options.
Thibeault says, if by the end of the business day Tuesday not all of the distribution companies are compliant, the government will introduce standalone legislation Wednesday to end winter disconnection.
With files from Canadian Press