Newspaper article The Canadian Press

NDP Calls on Ontario Government to Table Hydro Legislation on Monday

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

NDP Calls on Ontario Government to Table Hydro Legislation on Monday

Article excerpt

NDP calls for Ontario hydro bill on Monday

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TORONTO - NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is calling on the Liberal government to table legislation for its hydro bill reduction plan on Monday, saying it's short on details and "warrants one heck of an explanation."

The legislature is not sitting this week for March Break, but Horwath said Ontarians need to see the planned legislation as soon as possible.

"People deserve to see it in black and white so they can debate it and so the legislature can debate it too," she said.

"Don't hide the details, don't delay, don't come to the legislature just before it rises this summer with a last-minute bill, ultimatums and no time for committees, experts and the people of Ontario to take the time they need to examine the bill. Put this $40-billion phantom plan on paper and let's have a real debate about what's best for Ontario's future."

The government indicated the legislation won't come as quickly as Monday.

"We will introduce legislation this session, with time for debate and public hearings at committee, ensuring real relief for Ontarians and a way to ensure greater fairness in our electricity system this summer," Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault said in a statement.

Premier Kathleen Wynne announced earlier this month that people will receive an average 25-per-cent cut to their electricity bills starting this summer -- 17 per cent in new reductions plus an eight-per-cent rebate that came into effect Jan. 1. Rates will also increase no higher than inflation for the next four years.

But the plan will ultimately cost ratepayers about $25 billion more in interest, the government has said. The plan will take part of the global adjustment charge off bills for the next 10 years, but the cost isn't being eliminated, it's being deferred to future ratepayers, racking up interest on that debt in the meantime. …

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