BY JAMES WELLS
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne took responsibility for soaring hydro bills on Nov. 18, during her speech at the Ontario Liberal annual general meeting in Ottawa.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the federal Liberals are still as popular as ever. Wynne’s popularity, however, has plummeted. Ontarians are furious with the large increase in hydro prices over the past five years.
Wynne’s popularity is now below 20 per cent according to the most recent poll, meaning she is in trouble if she hopes to remain in power after 2018. She has made it clear in a recent speech that the increase in hydro prices is “her mistake” because she cared more about winning the fight against coal than how it would impact residents struggling to pay their bills every month.
In a recent study by the Hamilton Spectator, some homes have seen an increase from an average bill of $120 a month, to more than $300 a month. With the large increase, many low-income Ontarians have described their monthly living situations as deciding between paying for heat or paying for food.
Ontarians question the energy ideology of the Liberal government, specifically why the prices increase when energy is saved? It turns out some of the money is being used to improve Ontario’s power grids. The extra money being collected on monthly hydro bills is being used for renewable and clean energy upgrades. More solar and wind contracts are being signed which means we will have a much cleaner and reliable grid. Unfortunately, these improvements take time. Experts say hydro prices will continue to increase until 2023, but should stabilize shortly afterwards.
Regardless of the improvements, huge bills are frustrating and annoying us all. With that being said, it takes a patient and understanding individual to look past these hard times, to see the prosperous future of Ontario and Canada’s clean energy initiative as a whole.
Wynne is going to try her best in the upcoming campaign to smooth things over, to reconnect and explain what it is and why she has done the things that she has. All we Ontarians can really hope for is that she and the energy experts of Ontario know what they are doing.
The views herein represent the position of the newspaper, not necessarily the author.