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THUNDER BAY, ON ---  May 21, 2011 --- Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak MPP Gilles Bissonannounced that a PC Tim Hudakgovernment would provide immediate relief for families and seniors facing rising energy costs by removing the HST from home hydro and heating bills, and removing the debt retirement charge from home hydro bills.

 A report today by Statistics Canada shows life is getting more expensive for families and prices at the pump are the leading cause, said NDP MPP Gilles Bisson.

“Life keeps getting more expensive in Dalton McGuinty’s Ontario. It’s time to stop ignoring the problems and give households some help with bills,” said Bisson. “Between hydro price hikes and an unfair HST people are paying more than ever.”

Statistics Canada reported today that year-over-year consumer prices rose by 3.6 per cent in Ontario, well above the national average. The agency indicated that Ontario drivers experienced a 30 per cent increase in gas prices – the highest increase of any province.

Bisson said these figures should make legislators look at ways to confront gouging at the pumps.

“The Premier quashed a 2005 all-party initiative to look at ways to protect consumers from wild gas price swings,” said Bisson. “I think it’s time we take a serious look as these options.”

The Statistics Canada report can be read here:

An Ontario PC government will provide Ontario families with real, permanent household relief by:

·         Removing the HST from residential hydro bills. The HST has made life unaffordable for many families. Combine that with expensive energy experiments and hydro bills are soaring.

·         Removing the HST from residential home heating bills (natural gas and other fuels). We live in Canada where heating our homes isn’t a luxury. Increasing the cost with a tax increase is unfair.

·         Removing the Debt Retirement Charge from residential hydro bills.  We will remove the so-called “Debt Retirement Charge” from your hydro bills.  The full amount had been collected as of 2010 – yet the McGuinty government extended it to 2018.

 Taken together, these three steps will give a typical Ontario household $275 in immediate relief from rising energy bills.

“After talking to families, party members and our unprecedented ‘Have Your Say Ontario’ survey, it’s clear that people in Ontario want relief from Dalton McGuinty’s HST and skyrocketing hydro bills.” --Tim Hudak, Ontario PC Party Leader

 “For eight years, billions of our energy dollars have been thrown away through Dalton McGuinty’s mismanagement and expensive experiments, and the result is skyrocketing rates that are making it harder and harder for families to pay their hydro bills.  I will fight this unfair burden and make energy more affordable for Ontario families.”

“I know that family budgets are stretched and it’s a struggle to balance work, family and the chequebook.  Dalton McGuinty is out of touch, and he’s forgotten what it’s like for families to cope.  By eliminating the HST and Debt Retirement Charge from hydro and home heating bills, an Ontario PC government will put Ontario families first.” Tim Hudak, Ontario PC Leader

·         Under Dalton McGuinty, hydro rates have increased eight times since 2003 by a total of 84 percent, or a whopping 150 percent for families with activated smart meters.

·         Despite promising Ontario families that his expensive energy experiments and Green Energy Act would only raise rates by 1 percent, Dalton McGuinty now admits in last year’s Fall Economic Update that bills will rise by an additional 46 percent by 2015.

·         Even the Ontario Energy Board acknowledged Dalton McGuinty’s energy experiments were behind the latest May 1 hydro increase when they said new forms of power generation (as a result of the Green Energy Act) are costing more to produce.



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