OTTAWA (Nov. 22, 2016)—Premier Kathleen Wynne has promised to reduce the cost of electricity in Ontario over and above removing the province’s 8% harmonized sales tax from hydro bills.
Visibly shaken, Wynne spoke to 850 delegates at the annual general meeting of the Liberal Party on Saturday, stating that the “it was my mistake and I’m going to do my best to fix it. Standing before you today, I take responsibility as leader for not paying close enough attention to some of the daily stresses in Ontarians’ lives. Electricity prices are the prime example. … the polling numbers and the pundits … say many people in Ontario are not happy with me right now. I get that. In the weeks and the months ahead, we are going to find more ways to lower rates and reduce the burden on consumers.”
Wynne said that when she took office in 2003 “Ontario’s electricity system was a mess. We had blackouts and smog days. The system was broken and we had to fix it. But the cost of the changes has burdened people in every corner of Ontario. People have told me that they’ve had to choose between paying their electricity bill and buying food or paying the rent. This is unacceptable to me.”
The cost of electricity has risen 70% between 2006 and 2014.
Wynne suggested that she would streamline more than seventy local electricity utilities to find cost efficiencies but did not discuss specifics.