The Ontario Liberals are hitting the reset button…
Today’s throne speech is giving the legislature a fresh start to the fall session.
And now, the Liberals are flipping the script on hydro bills… saying it’s time to give Ontarians a break.
Mark Giunta reports.
It’s been the subject of many protests and has made news headlines regularly for the past few years.
Hydro rates — and the struggle for many Ontarians to pay their high bills.
But, on Monday, the Liberal Government made some changes it says will help lower your bill.
Clip Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutentant Govenor:
“An amount equal to the provincial portion of the harmonized sales tax… an 8 percent savings.”
Those changes will take effect on January 1st.
After losing a seat in Scarborough during a by-election earlier this month, Premier Kathleen Wynne acknowledged the higher rates and the struggles for some Ontarians to pay them.
Kathleen Wynne – Last week:
“I heard those concerns. As I say, those concerns are part of our consideration as we go forward.”
But many critics, including the opposition, are slamming the Liberal government for the changes.
Andrea Horwath – NDP Leader
“Just take the HST off of hydro already. Once and for all. Just do it. Get it over with.”
In a statement, The Canadian Taxpayers Federation said the Liberals failed to address the root problem of the high rates.
“With hydro rates rising an average 8 per cent per year, what is their long term solution? They can’t cut the HST again next year.”
While experts are questioning why the announcement was made in the middle of a term.
David Sheinin – Political expert:
“The opposition has been having its way with the government for the last little while on hydro and a few other issues. That’s what the objective here is, to grab the momentum from the opposition.”
The Ontario Government says removing the provincial portion of the Harmonized Sales Tax will result in a savings of 130-dollars per year for the average household…
It says rural customers could save up to 540 dollars per year.