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Says quick passage of law will help keep power on this winter
In an open letter posted on social media, Ontario Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault is calling on Opposition parties to support a bill that would give the province more power to prevent winter hydro disconnections.
Thibeault said the parties have been trying to score political points in the media “by playing loose and fast with the facts on electricity disconnects.
“In fact, (PC Leader) Patrick Brown is on a Northern Ontario tour right now, spreading misinformation on Ontario’s electricity system and hydro rates,” Thibeault wrote.
“To clarify the issue, on Thursday, I sent letters to Energy critics Todd Smith (PC) and Peter Tabuns (NDP) to ask for their support to expedite the passage of Bill 27, the Burden Reduction Act. Bill 27 would allow the Ontario Energy Board to strengthen rules governing disconnections.
“Until that bill is passed, LDCs will continue to have the power to disconnect customers under Section 31 of the Energy Act, 1998. Despite misinformation from the Opposition, the Minister of Energy is not able to direct the OEB to the contrary.”
Thibeault said Greater Sudbury Utilities has agreed to voluntarily stop all winter disconnections, and hopes the rest will follow.
“I have called in to all LDCs in Ontario asking them to immediately and voluntarily implement a policy that ends electricity disconnections during winter months,” he said.
“At no point, under any circumstances, should a customer be put at risk over an electricity bill.”