Increasing Hydro Rates Hurting Families and Business in Hamilton

HAMILTON – Monique Taylor, NDP MPP for Hamilton Mountain, visited Scoly’s Hometown Market today to hear about the impact rising hydro rates are having on local businesses.

Tom Schofield, the owner of Scoly’s, said his escalating hydro bills are hurting his business, and making it increasingly difficult to operate.

“When I took over the business in 2010, I invested heavily to bring down the hydro bills. I managed to bring down my usage by about 40 per cent, but my bills continue going up,” Mr. Schofield said.

“In the past year alone, my monthly bill has increased by about 35 per cent.”

Last week, BMO’s chief economist said that rising hydro costs are going to do serious harm to the Ontario economy, as families have less disposable income and businesses find it harder to create jobs or compete with companies in neighbouring jurisdictions who are paying less for hydro.

“To try to survive, I’ve had to lay off staff and reduce hours for others. That obviously makes life hard for my staff, but it’s also bad for business and bad for the economy,” Mr. Schofield said.

“This is not an isolated case,” MPP Taylor said. “I regularly hear from families and businesses that are faced with increasing hydro bills and struggle to make ends meet.”

“The Kathleen Wynne government is out of touch. They either don’t know or don’t care about the effect of rising hydro costs on the people of Ontario. And they stubbornly continue with their sale of Hydro One, a move that we know will drive prices even higher,” she said.

“Kathleen Wynne needs to stop the sale of Hydro One and get hydro costs under control. She needs to start putting the needs of people, families, and Ontario businesses ahead of private power companies,” Taylor said.

MPP Taylor will be hosting a public town hall meeting at St. Stephen on the Mount on August 23rd to discuss increasing hydro rates, and the privatization of Hydro One. The meeting starts at 6pm.