By Graeme McNaughton/The Oshawa Express
She has been collecting bills for months, and now she is ready to show Premier Kathleen Wynne how much growing hydro rates have affected her constituents.
Oshawa MPP Jennifer French says she plans on bringing in the hydro bills she began collecting last month to the premier’s desk this week in hopes of bringing the reality of resident’s concerns over high power rates to Queen’s Park.
“We are still getting the bills coming in. We’ve got over 100 bills so far, and I’ve really appreciated the honesty from people across the community in sharing their horror stories, sharing their angst and their anguish,” French says.
“We’ve been hearing it from our businesses, hearing it from our charities, from everyone who has a hydro bill to pay. It’s real across the province, but knowing how it’s affecting our neighbours has made it very personal.”
French, however, is not waiting until she drops off the letters in Wynne’s office to share some of the stories she has heard.
Speaking at Queen’s Park on Oct. 20, French talked about what some of her constituents are forced to do in order to keep their bills from getting out of control.
“While dropping their bills off, I’ve heard from families and seniors in Oshawa that set alarms to do their laundry in the middle of the night and lower their food budget just to keep the lights on,” she said.
“This is the reality in my community.”
Speaking with The Oshawa Express shortly after she raised her concerns from the floor of the legislature, French says she did not buy the response she received from Glenn Thibeault, the province’s energy minister.
“The Minister of Energy just gave us the run around again about the HST rebate and different programs that our constituents don’t qualify for, and all of these stop gap measures rather than the real issue, which is to handle the hydro situation.”