February 16, 2017
The Opposition has been trying to score political points in the media by playing loose and fast with the facts on electricity disconnects. In fact, Patrick Brown is on a Northern Ontario tour right now, spreading misinformation on Ontario’s electricity system and hydro rates.
To clarify the issue, on Thursday (Feb.16th), 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.
However, 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. At no point, under any circumstances, should a customer be put at risk over an electricity bill.
Effective immediately, Greater Sudbury Utilities (GSU)- who have long maintained a system of compassion and fairness in delaying any winter disconnects- will fully implement my request for residential customers.