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Millions of dollars wasted says MPP Bill Walker

October 20, 2016
www.saugeentimes.com
www.walkertonnews.com

From Queen's Park

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Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker says he is miffed that the governing Liberals wasted nearly $12 million on consultants for the Hydro rebate plan instead of putting this money toward households with the lowest incomes.

“The Ontario Energy Support Program was supposed to assist seniors, people on fixed incomes, and anyone struggling with rising hydro bills and facing shut-offs. Instead, the “The Ontario Energy Support Program was supposed to assist seniors, people on fixed incomes, and anyone struggling with rising hydro bills and facing shut-offs. Instead, the Energy Minister spent $9.3 million of the assistance money on consultants and another $2.4 million on self-promotional advertising.”

MPP Walker says the Liberals continue to bungle priorities, and he doubts they truly understand the adversity rising hydro bills are causing low-income Ontarians.

He says local social service agencies and charities in Bruce and Grey spent almost $750,000 helping local residents stay connected to their utilities last year. In contrast, the Liberal government stood stoically as its Energy Minister argued there was “no crisis.”  

“We have people choosing between eating and heating their home after electricity rates jumped 100 per cent. Yet, this government responds by giving nearly $12 million to consultants to tell them how to implement an 8 per cent rebate? It can’t possibly get more ludicrous than this.”

MPP Walker says he has yet to hear one positive comment from constituents about the 8-per-cent rebate plan, a plan paid by the ratepayers’ money.  

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“Yet again, we see this Liberal government putting money in the pockets of their party’s high-priced consultants before looking after low-income families,” he says. “And sadly, they did it with the money paid by electricity consumers in the province.”

Only 137,000 Ontario families accessed the 500,000 eligible spaces for the assistance program, also known as OESP. "It’s sad that a half million people require assistance for a necessity, and sad as well that the government has only provided assistance to less than a third of those in need," concludes MPP Walker.


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Thursday, October 20, 2016