Hydro rate increases are killing jobs and hurting families



    TORONTO, Jan. 15 /CNW Telbec/ - "Recent increases in hydro rates in
Ontario are hitting struggling industries and consumers at the worst time in
our history," says Bob Huget, Vice-President Ontario Region for the
Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada.
    "Ontario workers are facing record job losses and at the same time they
will have to pay more for household electricity; and industries are going to
find it even tougher to balance the bottom line," says Huget.
    As of January 1, 2009, transmission rates for all electricity users in
Ontario have increased, and a recent decision by the Ontario Energy Board has
allowed an increase in rates for the Ontario Power Generation portion of
consumers' bills. This will add around 6% to the cost of electricity.
    Ontario's embattled forestry and manufacturing sectors are major
electricity consumers and are particularly hard-hit by rate increases.
"Abitibi-Bowater in Thunder Bay will lay off 1,100 workers starting February
1, 2009, in part due to high production costs - Hydro rates and rate increases
are a big part of those high costs."
    "In a recession, the last thing that Ontario's forestry and manufacturing
industries need are increased costs for electricity. It's time that Ontario
started to use energy policy to address our non-competitive energy costs,"
says Huget. "We need better regulation of Hydro rates to help residential and
industrial consumers survive our current economic crisis."




For further information:

For further information: Bob Huget, CEP Ontario Region Vice-President,
(613) 299-9839

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Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

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