LITTLE CURRENT—The Northeast Town is calling for customer equality regarding Hydro One delivery fees and sent a resolution to this effect to Premier Kathleen Wynne, Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault and municipalities across Ontario.
Last month, the Northeast Town council discussed the premier’s announcement that Hydro One would be waiving delivery fees for customers who reside on First Nations.
Councillor Bill Koehler noted that the change would be “good for First Nation people, but will mean a loss of millions of dollars. Where is Hydro One going to make up this money from?”
“Many people in our rural, Northern communities are struggling too,” added Councillor Koehler. “What about them?”
Councillor Koehler moved a resolution, seconded by Councillor Paul Skippen that reads, “Whereas the premier has announced that Hydro One will be waiving delivery fees for customers who reside on First Nations; and whereas the many families in the Northeast Town are having trouble meeting their financial commitments because of the exorbitant delivery fee charge by Hydro One; now therefore be it resolved that the Northeast Town requests that the Province of Ontario treat all of Hydro One’s customers equally and eliminate the delivery fees for residents of the Northeast Town; be if further resolved that, in the interest of transparently, Hydro One explains to the municipalities which costing measures or alternative revenue sources will be put in place to replace the revenue losses it experiences from the elimination of the delivery charge to its customers; and further, that a copy of this resolution be sent to Premier Wynne, Minister Thibeault, and the other municipalities in the Province of Ontario.”
The resolution has had mixed support across Manitoulin. Burpee Mills and Gore Bay have supported the Northeast Town’s resolution, while Billings Township voted unanimously in opposition of it. Tehkummah council and Assiginack did not discuss the resolution. Gordon/Barrie Island discussed the matter, but didn’t not formally support or oppose it.
Billings council expressed that they felt the Northeast Town’s position would create a wedge between First Nation and non-First Nation residents and were confused as to why the Northeast Town would not support the government’s measures to reduce hydro costs.