WATCH ABOVE: Rod Crookston, 76, is having a cold winter in the middle of Toronto. The reason? Toronto Hydro cut off his power last fall because he didn’t pay a $1,400 bill. As Sean O’Shea reports, new legislation from the provincial government may soon outlaw winter cut-offs.
The Ontario government announced on Wednesday it has tabled and passed legislation that would give the Ontario Energy Board the authority to end disconnections of electricity during the winter months.
A statement released by Minister of Energy Glenn Thibeault said the government will be seeking Royal Assent later today.
“The ‘Protecting Vulnerable Energy Consumers Act, 2017’ is a law that everyone can get behind – designed specifically to protect Ontarians, because no one should ever be put at risk of disconnection in the winter,” Thibeault said.
“I’m pleased to say that the Opposition have recognized the importance of this issue, and have supported this Bill through unanimous consent.”
Both opposition parties have been pressuring the government over winter disconnections and called on the Liberals to table a separate piece of legislation to deal with it.
Thibeault last week asked all Ontario electricity distribution companies to voluntarily stop disconnecting customers’ power for non-payment.
About 60,000 disconnections occur in Ontario each year, though the Ontario Energy Board doesn’t have seasonal data. The government notes that most customers are re-connected within 48 hours.
-With a file from The Canadian Press
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