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Green candidate criticizes NDP plan to reduce hydro bills

By: Sudbury Northern Life Staff

 | Jun 06, 2014 - 2:15 PM |

Plan will reward the rich, encourage waste, Casey Lalonde says

Casey Lalonde, the Green Party candidate in Sudbury, says a promise by the New Democratic Party to reduce hydro bills in Ontario by the equivalent of the HST will encourage waste and help those with higher incomes.

“(Sudbury NDP candidate) Joe Cimino and Andrea Horwarth want to trick ratepayers into thinking that they’re getting a deal on their electricity bills by removing the HST,” Lalonde says in a new release this week. “The reality is, when you subsidize electricity use by gaming the system, ratepayers and taxpayers both end up paying more in the long run for electricity.

In her release, Lalonde argues that subsidies for electricity discourage conservation and benefit richer Ontarians, who tend to use more electricity.

“The NDP’s plan will reward rich homeowners – and encourage wasteful energy use,” Lalonde says in the release. “That’s not good for the economy or for the environment. It’s a plan that just doesn’t make sense.”

The Greens would instead spend $1 billion to subsidize home retrofits to provide grants of up to $4,000 a year for one million homeowners, reducing overall consumption – and bills.

“We’re hearing that energy bills are high, and that’s a problem for ratepayers with real affordability issues,” said Lalonde. “(But) rather than getting at the root causes of energy poverty, the NDP opted instead for an across-the-board cut which primarily benefits those who can more easily afford higher bills, while doing little for those who can’t.

“By investing $1 billion annually in home energy retrofits over four years, the Green Party will provide real help to struggling homeowners.”

Details of the Green Party 2014 election platform can be found here: http://www.gpo.ca/sites/gpo.ca/files/gpo_platform_2014_web.pdf

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