MPP Thompson wants to retire the Debt Retirement charge paid by Ontario Small Businesses
QUEEN’S PARK – Today, Lisa Thompson, MPP for Huron-Bruce, introduced a bill to amend the Electricity Act, 1998 to remove the debt retirement charge (DRC) from the hydro bills of Ontario small businesses.
Thompson tabled this Bill in response to concerns from a small business owner in Huron-Bruce who, like other small business owners, is finding it difficult to remain competitive under the Liberal’s mismanagement of the hydro file.
In 2011 the Auditor General revealed that the government had already collected enough funds to pay off Hydro One’s $7.8 billion stranded debt. To cover their tracks, the government removed the DRC from residential bills, but did not remove it from businesses’. The Ontario Electricity Financial Corporation reported that the Liberal Government collected $859 million from the DRC in 2015/16 alone.
“The government continues to collect thousands of dollars every month from businesses across the province under the pretense of repaying the debt retirement charge, meanwhile the reality is that it’s simply for their own use,” said Thompson. “Small businesses and the families that work hard to keep them running should not bear the burden of the Liberal’s fiscal mismanagement.”
The Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses (CFIB) calculates that the DRC accounts for about 2 to 5 percent of Ontario businesses’ hydro bills, regardless of their size.
“We thank Lisa Thompson for listening and working to directly address one of our Ontario members’ three key energy recommendations,” said Julie Kwiecinski, Director of Provincial Affairs (Ontario) for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). “Our 42,000 Ontario members representing all sectors have been struggling with crippling hydro costs for several years. We have been advocating for immediately removing the debt retirement charge from commercial hydro bills, as well as eliminating punitive time of use pricing, and making the Global Adjustment visible on all hydro bills.”
“This is just another example of the Liberal government continuing to hurt small business in Ontario,” said Thompson. “If passed, this bill would ease the pressures on Ontario small businesses who are feeling the burden of Liberal government mismanagement day in and day out.”