||2009-11-16 at 12:36 PM
||2009-11-16 at 12:36 PM
||FW: Letter in reference to file number EB-2009-0143
Assistant Board Secretary
Ontario Energy Board
Official Correspondence: BoardSec@oeb.gov.on.ca
P.O. Box 2319
2300 Yonge Street 27th Floor
From: Gerry Theriault [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: November 14, 2009 4:32 PM
Subject: Letter in reference to file number EB-2009-0143
ATTN: KIRSTEN WALLI
IN REFERENCE TO BOARD FILE NUMBER: EB-2009-0143
Gerald and Linda Theriault
370 Thorn Ridge Cres.
To the Ontario Energy Board Panel,
This letter is in regards to the application submitted by Essex Powerlines Corporation for an electricity distribution rate change. We recommend to the Board that you not support this rate increase.
The Board, we are sure, is well aware that Essex Powerlines Corporation provides hydro to an area with an unemployment rate of 13%, the highest in all of Canada. Of course, many of the lost jobs can be attributed to manufacturing plant closures or the elimination of shifts at automotive assembly plants in the area. What can also be attributed to plant closures is a marked reduction in the demand and usage of hydro; thus, leading to a marked reduction in profits to those corporations which supply hydro (i.e. Essex Powerlines Corporation). But isnt Essex Powerlines the very same corporation which has huge graphics on its website promoting the conservation of hydro? Wouldnt the closing of such hydro-sucking assembly plants, then, be lauded by such a conservation friendly company? So how is it, then, that a company which preaches conservation and using less hydro to its consumers, charge those very consumers more money for using less hydro?
Let us also put something in perspective for the members of the Board. Not only does the Essex County region have the highest unemployment rate in Canada but, starting July 1st, 2010 the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) will come into effect; increasing the tax on utilities(including hydro) to 13%. An excise tax (i.e. the HST) is defined as being a regressive tax because it affects low-income households the most, as they spend a higher percentage of their income on consumable goods (including hydro). The HST will devastate low-income households and will cause them to make tough decisions no family should ever have to make. So, not only are unemployed and low- and middle-income families in the Essex region faced with a 13% increase on the hydro bill caused by the HST, but now may be faced with another 13% increase on delivery charges for their hydro. That would mean a 26% increase in a households hydro bill in a period of less than one year! This tremendous burden will be too much for many households to bear; as a result we will most likely see the number of social service claims rise dramatically, as average and honest Canadians find themselves unable to afford the most basic of services in their own community. This will put further stress on an already over-burdened social welfare system.
Since the late 1970s the average income of Canadians has been dropping; yet, the burden of taxes has been steadily shifting away from corporations to citizens in that same time period; this is unsustainable. Soon the economic stress on families will be too much, and many will break (either through divorce, requiring social assistance, or requiring an extra job). This stress will be felt most in the economically depressed region of Windsor-Essex. You, the Board Panel, have an incredible opportunity to cut residents in this region some slack, and give us an opportunity to climb our way out of the recession and build a future for our region. We strongly encourage you to reject the application of Essex Powerlines Corporation and in so doing, give honest Canadians an honest chance at survival.
Gerry and Linda Theriault
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint, Please Think Before You Print.