North Bay Legion Branch 23 executives recently revealed they were forced to sell their building due to high hydro rates. Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli says it’s another way the failed energy policies of the Ontario Liberals have failed North Bay.
Fedeli says despite converting to LEDs, changing ballasts, and doing everything in their power to reduce electricity consumption, the Legion’s hydro bill came in at over $48,000 a year, forcing the sale. He says it’s absolutely heartbreaking because the legion has provided support to the community for years. Fedeli continued by saying whether it’s through their track and field grants, providing a venue for charity events, or taking care of veterans, the Legion has always been there for North Bay.
In a meeting with Fedeli, executives of the Legion, Preston Quirt, Bill Wilkins, and Jim Thompson spoke of staff layoffs and the growing financial pressures they faced. They went on to say hydro has broken their backs and the blame is with their hydro bill. Fedeli urged the government to set aside politics, put an end to their hydro vanity ads, and take concrete measures to help our communities today. He finished by asking how many more Legions, rinks, and restaurants need to close before the government takes action?
Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault responded by saying the upcoming 25 per cent reduction in bills will help. Thibeault says the Fair Hydro plan coming forward will now help Legions, will help curling clubs, it will help 500,000 small businesses and families. Thibeault also went on to say the PC’s don’t have a plan when it comes to hydro. He took a jab at PC leader Patrick Brown by saying the only thing that leader can do is pen a letter about saving the NHL and the Olympics.