QUEBEC ELECTRICITY RATES: THE POOR GET SHAFTED:
The following is a rather "free translation"(it begins with the title 'Les démunis pris à la gorge'-there is no English idiom equivalent to "getting it in the throat") from the Québec City blog Voix de Faits, a platformist blog produced by an affiliate of NEFAC in Québec City. The matters that are discussed here could easily apply across Canada, as power rates are raised despite power surpluses in many provinces (such as here in Manitoba) and priority is given to the American market to the detriment of local consumers.
Electricity Rates: The poor get shafted:
This should be expected. According to the PQ, a growing number of poor families have trouble paying their electricity bills, because of the multiple rate increases Hydro announced in the last four years (in all, the bill grew by 16.7% ).
At a parliamentary committee, MP Gouin of the PQ (Nicolas Girard), revealed that the number of client s who found themselves in distress and who had to sign a payment agreement with Hydro-Quebec had increased from 17,968 in 2004 ... To 22,670 in 2007. That's 4702 people over three years.
And the number of clients who had suffered a power outage, due to non-payment, rose by 4000 in the same period.
In the Montmarquette report , they are still trying to make us believe that another increase in the price of electricity is needed to replenish the coffers of the state. I seriously wonder whether this economist was aware of this situation. But I think he would rather speak as loud as possible.
I remember having heard in a debate between solidarity and lucid(I have trouble translating the previous-Molly), the next question that was posed to the economist Pierre Fortin, "Do you have any heart?".
To look at these statistics, the most obvious answer is: NO. The Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity, Sam Hamad, replied that his government would consider this situation in its next plan to fight poverty.
The problem is that ...
THERE HAS NEVER BEEN ANY PLAN TO FIGHT POVERTY!