THUNDER BAY – “This month, more than half of all northerners will have more money in their pockets through the Northern Ontario Energy Credit,” states Bill Mauro the MPP for Thunder Bay Atikokan. “It will provide about $35 million to approximately 250,000 families and individuals. This is the first of two payments to help northerners with their energy costs. Ontarians living in Thunder Bay can still apply for the credit until June 30, 2011”.
This is part of the McGuinty government’s plan to help strengthen the northern economy and help Ontarians manage the costs of turning on more clean power and turning off coal. The government is also helping people by:
Taking 10 per cent off monthly electricity bills for families, farms and small businesses starting January 1, 2011, under the proposed Ontario Clean Energy Benefit;
Moving the Time-of-Use off-peak period for electricity to 7 p.m. which will provide an additional 10 hours every week in the lowest cost period;
Helping low- to middle-income seniors and other Ontarians with the sales tax on energy and with property taxes through the enhancement of the Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit, which provides up to $900 back for non-seniors and up to $1,025 for seniors;
Helping large industrials and manufacturers conserve energy, save on electricity costs and increase their competitiveness through the Industrial Conservation Initiative, starting in January 2011.
“The Northern Ontario Energy Credit was driven by the efforts of Northern Caucus, and I am proud that our government has implemented this policy. In addition to the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit – a 10% reduction on electricity bills starting January 10th – and the Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit, seniors and homeowners will see significant relief on their energy bills,” continued Mauro.
“I am very pleased that the permanent Northern Ontario Energy Credit, along with the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit, will ease the burden of rising energy costs for people living in northern Ontario,” enthused Michael Gravelle, MPP Thunder Bay-Superior North and Minister for Northern Development, Mines and Forestry.
Mauro and Gravelle’s enthusiasm was not greeted with encouragement by the Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak. “The McGuinty Government has signed nearly 16,000 energy contracts that will pay power producers up to 80 cents per kilowatt hour when the current market price for electricity is 5 or 6 cents. That’s a mark up of up to 2,000%,” charged Hudak.
The PCs content that high rates for electricity are hurting the Ontario economy.
“We recognize the unique circumstances faced by our northern communities, including higher energy costs. These payments will make a real difference to families and individuals in northern Ontario, and I encourage all northern residents who may be eligible for this credit to apply and take advantage of the money available to them,” contends the Minister of Revenue Sophia Aggelonitis.
To apply for the Northern Energy Credit click here.