QUEEN’S PARK – Today at Queen’s Park, MPP Jennie Stevens (St. Catharines) called for the Ford government to provide relief for families who struggle to pay their heating bill as prices are increased.
“People across the province, especially seniors and young families are being pressed to the limit as the Ford government allows Enbridge to continuously raise the price of gas for heating a home,” said Stevens.
The Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) already provides immediate on-bill relief for families who struggle to pay their electricity bills. There is no similar program for families struggling to pay natural gas or other heating bills.
“The solution to this problem is right in front of us,” said Stevens. “We know that the OESP helps people – and we know how badly families need relief right now to deal with the rising costs of living. This is something Ford can implement right away to make life easier for Ontarians”.
With the permission of the Ford government, Enbridge gas prices have doubled in two years for households in Ontario, from 10 cents per cubic meter to 23 cents per cubic meter.
In Question Period today, Stevens told the story of Charles Christenson, a retired manufacturing worker in St. Catharines, whose bills have increased by $100 per month since last year. As a senior on a fixed income, that increase is significant.
“The Ford government should establish a program like OESP for natural gas bills, so families who struggle to heat their homes get support", said Stevens. "I will be working closely with my Ontario NDP colleagues to propose these common sense solutions to rising gas prices and provide desperately needed relief from high heating bills”.
Niagara region has been hit by a series of ice storms this winter, which have underscored the vital importance of keeping a home warm.