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Liberals unveil latest plan to get re-elected: $5 off hydro bills

Ontario’s governing Liberals have had a rough year—eco-fees, the HST, sex ed curricula—but that’s so much better than 2011 being a rough year. Next year, you see, is an election year, and Tim Hudak’s Tories have already started campaigning. So, just as we wrap up marathon city elections, the province is gearing up for Liberal Re-election III: Electile Boogaloo. In an attempt to rinse out the bad headlines of the past year, the Liberals have announced that Ontarians are going to get a break on their hydro bills, in one of three forms.

According to the Post:

[Dwight] Duncan did not say how the government would provide relief for hydro rates, although speculation centres on three options. The government could lower or freeze hydro rates, eliminate debt servicing charges, which amount to roughly $65 per customer per year, or eliminate the HST ($156.48 annually for the average Hydro Ottawa consumer using 800 kWh per month).

“We’re hoping they simply take the HST off hydro bills. We think that’s a good first step,” said NDP leader Andrea Horwath. “It’s very clear that people can’t make ends meet. A big part of that is their soaring hydro bills.”

Mr. Duncan also announced on Tuesday that the province’s books are in considerably better shape than projected eight months ago.

Ontario is still many, many billions of dollars in the hole for the year, but it’s about $1 billion less in the hole than previously feared. So, apparently, it’s time to party with something like $5 to $13 a month, if the Post‘s estimates are accurate. BYOB, we’re sure.

• Ontario to get break in high hydro bills [National Post] • Liberals to cut hydro bills by 10 per cent [Toronto Star]$1billion in hydro relief coming [Hamilton Spectator]

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