While calling Monday’s announcement good news for local residents, NDP leader and local MPP Howard Hampton said it’s more than a coincidence that the province’s decision to extend the 4.3 cent/kWh price cap to FFPC customers came just one week after he vowed to make the Fort Frances power situation the number-one election issue on this riding.
“NDP ‘Public Power’ unplugged the hydro rip-off,” he said Tuesday.
“Now, people will have some modest protection against the Conservative-Liberal hydro privatization and deregulation disaster,” added Hampton.
But he also warned that if the Conservatives or Liberals win the next election, the price caps will come off and people’s rates will skyrocket again.
“Hydro bribe-atization won’t put a stop to the pain of hydro privatization. That’s something only ‘Public Power’ can do,” Hampton argued.
Hampton also praised the town and the FFPC for their persistent efforts lobbying the provincial government.
On the other hand, local PC candidate Cathe Hoszowski, who met with the Ministry of Energy to state the FFPC’s case on March 7 on her “own dime” and her “own time,” also seems to be taking credit for the province’s turnaround.
“After years of hearing nothing but negative rhetoric from our MPP [Howard Hampton], the government was pleased to have an informed dialogue about the challenges that face our citizens and our communities,” she remarked.
“I believe that if you, as a representative of the riding, approach the government in a positive, constructive manner, and you give them the right information, you will get the right decision.
“[Monday’s] announcement is proof of that.”
Hoszowski said role of the MPP is to fight for their constituents.
“What is important in downtown Toronto may be more important to Howard Hampton than the main streets of northern Ontario, but my focus is where it should be—on the Kenora-Rainy River riding,” she stressed.
“That will always be my commitment. Citizens should expect nothing less.”
Hoszowski wrote a letter to both Premier Ernie Eves and the Ministry of Energy in her effort to make her point prior to her March 7 visit.
“Through some good dialogue, and some good information that they [the province] never had before, I was able to bring forward the concerns of the people of Fort Frances and see something happen.
“And this is just the tip of the iceberg of what can happen when someone comes forward and takes a proactive approach,” Hoszowski added, noting she has several other areas of business she’d like to see resolved for the benefit of Kenora-Rainy River riding.