B.C. Liberals Order Independent Utility Commission To Raise Hydro Rates, NDP Says

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“The Liberals’ hydro hike is on top of aflood of other hidden tax hikes discoveredin Premier Clark’s budget,” said NewDemocrat energy critic John Horgan.“The Liberal budget makes families pay$400 more for Medical ServicePremiums. The Liberals also will be takingin $162 million more in revenue fromcoastal communities and businesses whorely on ferries.”

VICTORIA – The independentB.C. Utility Commission is beingforced to implement theLiberals’ hydro rate increases -making life less affordable forBritish Columbians, say theNew Democrats.“Once again, the Liberals arestripping independent governmentagencies of their ability todo their job of looking out forthe best interests of ratepayers,”said New Democrat energy criticJohn Horgan. “Instead, theLiberals prefer to issue heavyhanded edicts that make life lessaffordable for BritishColumbians.”“This time it’s their massiveincrease to hydro rates that willmake customers pay $477 moreon their bills over the next threeyears.”Special orders issued Thursdayforce the BCUC to implementthe Liberals’ hydro rate increases“for fiscal 2015 and 2016 at 9per cent and 6 per cent respectively.”The orders also set intostone the Liberal plan to continueraiding money from the utilitywhile they make B.C. familiespay more.“The Liberals’ hydro hike is ontop of a flood of other hiddentax hikes discovered in PremierClark’s budget,” said Horgan.“The Liberal budget makes familiespay $400 more for MedicalService Premiums. The Liberalsalso will be taking in $162 millionmore in revenue fromcoastal communities and businesseswho rely on ferries.”Horgan said whether it’sthrough hydro rates, MSP, orother fee and fare hikes, familiesacross B.C. are paying the pricefor Liberal mismanagement.“Before the election the Liberalscancelled public rate hearingsand continued to tell BritishColumbians that they had thesituation under control. Now weknow they never did,” saidHorgan.“If the Liberals allowedthe BCUC to do their job in thefirst place, we wouldn’t be in thismess. Instead, the Liberalsrobbed them of their powers tooversee countless expensive privatepower contracts, the massiveSite C project, and the billiondollar smart meter mess.”