Premier Wynne re-booted the Liberal government with a Throne Speech last week and promised a special $45/month subsidy ($540 a year) to reduce hydro costs in rural communities beginning in January. Will this subsidy be enough to reduce the hydro rates of people in rural communities so that they no longer have to choose between electricity and food?
The Put Food in the Budget campaign travels to Maynooth on Thursday and we will ask people directly! Friday we will meet people in Coe Hill and Bancroft. Saturday there will be a march and rally.
So far we have received donations worth $550. This covers the car rental for Pauline Bryant and Mike Balkwill and costs of printing for the events. Thank you!
Our total budget is $1390. We need $840 more to be able to provide gas cards and food for people who attend community consultations and the rally in Bancroft on Saturday. Please make a donation here.
Francesca Dobbyn, Executive Director of United Way of Bruce Grey has been documenting the hardships people deal with in paying their hydro bills. The United Way released this report ‘Utility Needs in Bruce and Grey Counties’ (See Bruce Grey Utility Assistance report – 2015-2016 (web)which states that “close to ¾ of a million dollars was spent by area social service agencies and charities helping people stay connected to their utilities as well as providing heat in the past 12 months”.
This report earned a lot of well-deserved media attention and as a result Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault met with Francesca Dobbyn (Read about it here)
The ‘heat is on’ the Premier and her Energy Minister and rural communities need to keep up the pressure. Based on the stories we heard in our preliminary visits to Bancroft in planning the upcoming community consultations $45 a month isn't going to be enough. But stay tuned – and we will tell you what people in Maynooth, Coe Hill and Bancroft have to say about this!
We will be reporting on Instagram (follow us here) during the consultations and rally and will send a full report next week.
You can support the campaign to put food in the budget by making a donation here.