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|Wysłany: Pią 9:45, 13 Gru 2013 Temat postu: Ontarians fear skyrocketing energy bills
Ontarians fear skyrocketing energy bills
The vast majority of Ontarians fear ever higher energy bills even though the government is scrambling to help with hydro discounts, a Toronto StarVision CriticalAngus Reid poll has found.
In a survey that could signal trouble for Premier Dalton McGuinty's Liberals with an October election looming, 72 per cent of Ontario residents are bracing for more costly bills this winter.
With 39 per cent believing the government has not enacted policies or initiatives to offset higher levies, there's also little awareness of the new Clean Energy Benefit. That's the muchhyped 10 per cent hydro rate discount, which took effect Jan. 1 and will cost the treasury more than $1 billion annually for the next five years.
Only 21 per cent of Ontarians believe Queen's Park is actually trying to keep heating and energy costs down despite a $1 million pamphlet blitz on the benefit and a provincewide speaking tour by the premier. Another 40 per cent say they're unsure if the province has done anything.
Jodi Shanoff, senior vicepresident at Angus Reid, said the results indicate Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath have gained traction by blaming McGuinty for the soaring prices.
"The opposition messaging certainly put the blood in the water,[url=http://www.xantrex.cc]cheap louis vuitton[/url]," Shanoff said Friday.
Both Hudak and Horwath have repeatedly attacked the premier for his hefty green energy subsidies and for tacking on the harmonized sales tax to hydro and heating fuel bills.
Such pocketbook concerns are expected to be a key issue in the Oct. 6 election.
"Definitely, all of the PR that government's been doing lately does not appear to have the impact that they would hope at this time," said Shanoff.
"This data suggests that Ontarians are open to the opposition messaging and it's something that's going to resonate. It's not a message they're turning off," she said.
Toronto resident Marsha Mason is certainly paying attention.
Mason, 38, was stunned to see the Toronto Hydro bill for her twobedroom Danforth Ave. apartment jump by almost a third in a year.
For the period from Nov. 3 to Jan. 6, her bill was $503.90. That compares to $383.26 for the same period in 200910 a 31.5 per cent increase or an additional $120.64.
"When we first got it, I just didn't know what to do with it. That's practically my rent for one month," she said, adding she has electric heating, but doesn't have a dishwasher or a washer or dryer.
Cold weather aside, Mason said the HST and new timeofuse pricing for electricity appear to be the biggest causes of the hike.
While emphasizing her support for cleaner, greener energy generation, the expense is worrying, she said.
"In the short term, it's going to cost us more to do that, but in the long term it's going to be great, so I completely understand that let's knuckle under and let's do this," she said, referring to investments in wind turbines and solar farms.
"But you can't tell me that having to pay for all this green stuff is exactly why this bill has gone up this much."
The Toronto StarVision CriticalAngus Reid online survey of 1,007 randomly selected adults across Canada was conducted Wednesday and Thursday and is accurate to within 3.1 percentage points.
Across Canada, 62 per cent felt energy bills would rise and only 14 per cent believed their respective provincial government was doing anything to contain costs.
Nationwide, 38 per cent felt their provincial government has not done enough to keep prices affordable and 47 per cent are unsure if their respective province has even done anything.
The poll also found only 11 per cent of Ontarians and 11 per cent of Canadians are confident their governments are making an effort to assist on hydro rates this winter.
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