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Megan Dalaire, Ottawa Citizen April 4, 2014

Ottawa — Hundreds of people affected by Ontario’s rising energy prices gathered Friday in a protest against the province’s Long-Term Energy Plan outside of MPP Bob Chiarelli’s office on Carling Avenue.

The energy plan was announced by Chiarelli on Dec. 2 and is expected to save the province $16 billion on energy between 2013 and 2017, at a high cost to residential hydro customers, whose bills will rise by 42 per cent over next five years, 50 per cent over next 10 years, and 68 per cent over next 20 years. The cost of heating is an especially touchy subject to Ottawans, who have just experienced the city’s coldest winter in two decades, but the protesters Friday had their fellow Ontarians in mind as they rallied for the second time since December.

”Across the province people are hurting because of high gas prices,” said protest organizer Beth Trudeau. ”What we want to do is to give a voice to the people who don’t have a voice. The people who have to choose between heating and eating.”

Friday’s protest was part of a provincewide movement called Join the Fight Against Hydro Rates, which Trudeau said was originally started by two Dryden, Ont., women and now has thousands of supporters.

Complaints by protesters covered a range of issues, from hydro usage cost increases, high distribution rates, HST and surcharges, to the dubious reputation of smart meters installed by Hydro One to replace analog meters. Passing motorists honked their horns and…

Read the full story here.

Blog editor note: thanks to those of our members who attended the protest, and handed out the McGuinty FITy dollar bills, which details the reasons behind Ontario’s electricity bill increases. (They’re not what the government is telling you.)

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