You’d think with the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge upon us, our government would be in a mood to look after veterans, but that isn’t the case.
A legion in North Bay, Ontario has had to sell its building because the hydro bill has gotten too high. With a bill coming in at $48,000 per year, North Bay Legion Branch 23 simply can’t make ends meet.
It’s not for lack of trying, either. According to the branch’s MPP, Vic Fedeli, legion officials have switched to energy-efficient appliances, replaced lightbulbs with LEDs, and done their best to conserve—but these efforts haven't amounted to any substantive change.
This isn’t surprising. The bulk of most Ontarians’ hydro bills is in delivery charge, global adjustment fee, and other levies not directly connected to usage. All have contributed to hydro costs doubling in less than a decade, even while Ontario sells off excess hydro—at a loss, no less—to other jurisdictions. Quebeckers and New Yorkers get to pay less for Ontario’s energy than Ontarians do, in fact.
The North Bay legion isn’t an outlier—it’s the new norm. A 76-year old Toronto man called into my radio show in February to tell me he had been living without power since the fall after getting disconnected by his utility. Thankfully he was reconnected after his story went viral, but my inbox was inundated with other hydro horror stories.
All in a supposedly wealthy and free province.
But I guess it’s just too much to ask for veterans to be able to keep their lights on.