Soaring electricity rates was a significant issue on the campaign trail ahead of Thursday’s provincial byelections in the Ottawa and Niagara areas.
Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown has described Ottawa-Vanier as “the safest Liberal seat in Ontario,” and argues that if the Tories get close to claiming victory it will demonstrate the public’s lack of confidence in the Liberal government.
Former provincial ombudsman Andre Marin is running for the PCs in Ottawa-Vanier, and Brown said that “it’ll be embarrassing” for Premier Kathleen Wynne and her government if Marin comes within 10 points of Liberal Nathalie Des Rosiers.
The 19-year-old PC candidate in Niagara West-Glanbrook, Sam Oosterhoff, has said people are frustrated with rising electricity rates and the giant industrial wind turbines now operating throughout the riding.
According to Liberal candidate Vicki Ringuette, she didn’t hear any complaints from voters about hydro rates. She also mocked Oosterhoff by saying she at least has paid an electricity bill.
The Niagara West-Glanbrook riding has been held by Tories since 1995, longer than Oosterhoff has been alive. If he wins, he would become the youngest MPP ever in Ontario.
Oosterhoff is up against Liberal candidate Vicky Ringuette, and Mike Thomas of the NDP.
Premier Kathleen Wynne isn’t sure how the issue will impact the byelections, but insists the government is working to bring down the cost of electricity.