G.K. and his family live just south of Shelburne in a century home. Heat is provided by
an oil furnace, so heating is relatively cheap at the moment. Heat isn’t the main concern for them. Keeping the lights on — is. Buying food — is. Buying gas to get to work — is.
Their hydro bill each month is the second largest bill after the mortgage payment.
“It’s on your mind constantly,” said G. “When you’re grocery shopping, in the back of your mind you’re asking yourself if you can really afford the brand name soup or should you get the generic No Name kind, because the hydro bill is due at the end of the week and if you don’t pay it within 2 weeks of the date of the bill, you get a disconnection notice.”
“Your prescription needs to be refilled, but there’s that hydro bill and there’s no putting it off, so your medication has to get pushed back a week. The oil tank is empty, but if you order a refill, you can’t pay the hydro.”
So G runs to the gas station every couple of days and gets a jerry can of diesel fuel for a couple of bucks which he uses to run the furnace. If the family is careful, bundles up and only turns the heat on when the temperature in the house dips below 60 (15C), they can make that diesel last for a few days until they can pull the money together to order a half-tank of oil. Sometimes he has to do a diesel run a few times before he can call the oil company.
“It’s no way to live. Not in a country like Canada. We’ve been reduced to living a third world existence. When you have kids, it preys on you that you’re not providing for your family, even though you’re doing everything you can. It’s the Liberal government and their obsession with wind and solar power that has brought us to this. Before they started messing with the grid, Ontario had clean, reliable and CHEAP electricity.”
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