Renfrew County, Ontario… Cheryl Gallant, MP for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke is today confirming she has requested the federal Minister of Industry, the Honourable James Moore, initiate an investigation into Ontario Hydro One’s so-called ‘smart meters’. Currently, an investigation into the billing practices of Hydro One is being conducted by the Ombudsman of Ontario.
“I have contacted Minister Moore in his capacity as the Minister responsible for Measurement Canada and the Office of Consumer Affairs, on behalf of the 6,961 registered complaints with the Ombudsman of Ontario, many of whom are constituents in my Riding of Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke. These individuals are questioning the billing practices of Ontario Crown Corporation, Hydro One.
Specifically, I have requested an Industry Canada Special Investigation into the use and operation of ‘smart meters’ by Hydro One. As you are aware, electricity meters are regulated by the federal government,” wrote Cheryl Gallant, MP.
“I have been inundated with complaints from Ontario Hydro One customers. While the provincial government is responsible for the crippling high electricity rates that have hollowed out the manufacturing sector in Ontario, Industry Canada regulates equipment such as gasoline pumps, gas and electricity meters,” stated Cheryl Gallant, MP.
“My office has confirmed with the Office of the Ontario Ombudsman that the scope of its investigation is confined to billing practices, not the operation of the so-called smart meters. Hydro One has admitted it has had to replace thousands of smart meters. With the requirement to accurately measure a customer’s energy consumption, and the ability of the new hydro billing system to interact with the smart meters, an Industry Canada investigation would assist the Ombudsman in his efforts. That Office has confirmed its interest in a smart meter investigation, and has pledged full co-operation to help fix this problem.”
“During my 14 years as a Member of Parliament, just one other issue, the Liberal long gun registry, has provoked a more emotional reaction,” remarked MP Gallant.
The Ontario Ombudsman described similar frustrations:
“Many of those who have contacted us are in vulnerable situations and say they have faced significant financial hardship and stress because of their dealings with Hydro One. And when customers try to get answers from Hydro One, they are stymied, just as my Office has often been stymied when we intervened,” said Morin.
“Sometimes it’s like wrestling with a slippery pig – and that’s why my heart goes out to those average citizens who try to take on the Goliath that is Hydro One.”
– Ombudsman André Marin, at a press conference announcing his investigation, February 4th, 2014