Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday January 17, 2017
Wynne gets cold shoulder from Trudeau on hydro costs
Feeling more heat over hydro bills — and a cold shoulder on the touchy topic from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau — Premier Kathleen Wynne acknowledged her government has to do a better job curbing electricity costs.
Wynne was greeted Friday by protesters outside a luncheon speech in Oakville shortly after Trudeau was put on the defensive over hydro prices at a campaign-style stop in Peterborough.
“It is not enough,” the premier said of her Liberal government’s move to waive the 8 per cent provincial portion of the HST on electricity bills starting this month.
While Wynne was taking responsibility for hydro rates that have skyrocketed in recent years and left many homeowners and businesses struggling, Trudeau, under fire for a Caribbean Christmas vacation on a “listening tour” of the country, made it clear electricity prices are Wynne’s cross to bear.
At a Peterborough town hall meeting, a weeping woman brandished her hydro bill for the prime minister, saying she earns “almost $50,000 a year and I am living in energy poverty.”
Trudeau, who has frequently campaigned with Wynne in a mutual support pact, praised the woman for speaking out publicly and tried to alleviate her concerns about the impact of looming carbon pricing on energy rates while insisting that “hydro bills are provincial.”
Speaking with reporters after that emotional encounter, the prime minister tried to dodge questions about Wynne’s electricity policies.
“As a Quebec-elected MP I have been trained to be very, very careful about weighing in on provincial areas of jurisdiction. It’s something that is important for positive working relationships with all provinces and I respect provincial rights and responsibilities to make determinations in their areas of jurisdiction,” said Trudeau.
Wynne took credit for the Liberal government’s upgrading of the electricity system since taking power in 2003 so “there are no more blackouts … no more smog days,” but admitted “the cost of the changes has burdened people.”
She told 440 people at an Oakville and Burlington Chamber of Commerce chicken lunch about a father of three who wrote to her at Christmas to say he had to scale back on presents for his kids. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)
Cartoon demeaned women and PM
Letter to the Editor, Hamilton Spectator, January 24, 2017 RE: Jan. 17 editorial cartoon
I feel Mr. MacKay crossed a line in his attempt at humour in this cartoon. His depiction of the prime minister rescuing the distraught woman during his cross country tour a lack of respect for this woman’s concern about her hydro bill and was demeaning both to her and Mr. Trudeau. Women do not need to be rescued by men nor do we deserve to be shown as weak and in need of this form of support from men.
Barb Howe, Hamilton