Quebec will not intervene to stop the increase in Hydro rates

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Electricity costs will increase 2.6% in 2022.

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QUEBEC – Energy Minister Jonatan Julien says he has no intention of intervening to limit Hydro-Quebec’s next electricity rate hike.

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The Quebec government adopted Bill 34 in 2019 which sets electricity rates at the rate of inflation and removed the need to annually review the increases proposed to the Régie de l’énergie.

On Tuesday, Julien confirmed that electricity rates will increase by at least 2.6% in 2022, double the increase of 1.3% this year.

“What we are giving Quebecers is predictability,” said Julien. “There is nothing more predictable than (the rate of inflation), and we are not intervening politically to change that.”

Previously, opposition parties denounced the “staggering” increase.

Quebec solidaire parliamentary leader Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois said inflation is very difficult to predict, despite what Julien said.

“When the CAQ made us swallow Bill 34 with closure… my colleague Ruba (Ghazal) was very clear. She said, ‘This is a poisoned gift, this bill.’ “

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Parti Québécois leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon said vulnerable families would pay the price. “Quebecers are getting poorer under François Legault’s regime,” he said. “Housing is completely unaffordable, food prices are increasing at a dazzling rate… and now we are adding Hydro-Québec. “

Liberal leader Dominique Anglade declared that the reform means that Hydro-Quebec “can increase its bill for all Quebecers without even having to go to the control”.

The next review of Hydro-Quebec’s rates by the Régie de l’énergie is scheduled for 2025. Julien said that if she felt that Quebecers were paying too much, then she could lower the rates.


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