Municipality's rep. on Westario
to address council
By Liz Dadson
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Kincardine council has agreed to have the municipality's representative on the Westario Power board of directors address council on concerns about electricity being cut off to residents in the winter months.
The issue was brought forward by councillor Ron Coristine as a motion at the council meeting Feb. 19.
Coristine, a member of the Yes In My Back Yard (YIMBY) team, an initiative of Bruce County Housing, said that committee has identified this as a major problem and he urged council to send a letter to Westario Power's board of directors to disallow any disconnects from Dec. 1 to April 1.
Staff noted that an E-mail communication has been received from Randy Hughes, Kincardine's representative on the Westario Power board, requesting a meeting about this issue.
Mayor Larry Kraemer said the concerns were also being discussed at a closed meeting of the Bruce County social services committee Feb. 20.
"What I understand is that Westario Power does not disconnect hydro until all other avenues have been considered," he said. "I may be able to address this at our next meeting."
"I support Ron (Coristine)'s motion," said councillor Kenneth Craig. "It's an awful thing to disconnect someone's primary heat source in the winter."
Councillor Jacqueline Faubert noted that there are Hydro One customers in the municipality as well, so a letter should go to that corporation as well.
"Our Westario Power representative has offered to come and speak to us," said councillor Maureen Couture. "I say we invite him to speak."
"A lot of area social service agencies are involved in this issue," said Kraemer. "It's been such a cold winter; that's brought the issue to the forefront."
"So, invite Mr. Hughes to our next meeting and then we'll consider a course of action afterwards," said deputy mayor Anne Eadie.
"We should still send the letter," said Coristine. "Do we give a dam or not? We could talk about this till spring."
"It's a complicated issue," said Kraemer. "It's not just about Westario Power and Hydro One; it's about suppliers of oil, gas, propane and wood as well."
"But we're not shareholders in the supply of propane and other energy sources," said Craig. "Only through Westario Power can we do anything. Let's have Randy (Hughes) here at the next meeting and hear the criteria for disconnecting service. Then we'll see if there's any compelling reason not to proceed with Ron (Coristine)'s letter. I support deferral."
"I don't see why we can't go ahead and send the letter and have Randy (Hughes) attend the next meeting as well," said Eadie.
"We should defer telling the company to change its policy until we've heard that policy," said Couture. "We could go ahead and send a letter stating we have concerns about the issue."
Council agreed to send such a letter to Westario Power's board of directors, stating council's concerns, and defer Coristine's motion until after Hughes makes a presentation at the March 5 meeting.
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Thursday, February 27, 2014