Hildebrandt’s hydro crusade

BARRY’S BAY – He did not necessarily want the job, but he felt somebody had to do it.

Barry’s Bay’s John Hildebrandt has been approaching various news agencies around Ontario to garner support for a thorough investigation into Hydro One and its billing practices.

Essentially, he is calling for a revolution.

The former Madawaska Valley mayor has been asking people to get in contact with him and share their “horror stories” related to the publicly owned utility. 

“I am not on any power trip here, for me this has got nothing to do politics. I would rather not have my name out there. But someone has to start the ball,” he said.

Since the beginning of his crusade, John and his wife Beth have been getting countless emails and phone calls from people about their skyrocketing hydro bills.

“We got a call from a lady from Westmeath who had a bill for $1,400 for one month,” he said.

The couple, who helped bring the Zurakowski Park in Barry’s Bay to fruition, has had their own problems with hydro billing.

The park only uses a small amount of hydro each month for lighting. In fact, according to Hydro One, the park used only 55 cents of hydro for one month.

However, after delivery charges, debt retirement charges, HST and other service charges, the park owes $47.25.

The Hildebrandts have also heard from people who have had their smart metres removed, did not use their hydro and were still billed for hydro usage.

“And the horror stories go on and on,” John said. “I could only imagine what we haven’t heard about.”
Get your February 12, 2014 edition of The Valley Gazette to read this full story.