Hydro rates an ongoing issue in Madawaska Valley

BARRY’S BAY – Hydro rates are still a contentious issue in the Madawaska Valley and surrounding area.

That was the takeaway from a public meeting organized by the Renfrew County Private Landowners Association (RCPLA) on January 31.

A number of speakers made the trip to the Barry’s Bay Legion to discuss these issues, including federal Member of Parliament for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke Cheryl Gallant and her provincial counterpart John Yakabuski.

The RCPLA’s own John Jeffrey kicked things off by welcoming those in attendance and outlining the purpose of the meeting.

“This is about hydro rates,” he explained. “They’ve gone completely out of control.”

Part of the problem is also related to smart meters installed to monitor hydro use on residential and business properties.

Stanley Pecoskie was scheduled to speak briefly about plans for an upcoming protest at Queen’s Park in Toronto while Provincial Parliament is in session, but was unable to attend. Jeffrey briefly outlined a few details, stating that there would be some cost in bussing protestors down to Toronto. It’s a $20 cost, but the RCPLA is able to provide that trip for free with the purchase of a membership for their organization.

MPP John Yakabuski was scheduled to speak first, but was running late due to a prior personal commitment. MP Cheryl Gallant spoke first as a result.

“This very organization – it is the epicentre of these big issues,” said Gallant of the RCPLA. “I have the best citizen activists in the country.”

Get your February 4, 2015 edition of The Valley Gazette to read the full story.