Utility Deferral Program: Adding Insult to Injury

Open Letter to Alberta MLAs and the Alberta Utilities Commission


July 23, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Red Deer – Mountain View, AB


“There are people in need of help. Charity is one of the nobler human motivations. The act of reaching into one’s own pockets to help a fellow man in need is praiseworthy and laudable. Reaching into someone else’s pocket is despicable and worthy of condemnation.” – Dr. Walter E. Williams


Recent news indicating that Alberta ratepayers will be responsible for the outstanding debt owed to gas and electricity providers from 2020’s three-month utility deferral program is beyond frustrating.


There is no question that many Albertans needed to take advantage of this deferral program when the government arbitrarily and unilaterally shuttered their livelihoods in 2020. There is also no question that outstanding debt from this program should not be the responsibility of Albertan ratepayers, many of whom saw significant reductions in income over the past year and a half due to government mandates.


As per a CBC article, Geoff Scotton, a spokesperson with the Alberta Utilities Commission, states “Now we’re in a situation where providers, in good faith, who enabled those payment deferrals, need to be made whole. That’s really the goal here.”


When will Albertans who had their lives and livelihoods deferred for a year and a half be made whole?


Instead of the proposed repayment plan, I suggest the following remedies for the outstanding debt:


  1. The expected debt of $16 million should be split among all sitting MLAs and any other government bureaucrats who advocated for lockdowns and be repaid personally.

  2. The utility companies, specifically CEOs and senior managers, reach into their own pockets, help their fellow man in need and personally repay the debt.


Families, private sector employees and small business owners have suffered greatly over the past year and a half. Adding further costs to their already limited budgets is not acceptable. Please do better.


Sincerely,


Jared Pilon

Libertarian Party Candidate for Red Deer – Mountain View, AB

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