Hospitals cutting staff to pay for Kathleen Wynne’s hydro mistakes

NORTH BAY – Today, Ontario PC Finance Critic and Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli blasted the Wynne Liberals’ new hydro scheme for ignoring the needs of hospitals, saying that hospitals across the province will be forced to cut jobs to pay for increasing hydro bills.

“The Wynne Liberals have created a hydro crisis in Ontario where our hydro bills are the fastest rising in North America. This is hurting hospitals across Ontario,” said Fedeli. “But, the Wynne Liberals’ expensive hydro band-aid does absolutely nothing to reduce the cost of electricity for hospitals. Electricity bills are going to continue to soar and nurses and front-line staff will be let go.”

Today it was revealed that the North Bay Regional Health Centre, in MPP Fedeli’s constituency, is being forced to eliminate 30 to 40 positions, in addition to the 350 cuts over the last 3 years, while their hydro costs are soaring by more than $200,000. The hospital’s president and CEO specifically noted that the hospital doesn’t qualify for the new hydro rebate. Across the province there are a number of other examples of hospitals struggling to pay for skyrocketing hydro rates.

“Our hospitals are being forced to do more with less. For years they’ve been forced to deal with Wynne Liberal cuts and now they’re being forced to pay for Wynne Liberal mismanagement of the electricity sector,” added Fedeli. “Hospitals are going to be faced with no other option but to cut staff as electricity rates continue to soar. These cuts will be Premier Kathleen Wynne’s legacy.”

Energy rates will keep rising in Ontario because the Wynne Liberals are dedicated to signing more expensive wind and solar power contracts despite a surplus energy problem we are facing in our province. In fact, the Liberals accepted over 1100 new applications this month for more expensive wind and solar power projects. It’s having a devastating impact on all Ontarians, including our hospitals. The Ontario PCs will immediately put a stop to the signing of more bad contracts.

The Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) in Barrie is expecting a $200,000 increase in their energy bill.

  • RVH has been forced to cut staff positions a number of times over the last couple of years, including the elimination of 56 full-time positions in 2016.

Windsor Regional Hospital’s hydro bills have increased by 32% over a four year period. In total, the hospital is paying $5 million a year on hydro costs.

  • In 2016, the Windsor Regional Hospital was forced to announce that it would eliminate 86 jobs to deal with a $20 million budget shortfall.

The Sault Area Hospital’s electricity bills have increased by $800,000 or 45% over a four year period.

  • In 2015, the Sault Area Hospital was forced to cut 35 positions.

The Timmins and District Hospital is expecting to pay $1.2 million on hydro this year. Five years ago the hospital was paying $825,000 a year on hydro. This represents an increase of $375,000 a year.

  • In 2014, the Timmins and District Hospital was forced to cut 40 jobs.

The Collingwood General & Marine Hospital saw a 35% increase in their hydro costs.

  • In 2015, Collingwood projected a $1 million operating deficit.