Canaan Connexion ~ Politicians
Jean-Marc Lalonde
(MPP - Glengarry-Prescott-Russell)

Read the latest "Live From Queen's Park"

  • Glengarry-Prescott-Russell receives $269,322 from the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care - More...
  • February is Heart and Stroke Month - Think about it - More...
  • Ontario-Québec Summer Student Job Exchange Program - More...

Signing contracts with electricity retailers -Be aware!
Lalonde wants to rename Hwy 417
Signing contracts with electricity retailers
According to the latest news from Glengarry-Prescott-Russell MPP, Jean-Marc Lalonde, private electricity retailer contracts not necessarily a better deal. He wants constituents that signing a contract with a private electricity retailer might not necessarily transpire in lower electricity rates.

"Many constituents have either called or visited my constituency offices in the past few weeks with respect to door-to-door- private lectricity retailer," shared MPP Jean-Marc Lalonde. "I am not telling people to sign or not to sign with a private electricity retailer, however, I want to make sure that my constituents are informed of their rights and that they make their decision based on factual information." More...
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The latest "Live From Queen's Park

G-P-R gets $269,322 for health and long-term care
I am very happy that the following institutions were awarded grants from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in Glengarry-Prescott- Russell:

  • Hawkesbury and District General Hospital received $168,042 towards the cost associated with developing eligible infrastructure renewal projects
  • Mercedes Corp, in Lancaster, received $5,507.00 in Nursing Strategy funding for 2005-2006.
  • Maxville Manor received $27,538.00 in Nursing Strategy funding for 2005-2006.
  • Community Lifecare Inc., in Alexandria, received $37,442 in Nursing Strategy funding for 2005-2006.
  • Central Care Corporation, in Sarsfield, received $18,293.00 in Nursing Strategy funding for 2005-2006.

In addition a total of $12,500 was granted for Patient/Employee Safety and Infection Control initiative to Glengarry Memorial Hospital and Hawkesbury and District General Hospital.
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February is Heart & Stroke Month. Think About it
Are you still smoking? Most smokers know why they should quit. The tough part is sticking to it. The why couldn't be more obvious. Smoking harms every organ in the body. Half of all long-term smokers will die as a result of their habit. They will be among the 16,000 Ontarians who die each year as a result of tobacco use.

Across Canada, tobacco use is responsible for six times more deaths than murders, alcohol, car crashes, and suicides combined. A Smoke-Free Ontario policy is not only the right thing to do, it's also
good for business. Consider the decision by the Westin Hotels & Resorts chain to ban smoking at all 77 properties in North America and the Caribbeans. They looked at all the research and saw a clear consumer demand for a clean, smoke-free hotel environment.

With only 20 per cent of the population still smoking, we have come a long way over the last few years. With 16,000 Ontarians still dying each year, the government of Ontario has made it a priority to reduce tobacco consumption.

This year, the government is investing $50 million in Smoke-Free Ontario, the most comprehensive approach in the province's history and one of the most aggressive in North America.

The goal of Smoke-Free Ontario is to eliminate tobacco-related illness and death by: preventing smoking in youth; reducing smoking in Ontario by helping people to quit; protecting Ontarians from the health hazards of second-hand tobacco smoke.

That's why funding is being boosted for the Smokers? Helpline.
1-877-513-5333 is a lifeline for people who want to quit but need support. If you are still smoking, there is no better time in the history of Ontario to quit.
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Ontario-Quebec Summer Student Job Exchange Program
I am pleased to advise you that in 2006 the Ontario government is once again offering funding for youth employment. The Ontario-Québec Summer Student Job Exchange Program will recruit positions for university students from Québec at $10 an hour for 13 weeks. The Québec government will offer the same program for Ontario students.

This program gives young Ontario residents an opportunity to broaden their work experience, gain a better understanding of public service and another province's culture and improve their French-language skills.

The program runs from May 15 to August 11, 2006. The deadline for
applications is
February 28, 2006. Interviews will be held in March 2006. For more information, please visit or call 1-888-JOB-GROW (1-888-562-4769).
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Lalonde wants to rename Hwy 417

(P.E.T. Memorial Highway)

Rockland, April 15, 2002 - Jean-Marc Lalonde, MPP for the riding of Glengarry-Prescott-Russell near Ottawa, would love to see Highway 417 be renamed in the honour of Canada's 20th and 22nd Prime Minister, Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

"As it stands, Highway 417 is one of the few highways that does not have an officially recognized name," explains Lalonde.

Lalonde reveals that the original idea came from one of his constituents: "I always encourage my constituents to share their ideas with me because I was elected to represent them.

"Mr. Trudeau spent countless hours on Hwy 417, travelling back and forth from his Montreal riding to Ottawa. Mr. Trudeau was a man of great integrity and had an unmatchable passion for our country; naming a highway in his honour would be giving him his due-respect, " expresses Lalonde.

Pierre Elliott Trudeau was first elected as Prime Minister in 1968, served till 1979, and was then re-elected from 1980 to 1984.

Lalonde wishes to present his bill to the Ontario Legislature as soon as the session starts and invites his constituents to keep sharing ideas with him.
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Signing contracts with electricity retailers (Continued)
Here are things that you should know on electricity retailers:

  • The price presented to potential customers by private door-to-door-electricity retailer is exclusively the price of electricity in KWh. The price you pay per kWh, as shown on the "Electricity" line of your electricity bill, will be the price stated in the contract you sign. This price is determined by the electricity retailer and is not regulated by the OEB. Usually the price is fixed for a number of years, but it may change during the term of the contract.

  • Your utility will continue to bill you for other items. If you switch to an electricity retailer, there are items on your bill that are still charged to you by the utility. The utility will continue to deliver your electricity and charge amounts for the "Delivery", "Regulatory" and "Debt Retirement Charge" lines on your bill. Your contract with the electricity retailer only affects the "Electricity" line of your bill.

  • You will have to settle your outstanding account if you leave the Regulated Price Plan. If you switch to an electricity retailer, you will need to settle the outstanding Regulated Price Plan account you have with your utility. Why? With the utility, you buy and pay for electricity under the Regulated Price Plan, in which you are charged a stable price (set by the OEB) for the electricity you consume. That price may not reflect what is paid to generators. Eventually the difference needs to be settled:
  • Hydro One Networks does not purchase any of its electricity from private electricity retailers. Hydro One Networks is the largest operating subsidiary of Hydro One Inc., which is wholly owned by the Province of Ontario. As an electricity consumer in Ontario, you don't have to remain on the Regulated Price Plan. While your local electricity utility will always deliver electricity to your household - since it operates and maintains the electricity wires - you can choose to purchase your power from an electricity retailer.
  • A contract with a Private Electricity Retailer will follow you anywhere. If you move within the province of Ontario, your private
  • electricity retailer contract will follow you. Some contracts can even follow you out-of province.

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Questions to ask when considering a contract with an electricity retailer

  1. What is the price being offered?
  2. How long is the term of the contract?
  3. Do you offer contracts that differ in length?
  4. Does the price stated in the contract differ depending on the length of the contract?
  5. What other fees or charges would I be required to pay?
  6. Would I be transferring the "OPG Rebate" to the electricity retailer instead of keeping it if I sign?
  7. Would I be required to pay any charges or penalties if I leave before the contract ends?
  8. When would the contract take effect?
  9. Are your contracts offered in both official languages? (It's recommended to not sign a contract if you do not understand the language in which it's written)
  10. Do you offer "green power" contracts and, if so, how does the price differ?

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"I have long fought for fair and transparent measures in the electricity market. I've always made it a priority to protect consumers, especially seniors, from aggressive door-to-door electricity salespeople, who in some cases were using less than honest practices to sign up customers," explained MPP Lalonde.

The MPP is now happy to share that his interventions have brought about positive changes for Ontario electricity consumers that today have a much better protection thanks to new safeguards that have been put in place.

"Today in Ontario, if you sign a contract for the purchase of electricity or natural gas, you are no longer bounded by that contract unless you confirm that you wish to accept it within the next 60 days. Starting on the 10th day after you have received a written copy of the contract, the marketer or retailer is required to contact you to ask you to reaffirm your acceptance of the contract," explained Jean-Marc Lalonde, referring to the new "contract reaffirmation" requirement. "If you do not reaffirm the contract then you are simply not bound by it."

It's important to understand exactly what the Private Electricity Retailer is offering you and to compare and contrast with the current price for Ontario residential consumers. With Hydro One or your Local Hydro Distribution Company, you are protected by the price plan which is 5.0 cents per kWh for the first 1000 kWh you use per month, and 5.8 cents per kWh you use over this threshold as well as regulatory, delivery, and debt retirement charges. This price plan is offered only to consumers who do not sign with private electricity retailers and in the event where the true cost of electricity was actually lower, the Ontario government rebates the difference to these consumers at the end of the year. Large consumers like businesses who consume more than 250,000 kWh annually pay the spot market price.

What Private electricity retailers are recently offering is a five or six year fixed rate contract locked in at approximately 9 to 10 cents per kWh plus the same extra fees of regulatory, delivery and debt retirement charges. Their premise is that Hydro One's prices will eventually match or surpass those of the private retailer's 5-year fixed rate. This is an assumption and even if it transpires, it can take many years for it to reach that price.

It's important to remember that the market dictates the price of electricity which is regulated by the Ontario Energy Board, an Ontario crown corporation that ensures that prices reflect the true cost of hydro in an effective, fair and transparent process. That being said it's very difficult for Private electricity retailers or anyone else for that matter to predict future outcome of electricity prices.

Furthermore, electricity and natural gas contracts must contain certain information now and can be cancelled within one year of signing if any of this mandatory information is missing. Some of the mandatory information required on contracts are as follows:

  • your name and address as well as the date on which you signed the contract;
  • the natural gas marketer's or electricity retailer's name, business address and telephone number, as well as any fax number, website address, e-mail address or toll-free number;
  • your signature and the name and signature of the marketer's or retailer's representative ("electronic signatures" like a recorded phone call or internet agreement as also acceptable.);
  • the price that you will be charged under the contract and, in the case of an electricity contract, the price that you would be charged if you purchased the electricity from your local utility( Hydro One or your local Hydro Distribution Company);
  • the length of time the contract will be in effect;

"These are just a few examples of how our government is better protecting consumers. For complete details I encourage my constituents to take a look at the "Code of Conduct for Gas Marketers and Electricity Retailers" at the Ontario Energy Board's website, or by obtaining a copy at any of my three constituency offices. If you have any questions regarding private electricity retailers the Ontario Energy Board is your best source and can be reached toll free: 1-888-632-6273," said Jean-Marc Lalonde.
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Jean-Marc Lalonde, MPP
(416) 325-7289

Pauline Auger
Legislative Assistant

Mathew Mault
Legislative Assistant
Rockland, Ontario
(613) 446-4010

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