By Mike Williscraft
That is how Rex Ge feels today after Ontario Minister of Energy called his case “a very significant injustice” and agreed to work with Niagara West Glanbrook MPP Tim Hudak on his official complaint to the Ontario Energy Board.
The matter stems from an incident in February when Niagara Peninsula Energy cut off power to GE’s West Lincoln greenhouse after a bill for $362 went 29 days overdue.
The result of the power loss froze Ge’s greenhouse contents, including all plants and the heating/watering system complete with burst pipes throughout the structure causing $150,000 in damages.
During Question Period at Queen’s Park, Hudak asked Minister of Energy Bob Chiarelli if he would work with him to seek restitution for GE and develop a better system for dealing with consumer complaints.
“Minister, would you agree with me that Niagara Peninsula Energy went way, way, way too far and they owe Mr. Ge compensation for the destruction of his livelihood?” asked Hudak.
Acknowledging the OEB is currently reviewing Hudak’s complaint, Chiarelli agreed consumers “need a place to go with their complaints”.
Hudak pressed Chiarelli to go a step further for a man who never missed a payment on his bill.
“I know it’s with the OEB and the local utility, but minister, will you join me? Tell Niagara Peninsula Energy to give their heads a shake, do the right thing and pay Mr. Ge for his damages?” asked Hudak.
“I definitely will join him on this particular file. It is apparently a very significant injustice that has happened in this particular case… I will work with the member to try to bring this to a positive resolution,” said Chiarelli.
The news for Ge was a huge boost as he struggles to make his Hwy. 20 greenhouse survive.
“I am so excited. I really appreciate what Tim Hudak is trying to do for me. I know nothing is final. I am just thankful the government sees what has happened to me,” said Ge.