No matter how they want to spin it, the years of overbilling by Hydro Quebec was a hidden tax.
We were overbilled for years and we didn’t know it. How could we?
But thanks to some digging by the CAQ, we learned this week that Hydro Quebec has been imposing higher rates than necessary, with the extra money used to help balance the government’s books.
Hydro Quebec tried to convince us that we got the money back anyway.
Sorry but that doesn’t cut it.
What’s worse is that the government won’t be sending you a cheque in the mail.
That $1.4 billion will be somehow disguised in rate adjustments.
My bet is you won’t notice much of a difference.
The CAQ doesn’t buy the Minister’s explanation that the money will be used to decrease planned increases, with Francois Legault demanding a reimbursement.
That’s not going to happen.
We were the suckers for paying more than we should have.
By the way, Hydro Quebec profits for 2016 were $2.8 billion.
Hydro Quebec did spend some extra cash this week by jumping in as a sponsor of Denis Coderre’s Electric Car race this summer.
Who else is going to supply the juice for the race cars?
A race that will cost us $24 million.Along with the $40 million to light up the Jacques Cartier bridge, our Old Port rodeo, and granite stumps on the mountain, it seems the cash machine for Montreal’s 375th anniversary is open 24/7.
But here’s the kicker.
Coderre says some of the Formula E money will go towards fixing potholes on the downtown course.
You can’t have those drivers racing on streets with what Montreal drivers have to face every day of the year.
Maybe we should have E Car races everywhere on the island.
It just might be the way to get better streets, instead of ones that seem to be getting worse every year.
Lest we forget
On Sunday we will remember.
We will remember a watershed moment in our history when Canadians for the first time fought as one and achieved a victory where armies before had failed.
The victory at Vimy, from April 9 to 12, 1917.
3,598 soldiers of The Canadian Expeditionary Force were killed.
Another 7,000 were wounded in the battle to take a seven-kilometre-long hill north of Arras, France.
From a strategic point of view, taking the high ground was vital to the Allies.
The sacrifices in blood young Canadians paid during those awful days in April 1917 must never be forgotten nor minimalized.
Vimy is key to our story as a country as a civilized society with a strong moral compass.
One hundred years is a long time... In our short history a seeming eternity.
But the valour and the courage that was shown during the taking of Vimy will be spoken of in another one hundred years, and one hundred after that.
If you would like to know more about the Vimy story, visit the Vimy foundation website.
It’s something every Canadian should know about.
It was that important.
It is a part of our collective conscience.
It shaped our country.