Local electricity companies can't disconnect customers' power in winter


Local electricity distribution companies will no longer be allowed to disconnect customers' power in the winter, after the Ontario legislature rushed a bill through today.
   
The Liberal government had said Tuesday that it would give the companies until midnight to voluntarily stop the practice or it would introduce legislation today.
   
A spokesman for Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault said it wasn't that any of the companies refused to stop winter disconnections, but some ``just wouldn't be able to do it in a timely manner.''
   
All three parties quickly passed the legislation through first, second and third readings this morning and the legislature will be seeking royal assent later today.
   
One section of the omnibus Burden Reduction Act that is before the legislature could have stopped winter disconnections, but both opposition parties had been calling on the government to break that section out so it could pass more quickly.
   
The government refused and denied opposition attempts Tuesday to quickly pass legislation similar to what was passed today.