Premier tells Amherstburg horse trainer she played role in hydro cuts

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Hydro rates to drop 17%, but Ontarians will pay for it later

An Amherstburg, Ont. horse trainer, whose viral letter to Kathleen Wynne about hydro rates earned her a personal meeting with the premier, said she's pleased with cuts the Liberals proposed Thursday.

Libby Keenan, who operates Sunhall Equestrian Center, said she received a call from Wynne around 8 a.m. this morning where the premier told her about the cuts before they were officially announced.

Wynne told Keenan she played a role in making the cuts a reality. 

"Whether or not it's an election ploy, I don't care," Keenan told CBC News. "I care about my bottom line and it's going to improve."

Average residential hydro bills are expected to drop by 17 per cent this summer as the government postpones financing costs for building and refurbishing power plants, according to the plan announced by Wynne Thursday morning.

Overall rate reductions should drop to 25 per cent when factoring in an exemption of the province's portion of the HST. That exemption kicked in Jan. 1.

Keenan applauded how quick Wynne followed through on her promises to cut electricity costs. She was quick to share her thoughts on Facebook after taking the call from the premier.

"I thought it was respectful of her to call herself and not have an assistant make contact," wrote Keenan in a post on Facebook. "She gave me her word on these issues and she is making good on that. I achieved what I went for."

Other activists who fought high hydro rates celebrated Thursday's announcement, including Jeremy Renaud. The Windsor rapper feels an overwhelming amount of stress every time an electricity bill arrives from Enwin, the city's energy distributor.

"I would love to see it come down a couple hundred bucks," Renaud said "It would definitely loosen the noose that I feel is around my neck whenever I get an Enwin bill."

High hydro rates have taken a financial toll on many residents, eventually getting to a point that Renaud describes as "unmanageable." 

"It's destroyed my credit," he said. "Just to keep up with the hydro and keep food on the table for the kids and all the other bills and everything else that come with life, something's gonna be missed."