Under proposed water rate change, light users are facing a heavy increase
By Joanne Chianello, CBC News
Of the 10 members of the public to speak at Tuesday's environment committee on the revamped water and sewer bill, only Doug Poulter was — in his words — "one of those low-volume users."
"Under this proposal, I'll be looking at four times what I'm currently paying now," Poulter told councillors.
It was somewhat surprising not to hear more from the 28,000 customers who use less than 6,000 litres of water a month: these are the so-called low-volume users and, despite being the most frugal consumers, they would be hit hardest by the changes to how we're billed for water.
And now, they're about to get walloped.
For example, someone who uses just 2,000 litres of water a month would go from spending $8 a month to about $30.
Someone who uses 5,000 litres? The new monthly bill would be $33, instead of $20. (For comparison, the "average" use is about 16,000 litres.)
Focus has been on rural complaints
Instead, we've heard mostly from upset rural residents who aren't on the city's water system, but are now being asked to pay as much as $4.44 for stormwater services.
A homogenous group living in just a few wards, the concentration of these voices can really pump up the volume of your argument.
They packed seven public meetings and flooded their rural councillors' office phones with complaints.
Even Glenn Brooks, the former councillor for the Rideau-Goulbourn ward, showed up at committee to protest the stormwater charge (although the current councillor, Scott Moffatt, more than held his own defending the new changes).
And yet, rural residents have a lot less (if anything) to complain about than low-volume users.