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Premier asked to explain utility increases

Four South Okanagan – Similkameen governments are calling on the Province of British Columbia to better explain the necessity of increased utility rates undertaken by FortisBC earlier this month.

In a letter to Premier Christy Clark, signed by the chair of the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen and the respective Chiefs of the Penticton, Osoyoos and Lower Similkameen Indian Bands, the Joint Council expressed concern “regarding the current and proposed rate increases, the British Columbia Utilities Commission’s reaction and the lack of response from Fortis regarding requests for consultation and referral.”

“Due to the challenge customers face with rising energy costs, heat and electricity have become a luxury in British Columbia,” the letter reads.

The Joint Council also expressed concern about a proposed dam to be located near the Similkameen community of Princeton.

The Joint Council was established in 2013 as a result of a Protocol Agreement signed by the Regional District with the three Indian Bands. It provides a vehicle for consultation, communication, information sharing, education and cooperation among the member governments.

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