When news broke in 2017 that Hydro Quebec had overcharged its customers a total of $1,700,000,000 in the last decade, the province erupted in fury.
But even more infuriating was the news that the CAQ government would not pay back customers despite campaign promises to do so. Blaming the previous Liberal provincial government, the CAQ explained that the over one billion dollars in overcharges had already been invested and distributed as benefits and thus lost.
This week, however, people in Quebec are taking a stand. A new petition posted to the Fédération canadienne des contribuables (Canadian federation of taxpayers) website demands that the government repay the entire sum.
TL;DR A new petition demands the government pay back 100% of Hydro overcharges to customers. A link to the petition is at the bottom of this article.
The petition, addressed specifically to premier François Legault and energy minister Jonathan Julien, states that the mechanism established in 2017 to "return 50% of overcharges to customers" is "not enough."
In addition to a full refund, the forward asks the government for an amendment to the law so that "100% of all future overcharges are returned" to people in Quebec.
But how, exactly, the government could return this money is so far unclear. Whether the government will eventually respond to the petition is also uncertain. It would be politically disadvantageous for the CAQ to voluntarily undertake this effort only to refuse to seize the overpayments that have already been redistributed.
Hydro Quebec customers can view and sign the petition here. Though there is nothing on the site that indicates how many customers have already signed it, it has already been shared tens of thousands of times on social media.