No power hour: Blackout planned to protest Hydro-Quebec rate hikes

A unique protest against Hydro-Quebec rate hikes is planned for April 1, 2015.
A unique protest against Hydro-Quebec rate hikes is planned for April 1, 2015.

MONTREAL — A unique social media call to action against Hydro-Quebec rate hikes is planned for Wednesday night — and it involves shutting off the power.

Facebook event is inviting Quebecers to stop consuming electricity for one hour to protest against a proposed hike in their electricity bills. There are over 120,000 people attending.

Last month, Hydro-Quebec announced it would increase its rates by 2.9 per cent, starting April 1.

READ MORE: Hydro-Quebec hikes: electricity just got more expensive in Quebec

“You are invited to a simple citizen’s-action against the continuous price increases of Hydro-Quebec,” the event page reads.

“Rather than ‘flash your lights,’ light some candles and set all your ‘breakers’ to OFF just for an hour.”

“And who knows … maybe on 1 January 2016, Hydro will be responsible for a mini baby boom in Quebec instead of the impoverishment of its population!”

Story continues below advertisement

The action is set to take place across the province from 7 to 8 p.m.

READ MORE: Hydro-Quebec’s 2014 profit surges 15% to $3.38 billion due to cold weather

A online petition against Hydro-Quebec’s proposed rate hikes has also been circulating on social media and has garnered nearly 40,000 signatures.

Hydro-Quebec is a public utility entirely owned by the government of Quebec. In 2014, the company said it paid a record dividend of $2.5 billion to Quebec, its sole shareholder.