Province reducing electricity rates, expanding student support fund to include high schoolers, ahead of Boxing Day lockdown

Parents of kids over age 13 will be eligible for one-time $200 payment in January

Queen’s Park is promising financial support for families, individuals and small businesses ahead of the impending province-wide shut down.

Premier Doug Ford announced today his government is expanding the Support for Learners program to include secondary school students. Parents of these students will now be eligible for a one-time payment of $200 per child. Students aged 13 through Grade 12 will be eligible for funding under this expanded program as of January 11, 2021.

The province is also lowering electricity prices to a discounted off-peat rate for all time-of-use and tiered customers. A rate of 8.5 cents per kilowatt-hour will kick in on January 1 and for a 28-day period following that. The off-peak price will be automatically applied to the bills of all residential, small business, and farm customers who pay regulated rates.

“We are asking people to make greater sacrifices to help contain this deadly virus, whether that’s staying home or asking their employees to work from home where possible,” said Premier Ford. “In response, our government is providing people and businesses with additional financial relief to help them get through this very difficult period.”

At 12:01 a.m. on December 26, the entire province will go into a lockdown state similar to the one enacted early in the pandemic, requiring non-essential businesses throughout southern Ontario to close for 28 days. Those regions north of Sudbury will be closed for two weeks instead.