TORONTO — A group of Ontario manufacturers says the thousands of businesses in the province that don’t qualify for a 17-per-cent cut to their hydro bills are like the forgotten middle child.

The Liberal government’s announcement last month applies to residential electricity customers and about half a million small businesses and farms.

The Industrial Conservation Initiative program for large manufacturers and businesses was also expanded so that more industrial customers will qualify.

However, there are thousands of Ontario businesses that are too big for one program and too small for the other, and the government estimates they will only see about two to four per cent off their bills.

Jocelyn Bamford, with the Coalition of Concerned Manufacturers, says a lot of the companies feel like “the middle child that is completely left out.”

Mark Josephs, the president and CEO of Kisko Freezies, says his company doesn’t qualify for the expanded industrial program — the government disagrees — and that two to four per cent off their hydro bill will not be of much assistance.

The Canadian Press