TorontoConfusion, fraud, higher electricity rates and a non-ending stream of slick salespeople at the door. This is the reality for Ontario residents who have been left high and dry by the new Premier, who in his first official act in office has already betrayed them and decided to move forward with opening the electricity market to competition on May 1, say members of the Ontario Electricity Coalition (OEC), a non-partisan province-wide group that supports public power.
Its not enough to put the sale of Hydro One on hold while the government conducts superficial public meetings in order to ram through the Legislature the necessary changes to the Electricity Act, that they have been forced to enact by a legal court ruling. The reality is that Ontario citizens realize that selling off our public power and deregulating electricity will leave them in the dark, paying high rates.
The lack of transparency and consultation on this issue by the Conservatives, has created a climate of distrust. Most Ontarians feel their interests are being forfeited in favour of those on Bay St. Its simple, Ontarians want all electricity privatization cancelled until they can decide on the fate of public power, says Paul Kahnert with the coalition.
Over the past few months, the OEC has conducted over 50 public forums in cities and towns across the province and says Kahnert, we are challenging this government to do the same. If they commit to public hearings then they better be meaningful, they better get out there in every pocket of the province and talk to people. It cant just be a public relations exercise.
We know that there is no support for the sell-off of electricity. Already, municipalities (including Toronto, Ottawa, Peterborough, Windsor, Niagara and Kingston) that represent more than 5 million people have passed resolutions calling on the government to cancel both the sale of Hydro One and the deregulation of electricity, says Kahnert.
The OEC is continuing to travel the province to ensure Ontarians understand the full implications of electricity deregulation and privatization.
What we are going to tell them is that deregulation has been botched. Its in total disarray and the new Premier had a choice. He could have stopped the market from opening and protected them, says Kahnert.
For more information please contact:
Paul Kahnert, Ontario Electricity Coalition
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications