TORONTO The Ontario Electricity Coalition (OEC) says that the governments new electricity legislation will lead to a new energy crisis in the province.
People are worried about an oil crisis on the horizon, but wait until they see what happens with electricity, says Paul Kahnert, an OEC spokesperson. NAFTA forces us to compete for our oil and gas; now we will be in the same boat when it comes to electricity.
The Ontario Liberals are privatizing electricity by stealth while pretending they are still committed to a public system, says Kahnert. Once competition is introduced, electricity rates are going to soar because private power is far more expensive.
The Liberal government is expected to pass Bill 100, The Electricity Restructuring Act by the end of November. Under this legislation, public generating stations will be replaced, over time, by private ones, says Kahnert. In less than 20 years the system will be privatized.
Once we privatize and integrate our system with the American system, we can kiss goodbye to any control, says Kahnert.
NAFTA forces us to compete against Americans for the gas in our cars and the heat in our homes; just imagine bidding against them to keep the lights on, says John Wilson, former Hydro board member and electricity consultant. McGuinty is legislating to put electricity under NAFTA. This will drive our rates to U.S. levels and devastate farms, business, tourism, and industry and the hospitals and schools that depend on a strong economy.
The Ontario Electricity Coalition is a broad-based coalition made up of seniors, environmental groups, private citizens, the Council of Canadians, labour organizations, and social justice groups.
For more information, please contact:
Paul Kahnert (416) 407-0077
John Wilson (416) 466-6426
Shannon McManus, CUPE Communications (416) 292-3999