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Peterborough– Peterborough area residents opposed to the deregulation and privatization of electricity are gearing up to short circuit the Tory government plan to bring market competition to the hydro sector. They will be attending a public forum detailing the hazards of electricity reform in Peterborough on Wednesday, March 13, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Trinity United Church, 360 Reid Street.

The Peterborough Energy Coalition, a newly formed group that is spearheading the charge against the sell-off of public power locally, has organized the forum. The Peterborough group has joined forces with the Ontario Electricity Coalition (OEC), a province-wide grassroots organization opposed to electricity deregulation and privatization. The OEC is now travelling the province holding forums detailing the facts about electricity reform and encouraging community actions to halt the hydro sell-off.

What were doing is telling the real story and debunking the Ontario governments $2.3 million in advertising spin selling electricity competition as good for consumers. The reality is, that regardless of where deregulation and privatization of electricity has been implemented, the competitive market experiment for hydro has meant higher rates and unreliable service.

In the United States where deregulation has proved a huge economic blunder, 22 states are now re-regulating the industry, says Paul Kahnert with the OEC.

In Alberta, the cost of deregulation to residents and local businesses is estimated at over $8 billion.

Despite the dismal experiences of other jurisdictions, the Ontario Tory government plans to forge ahead with opening the electricity market to competition and the outright sell-off of Hydro One.

There are many local residents who understand that forcing competition in the electricity sector will not only mean higher rates for residential customers, but will hurt local industries. This has been the experience elsewhere and wont be any different here. We can fight deregulation and win. Its not a done deal and everyone in the Peterborough community must tell their local MPP to stop the hydro sell-off, says Kahnert.

To find out more about the Ontario Electricity Coalition visit their website at electricitycoalition.org.

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For more information please contact:
Paul Kahnert, Ontario Electricity Coalition
(416) 407-0077
Stella Yeadon, OEC Communications
(416) 578-8774

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