Toronto—Today’s announcement from the Ontario government that the Hydro One initial public offering is off the table is “a victory for the people of Ontario who oppose the sell-off of public power. But the government’s position is not good enough. We know that what Ontarians want is full public control of our entire hydro system. They know that their best protection from skyrocketing rates and unreliable service is publicly owned and operated electricity.
“The people of Ontario want the government to say the sell-off of hydro is completely off the table. The government has no mandate to sell all of the hydro system and they have no mandate to sell part of it. Partial sale is unacceptable. Sale to pension funds is unacceptable and income trust schemes are unacceptable. The people of Ontario want public power,” says Paul Kahnert, a spokesperson with the Ontario Electricity Coalition (OEC), a pro-public power province-wide group.
The OEC is calling on Eves to reassess the government’s overall hydro policy and to put an end to the sale or lease of any more of what’s left of our generating stations as well as the sale of Hydro One transmission lines and to stop electricity deregulation.
“Already, school boards, hospitals and arenas are seeing increased hydro costs as a result of electricity market deregulation. The government has made bad decisions for the past seven years and essentially they have a failed electricity policy. Eves should have the sense to acknowledge this, instead of trying to repackage the discredited government strategy,” says Kahnert.
He points out the government’s plans for hydro are constantly shifting and the province tried to push the sale of Hydro One through, although it was illegal.
“Now they are making it up as they go along. Electricity is too important for policy making on the fly. They must abandon the privatization course altogether and move to restore a public system with at-cost electricity. We are going to accelerate our campaign until the government does just that,” says Kahnert.
For more information please contact:
Paul Kahnert, Ontario Electricity Coalition
Stella Yeadon, OEC Communications
John Wilson, Ontario Electricity Coalition