Toronto—Today the Ontario Electricity Coalition (OEC), a province-wide group fighting to keep electrical power public in Ontario, challenged the five Tory candidates vying for the Premier’s job to “come clean and state clearly if they support the privatization and deregulation of hydro.”
As Tory party members filed into the Crowne Plaza Hotel for the scheduled leadership debate, the OEC members handed out informational literature about the pitfalls of privatized hydro and encouraged the attendees to ask the candidates if and why they support the sell-off our most valuable public asset.
Although there has been enormous public and media opposition to the sell-off of hydro and the proposed deregulation of the electricity market, the candidates have, so far, stayed clear of the controversial decision to sell Hydro One and to open the electricity market to competition by May 1. This decision was made by outgoing Premier Mike Harris.
“The reality is, Mike Harris has made a bad decision for Ontario consumers and businesses, and whoever wins this leadership race will be saddled with that bad choice.
“All the polls, regardless of who commissions them, show that upwards of 70 per cent of Ontarians support keeping electrical power in public hands. They don’t want hydro utilities sold to private companies because they know this means the doubling of electricity rates and unreliable service. By opting to deregulate and to privatize hydro, Harris has ticked off a lot of people and voters will be showing their displeasure at the ballot box,” says Paul Kahnert a spokesperson for the OEC.
The coalition is holding an information training session for activists and community organizers interested in developing local campaigns to stop electricity privatization this Saturday, January 19 beginning at 9:30 a.m., at the Steelworkers of America Hall, 25 Cecil St. (just south of College and east of Spadina).
For more information please contact:
Paul Kahnert, Ontario Electricity Coalition
(416) 968-2549 ext. 28
Stella Yeadon, Communications
For more information about the Ontario Electricity Coalition, click here.