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The primary issue under discussion was whether there are benefits to be gained from further consolidation of the electricity distribution sector. CUPE pointed out that the Tory government had already imposed 6 years of experience with mergers, acquisitions, amalgamations and divestitures of local distribution companies on Ontario. The impact for the public has been increased rates, decreased reliability of electricity supply and degradation of service. The impact for workers has been the loss of 20,000 jobs in the sector, increased contracting out and amplified risks to their health and safety. CUPE called on the OEB to return local distribution companies to non-profit status and to give them a lead role in implementing innovative energy conservation programs.