CUPE National Secretary-Treasurer Charles Fleury spoke on behalf of 30,000 Canadian energy sector workers at the 12th World Social Forum in Montreal on Wednesday. “Energy, be it hydroelectric or solar, is as essential as water in a modern society. It allows for social and economic development,” said Fleury. “For that reason, we need to work together to publicly protect it.”

Despite an increased understanding that energy policy and environmental policy must go hand in hand, this often fails to happen in practice. “When it comes to green infrastructure projects, privatization is often presented as the only option. This is nothing short of a lie,” added Fleury. “Energy privatization, as is being attempted in Ontario, reduces our control over energy resources and pulls us away from an energy democracy.”

The fight to keep Hydro One public in Ontario is a key example of all of these issues, and CUPE has been a major part of the coalition continuing to fight against this sale and ensure that energy services remain public services.