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CUPE has won its battle to stop the sale of Hydro One. The Eves government announced last week it has scrapped plans to privatize a portion of the utility, keeping public control of the province’s transmission grid.

Buoyed by the victory, CUPE and our allies are calling on the government to scrap electricity deregulation and stop the sell-off of generating stations and local utilities.

“From the beginning we’ve been saying it was a bad idea to sell any part of Hydro One just as deregulating the electricity market has been a disaster for consumers,” says National President Judy Darcy. “We’re glad the government has finally admitted their folly on Hydro One but we say it’s time for them to admit they’ve botched the whole job.”

The province’s privatization plans for Hydro One began to unravel after CUPE and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union took the Eves government to court last spring, arguing it didn’t have the legal authority to privatize the public utility.

The unions’ successful court challenge helped energize a strong grassroots campaign led by CUPE Local 1 and the Ontario Electricity Coalition (OEC), opposing the dismantling of public power in Ontario.

OEC spokesperson and CUPE Local 1 member Paul Kahnert says, “The Ontario government is using rebates and a rate freeze to hide the high cost of deregulated electricity while it pushes ahead with both deregulation and privatization of electricity generation.”

Says Darcy, “We need to restore and rebuild a public power system that serves the needs of Ontario residents, not a get-rich-quick scheme for the Conservatives’ corporate cronies.”