Toronto—Now that the Ontario government has opted to keep the controlling interest of Hydro One in public hands and sell off the remaining minority interest, Sid Ryan the Ontario President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) has a stiff warning for the OMERS pension fund.
“Don’t even dare think about buying any share of Hydro One. CUPE members and retirees whose deferred wages have built up OMERS will not allow their money to be used to privatize a public asset like Hydro One,” said Ryan who called the government’s backtracking on the sale of the transmission grid a “partial victory for the people of Ontario.”
OMERS is the pension plan of tens of thousands of CUPE members who work in the municipal and school board sector. Next to the teachers’ pension fund (which has publicly shown interest in buying a stake in Hydro One) OMERS is the largest pool of investment capital in the country. Despite objections from CUPE and other unions now fighting to gain joint trusteeship of OMERS, two years ago the fund purchased a minority interest in Hydro Mississauga.
“We have repeatedly told the OMERS bureaucrats and executive board that the pension fund of public sector workers has no business investing in anything that will privatize our public assets and services. So, back off, or there will be a battle,” said Ryan.
As for the Ontario government, Ryan said that disarray, decision-making on the fly, fancy footwork and a refusal to listen to what Ontarians want, is fast becoming the profile of the
Ernie Eves’ government.
“Clearly, Eves is trying to stave off the sure defeat of the Tories in the next election if his government goes through with the sale of Hydro One. Eves is desperate to take away the one issue – the privatization of electricity – that the opposition parties are using as a wedge to hammer away at this government,” says Ryan.
For more information please contact:
Sid Ryan, President CUPE Ontario
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications