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Toronto After yesterdays announcement to hike electricity rates, the private power producers are laughing all the way to the bank. Almost every penny of the rate increase is going straight into the pockets of private power producers, says Paul Kahnert, a spokesperson for the Ontario Electricity Coalition (OEC), a provincial hydro watchdog group.

When it comes to a sustainable long-term electricity policy, there is not much difference between the new Liberal government and the previous Conservative government. Since the Conservatives deregulated the price paid to private power producers, Ontarians have been bearing the cost of the huge profits going to these corporations.

In addition, the Conservatives sold off and leased to private producers, some of Ontarios finest generating stations to private corporations in sweetheart deals. These corporations are making a fortune selling us the very same electricity at completely unregulated prices.

When Ontarians realize that almost none of the proceeds from this rate hike are going to conservation, or to green power, or to pay down the hydro debt, or to pay down the provincial deficit they will be as furious at the Liberals as they were at the Conservatives, says Kahnert.

And despite the Liberal promises during the election campaign to embrace public power, the Minister of Energy has chosen to do nothing to free Ontarians from the huge burden of the profits flowing to private producers. What the Minister isnt saying is that its the price of private power that is the driving force behind this rate increase.

The Liberals told Ontario voters that the market was dead, and that a vote for the Liberals was a vote for environmentally-responsible public power, says Kahnert.

The OEC is calling on the Minister of Energy to re-regulate the price paid to private power producers, and to take immediate steps to rebuild public power in Ontario.


For more information, please contact:
Paul Kahnert
Ontario Electricity Coalition (OEC)
(416) 407-0077

John Wilson
Technical Advisory, OEC
(416) 466-6426

Stella Yeadon
OEC Communications
(416) 578-8774