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London-Today, Ontarios Energy Minister willfully orchestrated the intentional cancellation of the opening public consultation on the sale of Hydro One, says Sid Ryan the Ontario president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), who was in attendance at the London forum that drew a crowd of more than 150 people.

Energy Minister Chris Stockwell, who is chairing the Tory spin sessions on the privatization of public power, stormed out of todays forum, after an older man stood up and made a comment about the governments plans that elicited audience support.

It was a tour-de-force by the minister, who is good at manipulating a crowd and storming out of meetings. Essentially the minister goaded the public attending the forum into jeering him. He put up his hands, saying there would be no public displays and then he fed the audience the question do you want me to shut down this forum?

It was an orchestrated charade because this government is determined to limit the publics participation at these consultations. Now they will impose even more stringent conditions on who can make deputation and how many from the public can attend the sham consultation sessions, says Ryan who along with Ontario NDP Leader Howard Hampton, proceeded to chair the forum.

Charges that the government is in fact rushing the consultations and, as a result, limiting speakers are coming from many diverse voices, says Ryan. He points out the mayor of London, whose counsel has passed a resolution calling on the government to cancel both the sale of Hydro One and the opening of the electricity market to competition, tomorrow (May 1), has sent a stern letter to the energy minister chastising the government for the quickie consultations.

There are 30 municipalities that include Toronto, Ottawa, Kingston, Windsor, Niagara and London, representing more than 5.5 million Ontarians, which have passed similar resolutions. The minister should wake up and realize the people of this province want the privatization and deregulation of electricity stopped, says Ryan.


For more information please contact:
Sid Ryan, President CUPE Ontario
(416) 209-0066
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications
(416) 578-8774