TORONTO – CUPE Ontario vowed to ramp up pressure in the fight against the sale of Hydro One as the government used its majority in the legislature to force through its omnibus budget bill.
Bill 91 enacts laws that allows the Liberal-engineered sell-off of our provincial electricity system, Hydro One.
Despite enormous public opposition to the proposed sale, the Wynne government has moved forward with legislation to allow the sale, without public approval or consultation.
“The people are still the owners of Hydro One. Even with this new law, Ontarians are still the only shareholders. Even today, there are no other investors but us, and we are determined to keep Hydro One in public hands,” said Fred Hahn, President of CUPE Ontario.
CUPE Ontario sees the next stage of the campaign as crucial to stopping the province’s sell-off of Hydro One. It will target the process around the province’s Initial Public Offering (IPO) to question the legality and wisdom of the sale.
“We’ve spent the last few weeks talking to CUPE members, talking to Ontarians from all backgrounds, of all political stripes,” said Hahn. “We know that they are worried about rising electricity rates, a less reliable electrical system, losing control of our energy future, and giving up the money that Hydro One brings in to pay for the public services that Ontarians need.
“And every poll shows at least 3 out of 4 people are against private ownership of our electricity system.”
CUPE plans a series of town-hall meetings in communities across Ontario, with the goal of mobilizing community groups and individuals who are committed to keeping Hydro One out of private hands.
Bill 91 continues the austerity that is hurting communities across the province, Hahn said. Successive austerity budgets are behind hospital closures, turmoil in our education system, cuts to social services, rising reliance on part-time and contract instructors in universities, and decaying infrastructure.
“We all support fixing Ontario’s infrastructure problems, but selling off revenue-generating assets is the wrong way to do it. The government has not yet sold a single share of Hydro One,” Hahn pointed out. “And CUPE Ontario will do everything we can to stop this reckless process.”
CUPE is Ontario’s community union, with 250,000 members providing quality public services we all rely on, in every part of the province, every day. CUPE Ontario members are proud to work in social services, health care, municipalities, school boards, universities and airlines.
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