The announcement that Ontario’s Liberal government is selling another block of Hydro One shares just days after a Liberal fundraising scandal broke is an affront to democracy, says Fred Hahn, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE Ontario) and a leading voice in the Keep Hydro Public campaign.
“Just days after we learned the underwriters for the first sale of Hydro One shares – companies that have made millions in profit already – were being asked to pony up tens of thousands of dollars at a Liberal fundraiser, the Liberals have the audacity to announce a further sale using the same underwriters? This is deeply offensive to every Ontarian,” said Hahn.
Hydro One today announced it plans to sell a second block of shares in April, following the sale of 15 percent of the company in November.
“Right now, we still own 85 percent of Hydro One together. Let’s keep it that way,” said Hahn. “The vast majority of Ontarians have said – repeatedly – that they want to keep Hydro public. The Liberals should respect that desire and stop this sale, especially while their relationship with the banks is under the cloud of scandal.”
An Environics poll conducted before the election fundraising scandal showed four-fifths of Toronto residents oppose any further sale of Hydro One, and more than 60 percent of people who voted Liberal in the last election are considering voting for a different party because of Hydro One privatization.
“Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals need to understand that opposition to the Hydro sell-off isn’t going away. The vast majority of Ontarians oppose the sale and both the campaign against the sale and public anger will continue until the Liberals change course,” said Hahn. “We’ll keep going into the next election, if necessary.”
CUPE is Ontario’s community union, with more than 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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