The Premier and Ministers of Finance and Energy will be headed to court now that the misfeasance suit for wrong doing over the sale of shares in Hydro One, has been officially filed against them, following two months of inaction since they were served with notice of intent.
“We had hoped that the Premier and her Ministers would finally decide to do what is right for the people of Ontario and commit to stopping any future sale of shares in Hydro One,” said Fred Hahn, President of CUPE Ontario and one of the plaintiffs in the case. “In the absence of any response, we have no choice but to proceed with our lawsuit and look to the courts to hold them to account for their decisions that have caused harm to the people and the province.”
Joining the list of plaintiffs since the notice of intent was served in September, are Dianne Dowling, who runs a family farm in eastern Ontario and is the Kingston area president of the National Farmers Union, and John Clarke, an organizer for the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty.
“As dairy farmers, we depend on hydro to run our milking equipment, keep the milk cold, heat the hot water for sanitation, operate feeding equipment, power tools used for repairs and maintenance, and run the lights. Rising hydro rates create one more squeeze we just can’t afford,” says Dowling. “The Premier and her government were elected to represent all of Ontario, but for those of us in rural communities and those of us who make a living feeding those in cities, it seems like no consideration was given to the impact privatizing hydro would have on our way of life.”
“I decided to join the lawsuit because low income people are the most seriously impacted by the Premier’s decision to privatize Hydro. Increased hydro rates mean, in many cases, a stark choice between heating and eating,” says Clarke. “And, the long-term loss of government revenue will inevitably lead to further cuts to the vital public services that poor people need to survive.”
“The Premier needs to move beyond apologizing for the damage her government has caused and actually fix the problems they created when they opened our electricity system to private shareholders,” said Hahn. “And, fixing things doesn’t mean bringing down our bills by diverting our tax dollar to fund the profits of private shareholders. Fixing the problem means stopping all further sale of shares, maintaining public control over our electricity system and working with the utility to properly manage rates.”
CUPE is Ontario’s community union, with more than 260,000 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.