Orangeville—A court decision that clearly says the provincial government does not have the legal authority to sell Hydro One is just the beginning to stopping the sell-off of our public power, say Orangeville residents opposed to the privatization and deregulation of electricity.
The Orangeville residents are also buoyed by Toronto City Council’s support of several motions and resolutions calling for an end to the sale of Hydro One and the opening of the electricity market to competition starting on May 1. Nearly 30 municipal council’s representing nearly 5 million Ontarians have passed resolutions calling on the province to stop hydro privatization and deregulation.
There are hundreds of Orangeville residents now working with the Ontario Electricity Coalition (OEC), a grassroots group opposed to electricity privatization. The OEC’s Orangeville chapter is holding a public forum on Friday, April 26 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Orangeville Public Library, 1 Mill Street, and on Saturday, April 27 from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm at the Mount Forest Public Library, 118 Main Street, Mount Forest.
“Everywhere we’ve been across the province, the people of Ontario are saying hydro is a public asset and they are ultimately the ones who should decide its fate. They want not only the sale of Hydro One stopped, they want the government to stop deregulation on May 1,” says Paul Kahnert, a spokesperson with OEC.
In Alberta, the cost of deregulation to residents and local businesses is estimated at over $8 billion. Despite the dismal experiences of other jurisdictions, the Ontario Tory government plans to forge ahead with opening the electricity market to competition on May 1.
Experts are also warning that international trade rules will prevent the Ontario government from protecting users from soaring electricity prices and ensuring the province has enough power once the market is deregulated and electricity is sold in the U.S. market.
“There are many local residents who understand that forcing competition in the electricity sector will not only mean higher rates for residential customers, but will hurt local industries. This has been the experience elsewhere and won’t be any different here.
“We can fight deregulation and win. It’s not a done deal and we encourage all those in the Orangeville community to call and tell their local MPP to stop the hydro sell-off,” says Kahnert.
For more information, please contact:
Paul Kahnert, OEC Spokesperson
Stella Yeadon, OEC Communications