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The Ontario Electricity Coalition (OEC), a province-wide group fighting to keep electrical power public in Ontario, challenged the five Tory candidates vying for the Premier’s job to “come clean and state clearly if they support the privatization and deregulation of hydro.”

As Tory party members arrived for a leadership debate, OEC members handed out information about the pitfalls of privatized hydro and encouraged attendees to ask candidates if and why they support the sell-off our most valuable public asset.

Although there has been enormous opposition to the sell-off of hydro and the proposed deregulation of the electricity market, the candidates have stayed clear of the controversial decision to sell Hydro One and to open the provincial electricity market to competition by May 1.

Ontario residents don’t want hydro utilities sold to private companies because they know this means the doubling of electricity rates and unreliable service,” says Paul Kahnert, a spokesperson for OEC. “By opting to deregulate and to privatize hydro, Premier Harris has ticked off a lot of people and voters will be showing their displeasure at the ballot box.”