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Toronto — In a letter written on behalf of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP) and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the Ontario Securities Commission (Commission) is urged to refuse approval of the Hydro One IPO. The Unions raise a number of concerns about the IPO and argue the following:

  • The sale of Hydro One shares is not in the public interest;
  • The prospectus misrepresents the authority of Ontario to restrict foreign ownership of Hydro One shares, which it is allowed to do under NAFTA;
  • A Special Share that would preserve the right of the Province to veto efforts to move Hydro One’s head office to the US is vulnerable to challenge by private investors.
  • Also vulnerable are agreements made by Hydro One to moderate rate increases and allow Hydro corridors to be used for transportation or other public purposes.

The Securities Act requires full disclosure and the Hydro One share issues, as described in the prospectus, do not meet these conditions,” said Cecil Makowski, CEP’s Ontario Region Vice-President. “This government’s sale of shares in Hydro One is an abuse of power, and should be halted immediately.”

CEP and CUPE have joined together to fight the privatization of Hydro One. Together the unions represent over 650,000 Canadians, including 250,000 members in Ontario.

“The government is misleading investors in the same way it has mislead Ontario residents,” said CUPE National President Judy Darcy. “Despite the government’s promises, an essential utility that has been in public hands for the past century could end up under foreign control.”

We believe the Commission should just say no. But if it is reluctant, public hearings should be held so the people of Ontario can have their say,” said Brian Payne, President of CEP. “It’s the least that Ontarians could expect.”

For more information: Robert Fox (613) 795-4977.