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TORONTO— Last night, during the leadership debate in London, Elizabeth Witmer said she would review moving forward with electricity deregulation and privatization.

It’s about time that at least one of the Tories vying for the Premier’s job showed real leadership in straying from the pact mentality of the Mike Harris cabinet. Witmer deserves a pat on the back for speaking up. She’s thinking of the best interest of Ontario residents who overwhelmingly do not support deregulation and the sell off of Hydro One”, says Paul Kahnert of the Ontario Electricity Coalition (OEC), a province-wide grass roots organization fighting electricity deregulation and privatization. Witmer’s comments are the first from any Tory to indicate that perhaps the decision by Mike Harris (on his way out the door) to open up competition in the electricity market is bad news for Ontarians.

Consistently, polls taken over the past year, show residents are overwhelmingly opposed to competition in the electricity market and the sell off of our biggest public asset, Hydro One.

The members of the electricity coalition have held numerous public forums across the province to discuss the impacts of an open electricity market by May 1.

The feeling out there is that the Tories aren’t looking after the best interest of residents, municipalities, school boards and small businesses in their push to electricity competition. There is also a growing dissatisfaction with the government that is now so overt in it’s support of corporations - that will ultimately benefit from the hydro sell off - that the Tories are going to get hammered at the polls in the next election” says Kahnert.

He also points out that other members of the legislature, including Tory backbenchers, must push to stop the electricity sell off and do the right thing by their constituents.


For more information please contact:

Paul Kahnert, OEC
(416) 407-0077
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications
(416) 578-8774