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TORONTO, Ont. — Ontario Electricity Coalition spokesperson Paul Kahnert says he is ready to debate Energy Minister Dwight Duncan at a time and location of the minister’s choosing following Duncan’s denial that the Liberal government plans to privatize Ontario’s energy supply.


In a story in today’s Windsor Star, Duncan calls the coalition’s statement that the Liberals are privatizing by stealth “laughable.”


“I can guarantee that this is no laughing matter for Ontario voters,” Kahnert said. “Ontarians recognize a broken promise when they see it. Besides, the minister is on record touting private power. I heard him myself in August 2004 when he told the Empire Club, ‘all new generation will be private.’”


Prior to the last provincial election, in November 2002, Dalton McGuinty declared, “The market is dead, deregulation is dead, privatization is dead.” Yet, once in government, the Liberals introduced Bill 100, which relies on private investors to bring new supply into a “mixed” electricity market. The gradual reduction of public power generation — privatization by stealth — is reinforced in the recently-released integrated power supply plan, which describes the “evolution of Ontario’s electricity sector towards a workably competitive market.”


“Competition, deregulation and privatization are the three pillars of a Liberal policy that is only bad news for consumers — whether at home, in industry or in cash-strapped public institutions like schools and hospitals,” Kahnert said. “Competition leads to higher prices, not lower ones, as our neighbours in the U.S. have found.”


“We want our electricity supply to be reliable, we want it to be affordable and, more than ever, we want it to be environmentally responsible. The Liberal plan lets Ontario down on every one of those fronts. I’m prepared to debate Minister Duncan whenever he’s ready.”




For more information, contact:


Paul Kahnert, 416-407-0077