TORONTO, ON – Selling off part of Hydro One is a mistake that will cost generations of Ontarians, warns Fred Hahn, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario.
“Hydro One generates more than $6 billion in revenue and belongs to the people of Ontario. Selling off revenue-generating assets means future generations of Ontarians will be footing the bill for yet another government’s short-sightedness,” asked Hahn, in response to a government plan for an initial public offering that will sell off 10-15 percent of Ontario’s publicly owned electricity transmission and distribution company.
A previous failed Conservative scheme to privatize electricity in Ontario ended up costing the province more than $1 billion. Ontarians continue to pay a premium for electricity because of that and other privatization missteps.
“Thanks to the provincial auditor general, we know just how badly privatization schemes are hurting Ontarians. It’s time for governments to learn from past Liberal and Conservative mistakes. It’s time for a moratorium on privatization and P3s,” said Hahn. “Instead of cutting programs and selling revenue-generating assets, let’s get serious about fixing the province’s revenue problem and start building a better Ontario for future generations.”
CUPE Ontario was involved in a broad coalition that successfully prevented the complete sale of Ontario Hydro by a previous provincial government, and is once again fully committed to defending this important public infrastructure.
“There’s a reason we keep this vital infrastructure public,” said Hahn. “Ontarians saw the hard work and dedication of our hydro heroes after the ice storm last year. Our members worked around the clock, under dangerous conditions to restore power to Ontarians. History tells us that privatization would have left Ontario in the dark.”
CUPE is Ontario’s community union, with members providing quality public services we all rely on, in every part of the province, every day. CUPE Ontario members are proud to work in social services, health care, municipalities, school boards, universities and airlines.
For further information:
Craig Saunders, CUPE Communications, 416-576-7316