(ONTARIO) A poll conducted by Environics Research shows that almost 9 out of 10 Oshawa residents oppose the Liberal government’s plan to sell 60% of Hydro One to private investors. 84% also believe that privatization will result in higher rates on their electricity bills.

“This poll tells the government that Oshawa knows Hydro One is a critical part of our public infrastructure, and they want it to stay publicly owned and publicly accountable,” said Fred Hahn, President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario, who commissioned the poll.

The poll is being released on the same day of a public meeting on the issue, which will take place at the 6:30pm at the, Jubilee Pavilion, 55 Lakeview Park Avenue, Oshawa. The event is being organized by Public Hydro Coalition of Oshawa.

Hahn, who will be at the meeting, commented that once people find out all of the details, opposition to the plan will grow even stronger. “We have research and expert opinion that shows privatizing hydro will raise our bills, reduce overall government revenue, and virtually eliminate public accountability. The only people who win in the sell-off are private investors. ”

Last week Ontario’s nine senior public accountability officers, including the auditor general, the ombudsman and the financial accountability officer, submitted a letter to the government stating that privatizing hydro would eliminate their authority to assess the ‘value’ and ‘quality of service’ the utility provides to the Ontario public.

Economic analysis from the former chief economist for TD Bank and Secretary of State (Finance) in the Chretien government, Dr. Douglas Peters, shows that selling 60% of Hydro One will result in a net annual loss of $338 million to the province, even with the initial windfall from the sale.

Multiple studies and analysis in the U.S. and Canada conclude that private electricity costs more than public electricity.

“It’s clear that the government is on the wrong track and better stop the train, because most of the people Oshawa and in Ontario don’t want this sell-off to proceed, “ said Hahn, “they are clearly telling Premier Wynne that our public electricity utility is not hers to sell.”

Environics Research conducted an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) telephone poll of 610 residents of the city of Oshawa on Wednesday May 13, 2015. The results were weighted by age and gender to reflect the demographic makeup of Oshawa. The results of a survey of this magnitude have a margin of error of plus or minus 4.0 percent, 19 times out of 20.


For more information, contact:
Craig Saunders, CUPE Communications, 416-576-7316

Raw polling results available upon request.