TORONTO, ON – Today’s announcement that Ontario’s Liberal government is selling off yet another block of Hydro One shares, is a slap in the face to the people of this province. It makes it very clear they do not care what voters want, says Fred Hahn, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE Ontario) and a leading voice in the Keep Hydro Public campaign.
“When the vast majority of the province has told the Premier to stop, it is her duty to listen,” says Hahn. “Kathleen Wynne has the lowest approval ratings of any sitting Premier. What will it take to get her to stop ignoring the people who elected her government?”
Hydro One today announced it plans to sell a third block of 20 percent shares in the public utility on May 17, 2017, following two previous 15 percent sales of the company.
“Right now, the people of Ontario still own 70 percent of Hydro One. We collectively hold majority control of this vital utility and our government is still accountable for how it is run. If we don’t like how the government is managing our hydro system we can vote them out,” said Hahn. “Handing over half of Hydro One to for-profit shareholders is bad for everyone except the investors.”
In December, CUPE filed a suit of misfeasance in public office against the Premier and Ministers of Finance and Energy over the handling of the sale of Hydro One. The intent of the lawsuit is to protect the people of Ontario and Hydro One ratepayers, to stop any further sale of shares in Hydro One and to keep the majority of shares in public hands.
“Premier Wynne has made it clear she will not listen to the experts who warn that the sale is bad for the province, or listen to the people of Ontario who have been unequivocal in their rejection of the plan,” says Hahn. “Now she seems determined to push ahead with the sell-off so that she won’t have to listen to the Court either. It’s disgraceful and we will continue to try and stop her.”
“Let me be clear, on behalf of our union, on behalf of the tens of thousands of Ontario’s who are part of the Keep Hydro Public Coalition – we will continue to fight against the sale of Hydro One until the Liberals stop this wrongheaded plan, both in the courts and on the ground,” says Hahn.
CUPE is Ontario’s community union, with more than 260,000 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 more information, please contact: Sarah Jordison, CUPE Communications (416) 578-5638