OFL urges Ontario to halt the sale of Hydro One

Joel Duff —

As the Ontario Government gears up to sell off another 74.2 million shares in Hydro One, the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) is calling for an immediate moratorium on the sale of the province’s hydro transmission and distribution company.

“The Wynne Government has no mandate to sell off an irreplaceable public asset that was created as a legacy for future generations,” said OFL Executive Vice-President Ahmad Gaied. “Premier Wynne was elected to be a guardian of the public trust, not to hold a fire sale on Hydro One.”

Prior to the initial sale of 15 percent of Hydro One shares last November, the province’s budget watchdog dropped a bombshell report sounding alarm about the impact of the sale on provincial revenue. Stephen LeClair, Ontario’s Financial Accountability Officer, warned: “In the years following the sale of 60 per cent of Hydro One, the province’s budget balance would be worse than it would have been without the sale.”

“More than 80 percent of Ontarians, including the majority of Liberal voters, strongly oppose the Hydro privatization and nearly 200 municipalities have passed resolutions opposing the sale of Hydro One,” said Gaied. “Public outrage is growing every day, as hydro bills continue to climb. Premier Wynne is making a big mistake in underestimating the magnitude of the backlash that will continue to foment until the next election.”

The OFL is part of a broad-based campaign, called “Keep Hydro Public,” that is supported by more than 20 community, labour, environment, anti-poverty and student organizations. The campaign has begun rolling out large community canvasses across the province that are blitzing Liberal ridings across the province to amplify public outrage over hydro privatization. The next community canvass will take place in the Beaches-East York riding of Liberal MPP Arthur Potts on Saturday, April 16.

“The Ontario Liberals are still governing in the shadow of one energy scandal and they cannot afford another,” said Gaied. “It is time for Kathleen Wynne to start listening to her constituents and put our energy assets back into public hands.”

Find out more about the campaign at KeepHydroPublic.ca.

The OFL represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario.