Hydro One privatization will put Ontario deeper in debt – but Liberals going ahead with it

"Ontarians now know the Hydro One privatization will cost them hundreds of millions a year. If they had that information last spring, you can be sure that the attempt to privatize Hydro One would have been dead in the water." — James Clancy, NUPGE National President

Toronto (30 Oct. 2015) — On the same day Ontario’s Financial Accountability Officer reported that privatizing Hydro One will cost Ontarians hundreds of millions each year, the Liberal government announced that the first 15 per cent of shares in Hydro One have been sold. Revenues will be as much as 25% less than the government claimed when it announced it was privatizing Hydro One.

“The Financial Accountability Officer has confirmed what many Ontarians suspected. Privatizing Hydro One makes no financial sense,” said James Clancy, National President of the National Union of Public and General Employees Union (NUPGE).

Selling Hydro One will make it harder to get transit infrastructure built

The Financial Accountability Officer’s report also makes it clear that there is no basis in fact for the Liberal government’s claim that it needed to sell Hydro One to fund the construction of new transit infrastructure. Once the sale goes through there will be barely $1.5 billion left for infrastructure. Based on figures from the Financial Accountability Officer that is 20 per cent of what the province will lose in the first 10 year if Hydro One is privatized.

Hydro One privatization looking more and more like Highway 407 sale

While the sale of Hydro One will cost Ontario hundreds of millions of dollars a year, it will give the Liberal government funds to use for pre-election spending announcements in 2018. In that respect it looks very like the sale of Highway 407 by the Ontario Conservative government in the late 1990s. Funds from the sale paid for Ontario Conservatives spending in the run up to the 1999 election, but tolls have skyrocketed since privatization.

Public Services Protection Plan would ensure people get information a lot earlier

Under the Public Services Protection Plan that the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) has proposed, whenever privatizing a public service was proposed, people would have a right to the type of information the Financial Accountability Officer provided about the Hydro One privatization deal. But they would get it before any final decision had been made.

“Ontarians now know the Hydro One privatization will cost them hundreds of millions a year. If they had that information last spring, you can be sure that the attempt to privatize Hydro One would have been dead in the water,” Clancy said.  

NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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