“Toronto Hydro, just like Hydro One, provides real value to the public. It meets an important need, and the profits that it generates help to pay for the public services we all rely on." — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
Toronto (23 Sept. 2016) — Apparently oblivious to Premier Wynne’s plummeting poll numbers, Toronto Mayor John Tory has announced that he will be looking to follow her example with a plan to privatize Toronto Hydro.
Just as with privatization of Ontario Hydro, Toronto will see rising costs and reduction in service
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) said the announcement wasn’t a surprise, given the close relationship and the shared donors the 2 leaders seem to be taking advice from.
“There’s no question who benefits, and who pays, when you privatize key public assets like Hydro,” said Thomas. “The wealthy investors and corporations who get shares end up picking the pockets of the public, driving up costs and cutting service. Meanwhile, the rest of us pay the price.”
Hydro profits return to communities in the form of public services
“Toronto Hydro, just like Hydro One, provides real value to the public. It meets an important need, and the profits that it generates help to pay for the public services we all rely on," Thomas said.
Myles Magner, OPSEU Regional Vice-President for Region 5 (Toronto), pointed out that Toronto Hydro provided $56 million in revenue to the City of Toronto last year alone.
“Toronto is already facing budget pressures, with an unfunded poverty reduction strategy, and capital repair backlogs for social housing and transit services,” said Magner. “Giving away these revenues to private investors only makes it more difficult to provide the services that people in our growing city need.”
Reaction to hydro privatization a factor in by-election loss for Ontario Liberals
Thomas points out that recent by-election results should serve as a warning to local politicians thinking of following in the steps of the Wynne government and privatizing key public assets.
“The Liberals just lost a stronghold seat in Scarborough because of this failed agenda,” noted Thomas. “I imagine that Scarborough city councillors hoping to get re-elected will be looking at that and realizing that the public is tired of watching their valuable public assets sold out from under them."
“If John Tory’s goal is to be a one-term mayor, he’s definitely on the right track.”
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