165 municipalities oppose selling off Hydro One

A new poll shows 83 per cent of Ontario voters oppose Premier Wynne’s plan to sell 60 per cent of Hydro One, and half say they are less likely to vote for Liberal candidates in the upcoming federal election because of it.

Toronto (28 Sept. 2015) — The Keep Hydro Public campaign, joined by municipal leaders from across the province, released a list of 165 communities whose councils have passed motions opposing the Liberal government’s plan to sell off 60 per cent of Hydro One.

Municipal councils oppose privatization of Hydro One

Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley said, “The Wynne government needs to listen to mayors and councils across Ontario and consult with us and the public, who are the true owners of Hydro One, not the Ontario government.”

Katrina Miller, spokesperson for Keep Hydro Public, noted that the list of municipal resolutions opposing the sell‐off keeps growing. “More communities are opposing the sell‐off everyday. In fact a few hours from now, Peterborough will be meeting to consider a resolution opposing the sale.”

A new poll shows 83 per cent of Ontario voters oppose Premier Wynne’s plan to sell 60 per cent of Hydro One, and half say they are less likely to vote for Liberal candidates in the upcoming federal election because of it.

Campaign to keep Hydro One public gains momentum

Many of the resolutions are based on a template provided by the campaign, which calls on the government to stop the sale of Hydro One and respect the role of local electrical distribution companies. However, activism has taken root in the municipal arena on this issue. The Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus and the Northwestern Ontario Municipalities Association have drafted and circulated similar resolutions.

Chris Leahy, councillor for Whitby, who successfully passed a resolution at his council just last week said, “The Town of Whitby council joined the position of over 160 other municipalities that we should Keep Hydro Public here in Ontario. It was the foresight of the community to keep hydro public over 100 years ago and we need to preserve this public asset for the benefit of our children for the next 100 years.”

Conservatives were the first to privatize hydro

While the Ontario Liberal government is the one pushing privatization today, it is important to remember that it was the Ontario Progressive Conservatives (PC) that first started the ball rolling. 

Under the Mike Harris government, Ontario Hydro was divided into five entities:  Hydro One provided electricity transmission and local distribution to many communities. Since it was created, Hydro One has since become even bigger as it bought utilities from many rural municipalities.

While the Conservatives didn’t succeed in completely privatizing electricity service, their partial privatization has still been costly. Both deregulation of electricity rates and costly deals with private electricity generators have pushed up costs. The top rate for electricity is 374 per cent of what it was before deregulation. 

Municipal leaders continue to pressure MPPs to stand against the sale of Hydro One

The campaign will continue to encourage local councils to pass resolutions and will work with municipal leaders over the coming weeks to bring their concerns to local MPPs. The Keep Hydro Public campaign is supported by more than 20 labour, environment, anti‐ poverty, and student organizations.

More information: 

Keep Hydro Public

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