Even though privatization was clearly in the planning stages, the provincial Liberals made no mention of it during the last election.
Ottawa (28 July 2015) — While the faces at the Hydro One board table may be changing, the secrecy that accompanies privatization deals is staying in place.
In July, new members were appointed to the Hydro One board by the Ontario government. These new, hand-picked members will oversee the privatization of the utility. They also appear to be the people the provincial Liberals trust not to ask awkward questions. They include executives with companies or organizations that profit from the privatization of public services.
Privatization secrecy continues
“What’s missing from the new board is a voice for the public, who are worried about how privatization will affect the cost and reliability of a service they depend on,” said James Clancy, National President of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE).
Like almost all privatization schemes, key details of the privatization of Hydro One are being kept from the public. Even though privatization was clearly in the planning stages, the provincial Liberals made no mention of it during the last election.
Time to stop Hydro One privatization
More recently, the government has provided no information on how privatization will affect repayment of the debt from the construction of Ontario’s nuclear reactors.
“Even though debt repayment could easily lead to higher hydro bills, the public are not allowed to know what will happen after privatization,” said Clancy.
Hydro One privatization has the potential to be disastrous for Ontarians. If it goes through, it will be difficult or impossible to reverse. For these reasons, plans to privatize Hydro One need to be stopped until the public can get a full picture of what privatization will mean and can have their say.
Time for a full public discussion of privatization
The Hydro One privatization is only one of many privatization schemes that the Ontario government is pushing through. These schemes affect the quality and cost of public services, but the information that would allow the public to decide whether they are getting value for money is kept secret. It is only occasionally with things like the Auditor General’s report showing P3 privatization schemes have added $8.1 billion to infrastructure costs that the public get even a hint of what privatization is doing to our public services.
"A public discussion of privatization of public services is long overdue," said Clancy.
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