Ontario government attempts smokescreen around Hydro One privatization

Ontario government using bafflegab to try to disguise the privatization of Hydro One.

Ottawa (24 Aug. 2015) — The Ontario government may be selling off most of Hydro One, but you wouldn’t know it if you listened to Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne. Instead of admitting her government was privatizing Hydro One, she described the sale of most of the service as “broadening the ownership.”

“When politicians are afraid to even use the word privatization, you know it’s bad news,” said James Clancy, National President of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE).

Latest attempt by Liberal government to hide privatization schemes

This is the latest in a series of attempts by the Ontario government to avoid admitting it is privatizing essential public services. Last year, the government referred to the sale of Hydro One as asset recycling. Before that it came up with a new name for P3 privatization schemes and pretended they weren’t really privatization.

“If the Liberal government believes privatization is good public policy, they should have the courage to admit it,” said Clancy. “The fact they’re attempting to mislead the public and hide the truth, suggests they know what they’re doing is bad for Ontario.”

Privatization problems for Alberta and Nova Scotia r esidents 

One of many reasons why Ontario Liberals don’t want to admit it they are privatizing Hydro is because there have been many problems in provinces where electricity service has been privatized.

Nova Scotia Power was privatized in 1992. Since then rates have risen to become the highest in the country.

In Alberta, the lack of transparency and accountability that comes with privatization meant a private power company was able to manipulate electricity prices. The Alberta Utilities Commission recently found that TransAlta had artificially inflated prices by as much as 60 per cent by shutting down some of its power plants at peak times.

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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