Despite 80% of Ontarians being against the sale of Hydro One, the provincial Liberal government is moving ahead with its selloff to private investors.
The independent Provincial Financial Accountability Office has even warned about the loss of provincial revenue that would result from the sale. The provincial ombudsman and other watchdogs have also warned against the secretive manner of the sale.
Shortly after the provincial election, the Liberal government surprised the public by selling off 60% of Hydro One. To date, 30% has been sold meaning the public still currently owns the majority of shares.
The sale has been a hotly debated topic at Queen’s Park. This October, Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath moved a motion to end any further sale of this important public asset. “We need to make crucial changes to stop the rising cost of hydro and stop the privatization that’s driving those cost increases,” said Horwath.
“The priority of our hydro system shouldn’t be generating big profits for investors. It should be to provide affordable electricity that keeps people’s bills as low as possible.”
The motion did not pass due to the opposition of Liberal and Conservative MPPs.
Downsview residents continue to see rising hydro bills, a cost many simply cannot afford. The rising costs particularly affect properties with electrical heating for the colder months.
Bibi Ali, a local Condominium Board President, represents one such property where some residents face $1000 bills during the winters. She was surprised to hear about the hydro sell-off when it started and fears that privatization will only make the situation worse.”It’s not fair that our hydro bills are so high,” said Bibi. “The government should have asked people instead of just going ahead and selling things off.”
A number of organizations opposed to the selloff of Hydro One, have put together a website (www.keephydropublic.ca) with a lot of great information and opportunities to take a stand against the sale.
If the government continues in its sell-off plan, the public will lose the majority say on the future of hydro. The provincial Liberal government should listen to the will of the public and stop any further sale before they make a bad situation only worse.