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Concerns grow over possible Toronto Hydro privatization

The Toronto Star reports that, “Toronto Hydro will shrink its relationship with the City of Toronto – its sole shareholder – by paying off the remainder of the debt it owes the city.”

“Toronto Hydro has issued a prospectus to sell $490.1 million worth of debentures on public debt markets.”

“Transferring that debt from the city to private investors is a warning flag to Paul Kahnert, chair of the Ontario Electricity Coalition, which opposes privatizing the power system.”

“The coalition’s members include the Canadian Union of Public Employees (which represents Toronto Hydro workers), the Toronto Environmental Alliance and the Council of Canadians.”

“Selling off the utility would be a short-sighted move, (Kahnert) argued. Private owners would lobby to charge higher rates, and earn higher returns, than allowed by current regulations, he said.”

The Toronto Star reported in February that BDR NorthAmerica Inc. president John McNeil stated the city should sell a 10 percent share of the utility to private investors. That’s at www.canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=2883.

Today’s article is at http://www.thestar.com/business/article/784286–toronto-hydro-debt-move-alarms-privatization-foes.