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Guelph chapter concerned about the possible privatization of Guelph Hydro

The Council of Canadians Guelph chapter is opposed to the selling of Guelph Hydro.

Guelph chapter activist Richard Chaloner notes that privatization would mean the loss of local control, higher hydro rates and reduced service.

CTV reports, “An expansion, a merger, and a sale are all on the table.” Another CTV article adds, “Should Guelph Hydro expand its operations, or stick with the status quo? Should it look to merge with another hydro company, or continue to try and go it alone?”

The Guelph Mercury explains, “Guelph Hydro, city hall and members of a five-member committee that has been looking at Guelph Hydro’s future since the fall began a big public-consultation blitz this week with an open house in Rockwood on Monday night, which was followed by afternoon and evening open houses at city hall Tuesday. Also on Tuesday, a phone poll of local residents about Guelph Hydro’s future, conducted for the city by Pollara Strategic Insights, was launched.”

The article highlights, “For some people who attended Tuesday’s open house, there was sense of déjà vu. ‘These fights never end’, said Dick Chaloner, who was part of a local citizens committee that in 2008 successfully fought a proposal to merge Guelph Hydro with Horizon Utilities Corp., the Hamilton-St. Catharines electrical distribution utility. Guelph city council ended up voting that deal down on an 8-5 vote in October 2008. ‘Now we’re back at it again’, said Chaloner, whose wife, Norah Chaloner, is the co-chair of the local branch of the Council of Canadians. He said he’s against loss of local control of the electricity distributor and is worried about privatization, which he said always leads to higher hydro rates and lower service.”

The five-member committee is expected to file its report with recommendations by the end of this month.

Guelph city council will then meet on February 15 to consider its options.