The Council of Canadians London chapter is opposing the sale of Hydro One by placing large cut outs of geese and eggs around their community.
The message: don’t sell the goose that lays the golden egg. That’s because Hydro One turns over about $750 million a year to the province. Those funds are used to reinvest in schools, hospitals and other critical public infrastructure. But that revenue will be cut as Hydro One is privatized.
Premier Kathleen Wynne wants to sell 60 per cent of Hydro One. The government believes it can raise $9 billion from the sale and use $5 billion of that to pay down debt in the electricity sector and $4 billion to build new transit lines. The Council of Canadians, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario, the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), the Ontario New Democratic Party (ONDP) and many others oppose this privatization. Toronto MPP Peter Tabuns says the sale will harm rate-payers given the sell-off will attract some of the biggest multinational energy corporations in the world.
15 per cent of Hydro One has already been put on the market.
CBC has reported, “Just hours after the release of a report that warns the partial sale of Hydro One will have a negative impact on Ontario’s budget balance, the utility announced Thursday [Oct. 29] it’s putting millions of its shares on financial markets. In a written statement, Hydro One says it will issue more than 81 million shares next Thursday [Nov. 5] at $20.50 a share.”
That article adds, “The announcement comes on the same day Ontario’s new financial accountability officer, Stephen LeClair, released his first report to the provincial legislature. LeClair says the province would see an improvement in its budget in the first year after an initial sale of 15 per cent of shares in Hydro One. But he says the budgetary impact could be positive or negative in subsequent years as more shares are sold, and will ultimately be negative once the Liberals sell the 60 per cent of Hydro One they plan to put on the market.”
CUPE Ontario says, “Whether it’s for affordability or reliability, for something as critical as our power, public hydro is the best option. There is no evidence of private ownership leading to cost savings. And if it costs more to serve each customer, you and your family can expect to pay more.”
Hydro One privatization has water and trade implications (May 12, 2015)