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Poll shows 93 per cent of Peterborough residents oppose sale of PDI

Peterborough chapter activist Roy Brady speaks at today’s media conference outside Peterborough City Hall. Photo by Keep Hydro Public.

The Council of Canadians Peterborough chapter is against the proposed sale of Peterborough Distribution Inc. (PDI), the city-owned utility that distributes electricity in Peterborough, Lakefield and Norwood, to the provincial electricity transmission and distribution utility Hydro One. The provincial government is now in the process of selling 60 per cent of the provincial utility to private interests.

Peterborough This Week reports, “According to a poll in April, 93 per cent of Peterborough residents surveyed oppose the sale of Peterborough Distribution Inc., the municipality’s utility. On April 28, Environics Research conducted the telephone survey of 762 Peterborough residents. According to a report from CUPE Ontario outlining the poll, released Wednesday (May 11), the survey can be considered accurate within plus or minus 3.6 per cent, 19 times out of 20. …The survey included five questions, including how respondents would react if their city councillor voted in favour of selling PDI — 80 per cent said they would be less likely to vote for their councillor.”

The article highlights, “Roy Brady, a member of Peterborough’s chapter of the Council of Canadians, urged City Council to ‘allow the public utility to continue the great work that it has been doing’. He asked that councillors ‘take control of (their) elected body’ and vote in accordance to what the people of Peterborough want. Brady also referenced reports that there would be no additional public meetings on the matter, a statement Mayor Bennett says is inaccurate. While there are no other scheduled public information sessions scheduled, Mayor Bennett says the public input process is far from over.”

It also notes, “In Brady’s opinion, the problem stems from the province’s push for the consolidation of distribution companies. According to a report to the committee of the whole on Feb. 22, the Ontario government has identified $1.2 to $1.35 billion in savings through the consolidation of the energy industry. Brady said it’s ‘regrettable that the provincial government screwed up its finances’ but ‘there’s no problem in Peterborough. Leave us alone and go away.'”

And the Peterborough Examiner reports, “Roy Brady said he has a message for city councillors, who will ultimately be asked to vote on whether or not to sell the utility. ‘Take control of your elected body’, he said, adding that Mayor Daryl Bennett, who’s talked about the benefits of a sale, shouldn’t be allowed to ‘control the file’. Bennett was inside City Hall in his office during the press conference, yet Brady spoke as though the mayor could hear him. ‘Mayor Bennett, will you please end this farce’, Brady said. ‘We don’t want you to go this route.'”

The Council of Canadians has also been asking our supporters to write Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne through this action alert to demand that she rescind her plans to privatize Hydro One.

Further reading
Peterborough chapter opposes sale of city-owned electricity distribution utility (March 18, 2016)
Peterborough chapter speaks against PDI sale at public meeting (March 4, 2016)
Peterborough chapter warns against sale of city-owned electricity distribution utility (February 23, 2016)
Peterborough chapter opposes sale of PDI to Hydro One (February 20, 2016)