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Thunder Bay chapter takes action against Hydro One privatization

Activists in Thunder Bay get ready to leaflet and canvass against the privatization of Hydro One. Photo by @KeepHydroPublic

The Council of Canadians Thunder Bay chapter helped leaflet and canvass door-to-door yesterday in opposition to the privatization of Hydro One, the publicly-owned electricity transmission and distribution utility.

A Keep Hydro Public media release notes, “Thunder Bay residents teamed up with the Keep Hydro Public coalition to engage their neighbours in the fight to stop the sell-off of one of our most critical public assets. …Residents from across the city gathered at St. Paul’s United Church before heading out to canvass and leaflet door-to-door. Campaign materials remind constituents that 70 percent of Hydro One is still owned by the people, and it’s not too late to Keep Hydro Public. Leaflets and posters call on Liberal MPPs Mike Gravelle and Bill Mauro to stand up for the people they represent and let the Premier know hydro privatization is not in our best interest.”

Thunder Bay chapter activist Heather Stowell says, “We elect our MPPs to represent us. If they’re voting to privatize our hydro system, then they’re not listening to me or any of my neighbours. If they’re not going to listen then they need to understand they won’t have a job after the next election.”

And Thunder Bay chapter activist Jules Tupker was interviewed by CBC Radio Superior Morning just prior to the action.

A recent poll found that 87 percent of Thunder Bay residents strongly oppose the provincial government’s plan to sell off majority shares in Hydro One.

While the Ontario government wants to sell a total of 60 per cent of the utility, the campaign materials used yesterday remind us that 70 per cent of Hydro One is still owned by the people.

Our London, Guelph and Peterborough chapters also have been actively opposing the privatization of Hydro One. And we have been asking our supporters to write Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne through this action alert to demand that she rescind the ongoing privatization of Hydro One.

In late May, the Globe and Mail reported, “One of the banks that ran the lucrative privatization of Hydro One promoted a $7,500-per-person fundraiser for the two Ontario provincial cabinet ministers in charge of the sale… The event on Dec. 7, 2015, which featured Finance Minister Charles Sousa and Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli, appears to have raised about $165,000 for the Liberals.” The newspaper notes that the fundraiser was promoted by the Bank of Nova Scotia and that other members of the Hydro One syndicate including RBC, TD, CIBC, Goldman Sachs, Barclays and Raymond James accepted invitations to it. The article highlights, “Collectively, banks in the syndicate made nearly $29.3-million from the Hydro One privatization.”

For more on the Keep Hydro Public campaign please click here.