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WIN! London city council nixes deal with EPCOR

The London Free Press reports this hour, “City council cut the power Monday on talks between London Hydro and a billion-dollar Alberta utility. But councillors didn’t just pull the plug — they ripped the socket from the wall and stomped it to pieces. Amid citizen concern over proposed ‘exclusive and confidential’ talks between EPCOR and the local hydro outfit, London councillors clobbered the idea that now appears dead.”

“(Mayor Joe) Fontana supported talking to EPCOR, but the idea drew public concern even from presumed council allies. So even before debate, the mayor backed off a motion to start confidential talks with the City of Edmonton-owned utility, replacing it with a call to defer any such talks until city staff does more research on related matters. But even that got clobbered — particularly by councillors Joni Baechler and Nancy Branscombe, frequent Fontana critics who said the plan should be buried for good.”

MetroNews adds tonight, “City council has put the brakes on forming a utilities partnership with Edmonton-based EPCOR. Council voted Monday to take no further action on the utility provider’s proposal to negotiate a ‘co-operation agreement’ with London Hydro for delivering electricity. A plan EPCOR pitched to a council committee last week also suggested the company could manage other services such as hydro, water, sewers, garbage collection and parking. …Some councillors said they were concerned that a deal with EPCOR would lead to a loss of autonomy and accountability and could result in privatization.”

Don McLeod, facilitator of the London chapter of the Council of Canadians, had put the word out for people to be at the City of London Council Chambers (3rd Floor Gallery) at 5 pm tonight. The London Free Press notes, “citizens packed city hall’s gallery for the debate”.

An earlier campaign blog on this – NEWS: London, Ontario faces privatized hydro, water and solid waste services – can be read at http://canadians.org/blog/?p=11421.