News

NDP launch site to fight Hydro One sale

By Antonella Artuso, Queen's Park Bureau Chief

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath announces on Monday, April 27, 2015 that her party has launched a website to fight the government's plans to sell off majority stake in Hydro One. (Antonella Artuso/Toronto Sun)

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath announces on Monday, April 27, 2015 that her party has launched a website to fight the government's plans to sell off majority stake in Hydro One. (Antonella Artuso/Toronto Sun)

TORONTO - 

Ontario New Democrats have launched a website to battle the Liberal government’s plan to sell a majority stake in publicly-owned Hydro One.

The NDP say youpaytheprice.ca is just part of an “aggressive, multi-platform, anti-hydro privatization campaign,” although the party does not have enough power in the legislature to vote any deal down.

“We know that privatization will mean even higher (hydro) rates for families and businesses who are already bracing for another 5% hike as of May 1,” NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said Monday. “Ontarians did not vote for a platform of cuts and privatization. (Premier) Kathleen Wynne didn’t campaign on this.”

In the legislature, Wynne said that the government will move “carefully” to ensure that public interests are protected.

Although the government is selling off a 60% stake, no one buyer can own more than 10%.

“Selling off (Hwy.) 407 was a fire sale. That was the model we looked at and we said, ‘We’re not doing that,’” Wynne said.

“There’s no way we’re going to sell an asset and rob the people of Ontario of any future value. There’s no way we’re going to undervalue an asset and sell it off.”

Hwy. 407 was leased for 99 years in exchange for a one-time payment that the Mike Harris government used to balance the books in a single year.

The Wynne government expects to get $9 billion from Hydro One, putting $5 billion against electricity system debt and $4 billion into a special fund to pay for infrastructure improvements.

While Wynne has said she doesn’t believe hydro rates will go up, there has been no mention of a guarantee that the sale won’t have that impact.

antonella.artuso@sunmedia.ca


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