Keep Hydro Public

Keep Hydro Public

April 21, 2016 07:45 ET

Fight to Keep Hydro Public goes underground

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 21, 2016) - Commuters and MPPs won't be able to miss the message today, as Queen's Park subway station is covered with posters calling on the Premier and Liberal MPPs to halt their hydro sell-off. The Liberals' move to sell hydro remains deeply unpopular and widely opposed by the public and public interest experts.

"Poll after poll shows more than 80 percent of Ontarians want to keep hydro public, but Wynne and her MPPs seem to think that they're right and the vast majority of Ontarians they work for, including those who voted for them, are wrong," said Minerva Hui, a spokesperson for Keep Hydro Public. "We want them to get the message: Stop now - it's still not too late to halt this sale. Wynne and Liberal MPPs need to do their jobs and act in the public interest."

Keep Hydro Public chose to advertise in the Queen's Park subway station because the subway is the electric backbone of Toronto's public transit network. An Environics poll in February found 82 percent of Toronto residents want the Liberals to stop the Hydro One sale. The poll was conducted before the latest sale of shares, and before the scandal linking the banks underwriting the sale to big-ticket Liberal fundraisers. At the time, nearly two-thirds of people who voted Liberal in the last election said hydro privatization means they're more likely to vote for someone else in the next provincial election.

The ads call on Torontonians to contact their Liberal MPPs and push them to represent their constituents and speak out against any further sale of Hydro One shares. Despite last week's abrupt sell-off of a further 15 percent, the public still owns 70 percent of Hydro One and the public clearly wants to keep it that way.

"Privatizing hydro means a loss of public control and higher rates, and that is going to put more financial pressure on our public transit system," said Jessica Bell, executive director of TTCriders. "It's a bit ironic that a privatization being billed as a way to fund transit infrastructure is going to drive up transit operating costs and add to the living costs of transit riders."

In addition to massive public opposition across the province, a long list of public accountability experts have warned that Hydro privatization is a bad idea. The province's Financial Accountability Officer reported that the sale will end up costing the province $500 million a year in lost revenue.

The subway ads are part of a new phase in the campaign to stop Hydro privatization, which is gaining momentum across the province.

The Keep Hydro Public campaign is supported by more than 20 community, labour, environment, anti-poverty and student organizations. Find out more about the campaign at KeepHydroPublic.ca.

Contact Information

  • Craig Saunders
    (416) 576-7316