Keep Hydro Public

Keep Hydro Public

May 31, 2016 09:34 ET

Hundreds Rally Outside Hydro One AGM, Calling for Reversal of Hydro Privatization

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 31, 2016) - This morning hundreds of community and labour activists rallied outside Hydro One's first Annual General Meeting, calling for an immediate reversal of the privatization efforts by the Ontario Liberal Government. The Keep Hydro Public coalition rally took place outside of the MaRS building downtown, where the meeting was unfolding.

"When asked, Ontarians overwhelmingly say they don't want to privatize publicly-owned local utilities and distribution companies," OFL President Chris Buckley. "Premier Wynne and her government are willfully ignoring the wishes of the Ontario public – which is set to lose the most if Hydro One and other utilities are sold off and privatized.

"Seventy per cent of Hydro One is still publicly owned and we demand that the government keep it that way," said Buckley.

The rally attracted a broad cross-section of civil society, all concerned about the implications of a Hydro One sell-off.

"Selling Hydro One is not the way to fix transit. The two or three billion that could come from the Hydro One sale is less than a drop in the bucket," said TTC Riders Executive Director Jessica Bell. "Once this one-time windfall is spent we will have no money available to run transit, or any money available to build new lines as our region grows.

"The TTC is chronically underfunded. It makes zero sense to sell off Hydro One, and force the TTC to pay more for electricity to run our subway system and our street car and LRT network."

Rally speakers included: ONDP Leader Andrea Horwath, Ontario Federation of Labour President Chris Buckley, OPSEU President Smokey Thomas, ACORN's Alejandra Ruiz Vargas, TTC Riders, Unifor Ontario Regional Director Katha Fortier and CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn.

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.

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