TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Nov. 2, 2016) - In the wake of news City Council may soon be considering the sale of Toronto Hydro, a group of community and labour organizations have come together to form Our Hydro, a coalition committed to keeping Toronto Hydro public.
The coalition has launched a campaign aimed at informing communities about the scheme to privatize Toronto Hydro and urging residents to inform their City Councillors they want to keep Toronto Hydro public. The website ourhydro.ca has been created to support the campaign.
"I'm afraid that if we sell-off our electricity system and private investors start calling the shots, our electricity will be less reliable and less affordable," said tenant advocate and East York ACORN Chair Alejandra Ruiz Vargas. "We will be trying to reach as many residents as possible, phoning, knocking on doors, handing out information, so they can let their councillors know they don't want Toronto Hydro sold off."
The executive committee of Council could be voting on a recommendation around hydro privatization as early as its December 1st meeting. The coalition points out privatizing even part of Toronto Hydro is not in the best interest of Toronto residents.
"There's significant evidence that when electricity is privatized bills go up and reliability goes down, but there is an additional impact for Toronto," said Sean Meagher, Executive Director of Social Planning Toronto. "Revenue from Toronto Hydro that funds other city programs serving our communities would be lost, making the city budget crisis worse." Last year Toronto Hydro contributed over $50 million to the City's operating budget.
News recently leaked out that Toronto Hydro has hired a number of consultants with close ties to the Mayor to conduct secret preparations for privatizing - despite the fact City Council, where important decisions like privatizing Toronto Hydro are properly made - was not consulted or informed.
"Toronto Hydro will play an increasingly important role in our efforts to address and adapt to climate change in our city," said Dr. Franz Hartmann, Executive Director of the Toronto Environmental Alliance. "If Torontonians want to weather climate change, it's vital we keep Toronto Hydro 100% publicly owned and accountable."