We are writing as concerned citizens who are fed up with the privatization of our electricity system and are urging everyone to attend the Public Meeting & Panel Discussion at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, December 13 at the McIntosh Inn in Morrisburg. It is time to put a stop to the sale of Hydro One and start putting the people of Ontario first.
Selling off Hydro One makes no financial sense. In fact, “selling the utility to private investors will end up costing the provincial treasury more than it takes in”, according to Stephen LeClair, the province’s financial accountability officer (The Toronto Star, Sat., Oct. 31, 2015). This will do nothing but increase the cost of electricity and force more people to make the choice between heating and eating.
It is time to turn the clock back on privatization and deregulation and restore Hydro to what the late Sir Adam Beck and late premier, Sir James Whitney (from Morrisburg) intended it to be. Beck opposed “the privately owned companies who he felt did not adequately serve the needs of the public.” Beck’s slogan was “Power at Cost” and in Latin, “dona naturae pro populo sunt” (“the gifts of nature are for the public”). Sir Adam Beck “convinced Premier Whitney to create a board of enquiry on the matter, with him as chairman” and Ontario Hydro was born.
Restoring Ontario Hydro to its original “power at cost” mandate includes more than just stopping the nonsensical sale of Hydro One. It means putting an end to taxation of electricity. It means putting an end to profits which are little more than another tax on the residents of Ontario that can least afford it. It means reversing the decision to split Ontario Hydro into five profit making entities that did little more than increase compensation for more and more senior executives. And finally, it is time to cap compensation for senior executives of Hydro at levels that are comparable to senior civil servants rather than robber barons. If these executives are not happy then let them leave since there is little evidence that we have benefitted from their “expertise” anyway.
No political party is without blame for the mess that has been created in this province. And it is clear that the insanity can only be stopped if everyone takes a stand and demands the restoration of affordable electricity. We urge everyone to stand up and be counted on Tuesday, December 13 at 7:00 pm. Let’s make our voices heard!
Del Jones – President – Leeds & Grenville Labour Council
Heather McGill – President – Cornwall & District Labour Council