This Monday October 26th at 7 p.m. (in the Council Chambers, City Hall, 1 Carden Street), the Guelph City Council meets with a motion on the table: to discuss the position of the city on the privatization of Hydro One.
Hydro One holds nearly all the electricity distribution in Ontario, and also supplies local electricity, as a distribution company, for approximately 1.4 million families. According to Premier Kathleen Wynne, the privatization of this public company includes to sell 60% of Hydro One on the stock market, in several 15% installments. According to a Globe and Mail report, the Ontario government aims to raise $9-billion from the privatization. However, over half of that, $5-billion, will be not be applied for public purposes, as it will be directed to pay down debt in the electricity sector, while $4-billion will be used to build new transit lines.
Families, small businesses, primary and secondary industries are among the main beneficiaries of affordable electricity. The United Nations’ WEHAB (Water, Energy, Health, Agriculture and Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management) working group has identified the importance of having universal access to energy:
“Although energy itself is not a basic human need,
it is critical for the fulfillment of all needs.
Lack of access to diverse and affordable energy services
means that the basic needs of many people are not being met”
Adrian J Bradbrook, Bonython Professor of Law
University of Adelaide, Australia
(His report can be accessed here)
This is why the Council of Canadians, The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario, the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), the Communist Party of Canada – Ontario (CPC-O) and many citizens oppose this privatization.
An Environics poll released early this summer said that 8 out of 10 Guelph’s residents opposed privatization plans. Hence, it is of utmost importance to seek support and put pressure into our public institutions to defend our public energy assets. Furthermore, remember that this Monday October 26th at 7 p.m. (in the Council Chambers, City Hall, 1 Carden Street), the Guelph City Council meets with a motion on the table: to discuss the position of the city on the privatization of Hydro One.