John and Wilma say NO to selling any part of Peterborough’s utility

Letter to the editor, Peterborough This Week (Mar 11, 2016) — To the Mayor and Members of council:

I am writing to express my concern about selling the distribution part of our Peterborough owned utilities.

The first thought that came to my mine is to whom are we selling it. We all know that Hydro One is up for sale and have no idea of who will own the controlling shares of this vital part of Ontario’s critical service. Is it going to controlled by Canadian investors or foreign investors? Do you want China, Spain, Russia, France or some other distant country being in control of our utilities/distribution? You can’t rely on our Ontario government to protect us from rates increases and other distribution costs such as delivery costs and transportation costs and things such as upgrading towers, lines, etc.

Point one – don’t sell when you don’t know who you are selling to.

We have a service which is the envy of most municipalities. Our billing is good, our service is top notch, we operate efficiently and we can talk to local people who understand and response accordingly. There is an old saying that says ” If it is not broke, don’t fix it”. I definitely believe our Peterborough Utilities is not broken and quite the contrary, we have a income producing utility, a city controlled utility and a progressive and growing endeavor we can all be proud of.

Point two – don’t sell something that is working well and we should be proud of

This sell off would be about as stupid and our Ontario Liberal government is doing in selling off Hydro One. It gives us an instant hit of cash but long term it take away a consistent flow of cash to our city. Like what has happened previously when we sell things off, the big money comes and the big money goes and the majority of people are left scratching their heads wondering what that big hit of money actually did and where did it all go.

Point three – Manage the annual income well and continue to allow it to be used in a manner that is good for the citizens of Peterborough while still maintaining a huge source of capital wealth for the city.

I think you need many more consultations with the citizens of Peterborough before you make this huge decision. The only rush is to satisfy Hydro One before anyone knows who owns it and to get a rather large cash flow so we can feel good about things and squander it for immediate satisfaction of projects we should have been setting aside money for over years of careful planning.

From this voter/tax payer’s prospective, I say NO until you can understand who you’re dealing with and what the impact of this deal is on our community.

That’s a NO from John and Wilma on Marina Blvd.

John and Wilma Flanagan

Peterborough

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