Protesting The Privatization Of Hydro One

By Aston Patis

Blackburn News  (May 28, 2015) — Protesters took to the lawn of Queens Park and London MPP Deb Matthews’ office this afternoon to protest the Liberal government’s plan to privatize Hydro One.

The Liberal government announced it would be selling a 60% stake in Hydro One. Individual shareholders would be capped at owning 10%, making the government still the largest shareholder.

However, some say the government has been sneaky and not entirely clear about what the sell off means.

“It doesn’t matter what political stripe you are, people are against this. It will cause the system to be more expensive for the end user and it will cause a lot of problems trying to semi-privatize Hydro One,” says organizer of the London protest Mike Bloxam. “This is a very important public asset. It was established in 1906 and it’s been an important part of building Ontario’s economic prosperity. If we sell this off then we’re really selling off a major asset that belongs to the people of the province.”

The sell off of Hydro One shares is expected to generate about $9-billion, some of which will be used for infrastructure projects and to pay down the province’s debt.

“Any money that they could ever get in any short term deal on this does not outweigh, on any mathematical level, the long term income. This is like taking the biggest thing in your life that makes you money and selling it for the fraction of the price,” says protester Dan Hilton. “A majority government, early in its mandate, wants to ram this through because they know this is the only time they can do it and recover in time for the next election, so this is why it’s key for Ontarians to be loud and clear that this is unacceptable.”

The government says shares will be offered through an initial public offering.

Hydro One brings in about $300-million for the government each year.

Original Story at Black Burn News by Aston Patis