Media Advisory: Information picket at Liberal transit town hall

Wednesday, July 29, 2015
5:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) will hold an information picket today outside a Liberal “transit town hall” featuring Ontario Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca to protest the Wynne government’s plan to pay for public transit by privatizing Hydro One and other important public assets and services.

Date: Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: Davenport Perth Neighbourhood and  Community Health Centre, 1900 Davenport Road

The town hall, hosted by Davenport Liberal MPP Cristina Martins, is billed as an opportunity for the government to speak about its plans for public transit in Toronto.

“Kathleen Wynne consulted widely on possible new revenue tools to fund new public transit before the last provincial election,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “But instead of following the advice of experts, she has opted for a disastrous plan to sell off most of Ontario’s biggest asset, Hydro One – with no mandate, with no public consultation, and with a strong majority of Ontarians opposed.“

“The people of Ontario have a right to know what this government is actually doing,” said Thomas. “Selling off Hydro One will mean higher electricity costs, lost revenues, lost control and foreign ownership.”

“It’s a rushed, irresponsible, Band-Aid solution that will have a profound effect on Ontario’s ability to compete and the quality of life of Ontario families for generations to come,” he warned.

The sale of a controlling interest in Hydro One is the most ambitious example of the Liberals’ determination to privatize public services, even after Ontario taxpayers’ watchdog, Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk, revealed that privatization had cost the province more than $8 billion – but had resulted in poorer services than public ownership would have delivered.

“Hydro privatization is another example of the Wynne Liberals’ reliance on failed economic policies from the past,” said Myles Magner, OPSEU’s Vice-President for the Toronto region.  “The government has given away billions of dollars to big business through corporate tax cuts and privatization. But when it comes to public services and their own employees, they say there’s no money.

“The Liberals are using the deficit as an excuse for privatization, service cuts and the erosion of good jobs,” Magner added. “But the more Ontarians know about Premier Wynne’s plan to privatize Hydro and other public services, the less they like it.”

For more information:

Myles Magner, Regional Vice-President, OPSEU Region 5 (Toronto)

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