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Energy Minister should release names of top donors: OPSEU

Fighting Privatization

The president of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union is calling for more transparency from Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli.

“As the government gets set to sell another 15 per cent of Hydro One, I’m calling on Minister Chiarelli to personally release the names of all donors who paid $1,000 or more to attend a Liberal Party fundraiser where he was a featured attraction,” Warren (Smokey) Thomas said today. “Given that 80 per cent of Ontarians oppose selling off Hydro One, and he’s the man responsible for selling it, let’s get everything out in the open.

“It’s clear that much of the big money the Liberals have raised since the last election has flowed in the direction of Chiarelli,” Thomas continued. “Ontarians deserve to judge for themselves whether Liberal fundraising played a role in the decision to privatize.”

One Liberal fundraising event in December, promoted by one of the banks that led the Hydro One selloff, charged financiers $7,500 to spend an evening with Chiarelli and Finance Minister Charles Sousa.  At another event in March, energy industry insiders paid $6,000 a plate to have dinner and cocktails with Chiarelli and Premier Kathleen Wynne.

But the problem in Ontario goes much farther than a few high-priced dinners, Thomas said.

“Kathleen Wynne is right to promise fundraising reform, but what we really need is a provincial inquiry into the privatization industry in this province,” Thomas said. “I’ve been calling for one since 2014, and will continue to do so.

“Millions of dollars are flowing to the Liberals; billions of public dollars are flowing to the banks, construction bosses, and corporate lawyers who are writing the cheques,” he said. “Let’s follow the money.”

For more information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas 613-329-1931