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Keeping hydro public: it’s your business

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Dear friends:

I’m sure many of you get sick of being solicited at every turn and at every moment. People want your attention, they want your help, they want your money.

It can become very tiring, and sometimes you just want to turn the world off and retreat into sanctuaries of your own making.

So I understand that you may not care to hear me harping on about Premier Kathleen Wynne’s sell‑off of Hydro One to her Bay Street friends and offshore interests. What’s Hydro One got to do with OPSEU? For that matter, what’s it got to do with you?

A lot. A whole lot.

Faithful readers of my blog will know that I don’t like being partisan. But I want to put in a plug – no pun intended – for a true-blue Tory who passionately believed in “public power.” More than a century ago, Sir Adam Beck thought publicly generated electricity would increase productivity, generate investment and create wealth.

In short, he thought it was sound economics for the government to provide cheap, plentiful electricity to every corner of the province.

And you know what? He was right!

Now, maybe Kathleen Wynne is more partisan than I am, because she suddenly believes public power is no big deal. In fact, it’s hindering economic growth. Sell and get out – we’ll all be better off!

Well, some folks will be better off. But it won’t be you and it won’t be me and it won’t be 99 per cent of Ontarians. It’ll be the wealthy folks who have offices on Bay Street and Wall Street and streets in many foreign capitals.

These rich and super-rich people didn’t get that way by giving consumers the best possible deal. They didn’t fill their pockets by providing service at a loss. No, they did everything in their power to maximize profits. Because that’s what corporations are for.

When they take over ownership of Hydro One from us, they’ll hire the best and brightest to make more money. Whether it’s by increasing the price or decreasing service – or both – they’ll fatten their bottom line.

You’ll pay more and get less. And there’ll be squat you can do about it. Still think this has nothing to do with OPSEU – or you?

But wait – it gets worse!

Hydro One is Ontario’s largest and most important Crown asset. The Liberals are ramming this sell‑off through with maximum secrecy and zero public consultation. They need to keep everyone in the dark – including the province’s regulatory watchdogs.

If they can pull this off, then there may be no stopping the Liberals – or any future government – from putting any and all public assets and services into grasping private hands – here and overseas.

The sell-off of Hydro One is just the latest and most blatant salvo in the Liberals’ devastating campaign to put the province up for sale.

They didn’t ask your permission during the last election, they’re not asking you now, and they sure as heck won’t ask you the next time they want to auction off a chunk of your children’s future.

We can’t let them get away with it. Hydro One belongs to you and me. It belongs to our kids and their kids. It belongs to the 99 per cent of us, and we’re not going to let the one per cent steal it.

Act now to stop privatization. Hound Kathleen Wynne and your MPP with calls, letters and emails. Take up a petition and send it to your MPP. Take part in a demonstration.

My friends, the clock is ticking. Don’t wait till it’s too late. Because once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.

Hydro One is your business. Stand up. Say NO to a sell-off. Keep Hydro public!

In solidarity,

Warren (Smokey) Thomas
President, Ontario Public Service Employees Union

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