Today Mike Schreiner, leader of the Green Party of Ontario, sent the following open letter to Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown
Leader, Progressive Conservative Party
59 Adelaide Street East, 4th Floor
June 1, 2015
Dear Patrick Brown:
I was pleased to learn that you are opposed to privatizing Hydro One–at least 50 percent, that is. I share your concerns with privatizing Hydro One.
Selling off Hydro One is a poor choice–a bad decision from a desperate government looking for money to fund transportation infrastructure. This fire sale of an important public asset trades our future wealth for a short-term shot of cash.
There is a better way to fund transportation. And I’m asking you to take a bold step to offer the Liberals a compromise. If you want to stop the sell off of Hydro One, then reach out to the Premier with a clear statement on how you would fund transportation if the Liberals take privatizing Hydro One off the table.
I know politics is about offering voters different choices. But in the last election all parties said they supported funding for transit. Not all parties were honest about how to pay for it. Even Rob Ford acknowledged that property taxes in Toronto would need to go up to pay for the Scarborough subway.
Sadly, the Premier has rejected every other source of revenue to fund transit. This includes ignoring recommendations from her own expert panels.
To be fair, so have the Progressive Conservatives.
You have an opportunity to rebrand the PC party by reaching out to the Premier with concrete solutions to fund transportation. This is a chance to put results for the people of Ontario before political partisan advantage.
No new tax or spending cuts in other areas will be popular. Yet, we must find revenue to pay for the transportation infrastructure we desperately need.
I am asking you to share the burden of leadership on this issue with the Liberals, even though their majority government does not require you to do so.
I understand why the PCs would rather score partisan political points than offer the Liberals a compromise. I am asking you to take a risk—a risk that voters will reward you more for changing the political game, rather than playing it to your advantage.
More importantly, I am asking you to do the right thing for the people of Ontario.
I’m writing the Premier and the leader of the third party with a similar request. With good will, I know we can find a multi-party compromise on ways to fund transportation that do not include privatizing Hydro One.
I appreciate your time and consideration. The Green Party is eager to work with others to fund transportation infrastructure while retaining a valuable public asset such as Hydro One.
Green Party of Ontario