Today Mike Schreiner, leader of the Green Party of Ontario, sent the following open letter to the Honourable Kathleen Wynne
Honourable Kathleen Wynne
Premier of Ontario
Legislative Building – Queen’s Park
Toronto ON M7A 1A1
June 1, 2015
Dear Hon. Premier Wynne:
I support your efforts to increase funding for transportation infrastructure. I do not support selling Hydro One to pay for it.
There is a better way. Your own expert panels have offered balanced and fair recommendations for new revenue tools to fund transit. Sadly, you have rejected all of them.
Selling Hydro One is not the solution. This fire sale of a valuable public asset trades our future wealth for a short-term shot of cash.
However, with both the NDP and the Conservatives strongly criticizing new taxes to pay for transit, I understand the political challenge you face. No new tax will be popular. In today’s hyper partisan political culture, no party wants to take on the burden of raising taxes. Yet, we must find revenue to pay for the transportation infrastructure we desperately need.
I’m asking both opposition leaders to come clean on how they would fund transportation. In the last election all parties said they supported funding for transit. Not all parties were honest about how to pay for it.
I’m asking you to let the opposition leaders know that you would be willing to take selling Hydro One off the table if they agreed to support revenue tools for transportation.
I know that this is a bold step full of risk. I know that this is not how politics is played. And with a majority government, you don’t need to work with the opposition. But neither does the opposition need to share the burden of making an unpopular choice.
On this important issue I’m asking all parties to put good public policy before partisan political posturing. My hope is that our political leaders can rise to the moment to do what is best for the people of Ontario.
We should not have to sell a valuable public asset in a desperate attempt to fund the transportation infrastructure we need because the government is afraid to consider better options.
Premier, I know you are committed to building transit. I support this effort. Please don’t make a big mistake in selling off Hydro One to pay for it. I think you know there are better policy options even if they carry political challenges.
The Green Party is eager to work across party lines to support new revenue tools to fund transit. I challenge you to at least make an effort to work with the opposition to fund transportation without selling Hydro One.
I appreciate your time and consideration.
Green Party of Ontario