“The Liberals have turned Hydro One into a piggy bank to go on risky business adventures,” says Green Party of Ontario leader Mike Schreiner.
“The people of Ontario built Hydro One over decades into the wealthy transmission and distribution utility it is now, a huge public asset,” according to Schreiner. “But after the Liberals disastrous decision to privatize Hydro One, that wealth is being used as ‘play money’ to take huge risks at our expense.”
Quietly this summer, the (American) CEO of the newly-privatized Hydro One Ltd. announced that the former public utility is buying Avista, an electricity company in the United States. Avista owns a stake in a huge coal-fired generating plant in Montana. The price: a staggering $6.7 billion cash!
The new Hydro One said they had no money and had to raise our rates to invest in infrastructure.
So where did they get the $6.7 billion cash? From mortgaging the assets of the old Hydro One. The transmission lines and distribution systems were built by us – paid for on our electricity bills over all these years.
Now they’ve been mortgaged to send money to the U.S. to purchase aging electrical utility assets that are already becoming obsolete.
“This is a big mistake,” says Schreiner. “The Liberal’s Bay Street friends are spending our wealth to bail out sunsetting American utilities. They are leaving the people of Ontario holding an empty bag.”
We were told that the delivery charge on our electricity bills had to go up to pay for badly needed infrastructure replacement. Then we were told that the government had to sell off Hydro One to help fund transit, and that the sale wouldn’t have other consequences.
“You think your bills are high now, wait until you see your bill if the Avista deal goes bad,” warns Schreiner.
“Hydro One used to be a foundational utility supporting the economy of Ontario–paying a dividend each year to fund public services that benefit people,” says Schreiner. “The Liberals have squandered those benefits and lost control of our electricity system.”
“And who is calling them out? Certainly not the Conservatives who started this privatization push in the first place. We desperately need Green voices at Queen’s Park to speak for sensible management of public assets.“
The GPO is on a mission to bring honesty, integrity and policies that work for people to Queen’s Park.