TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Nov. 5, 2015) - Today's initial sale of Hydro One shares is a betrayal of public interest that the people of Ontario will never forget, said Fred Hahn, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario.

"We made hydro public more than 100 years ago because it was the right thing to do. Public hydro was created so we'd have reliable, affordable electricity to fuel our economy and improve our lives," said Hahn. "Today, the Liberal government has betrayed that history. It's a mistake, and the Liberals must not go any further with their disastrous privatization plans."

Today's initial sale of 15 percent of Hydro One is part of a Liberal plan to sell a majority of the province's transmission and distribution company. CUPE Ontario opposes the sale and is calling on the Liberal government to halt any future sale of shares.

"Ontario is already struggling, and we're seeing school and hospital closures, and growing wait lists for vital public services. Handing over at least half a billion dollars a year in Hydro One revenues to private profit makes no sense," said Hahn. "The only people who will benefit from this privatization are the bankers and lawyers on Bay Street who stand to make millions in fees."

Privatization means the public loses accountability and control over a key lever of the economy, and will see electricity rates skyrocket. Economists and government watchdogs alike have decried the Hydro One sale as a mistake, and almost 85 percent of Ontarians agree the province should keep hydro public, as do nearly 190 municipalities and 40 chambers of commerce.

A report from the province's Financial Accountability Officer last week made clear that any proceeds from the sale will be outweighed by lost revenue in just a few short years.

"We're losing huge long-term revenue, and the reality is this really isn't about infrastructure spending. In fact, over the long-term it means Ontario will have less money for programs and infrastructure," said Hahn. "The Liberals must stop before their mistake becomes the economic tragedy of a generation."

CUPE is Ontario's community union, with more than 250,000 members providing quality public services we all rely on, in every part of the province, every day. CUPE Ontario members are proud to work in social services, health care, municipalities, school boards, universities and airlines.

Contact Information:

Craig Saunders
CUPE Communications