Andrea Horwath introduces legislation for Hydro One Referendum

Andrea Horwath, Leader of Ontario’s New Democrats, is introducing a Private Members Bill which would ensure Hydro One could not be sold without hearing from Ontario voters first. Horwath has been holding packed town hall meetings across the province, where Ontarians have said they can’t afford to pay the price for Kathleen Wynne’s scheme to sell-off Hydro One.

“Kathleen Wynne wants to sell-off Hydro One without listening to the people who own it. Ontarians own Hydro One, and not a single person voted to sell it. Kathleen Wynne has absolutely no mandate to sell Hydro One, ” said Horwath. “People can’t afford to pay the price for selling Hydro One. They can’t afford higher hydro bills and their government can’t afford to lose the hundreds of millions of dollars in stable revenues that funds important public priorities like education, healthcare and infrastructure.”

Horwath noted the Liberals have kept Ontarians in the dark. On October 21, Kathleen Wynne said “we're not selling off the assets,” and yet six months later the Premier announced her plan to privatize Hydro One. 

Horwath’s bill is entitled the Listening to Ontarians Act (Hydro One and Other Electricity Assets). If passed, it would stop the sale of Hydro One or other electricity assets unless Ontarians explicitly approve of a sale through a referendum. The bill is scheduled to be debated on June 4, 2015.

“Hydro One doesn’t belong to the Liberal party. It doesn’t belong to Kathleen Wynne. It belongs to Ontarians. It’s a strategic asset that supports job creation, energy efficiency, and economic growth. Selling it off will affect every single Ontarian. Those Ontarians deserve their say,” continued Horwath.

Horwath notes that her bill provides similar protections to those found in Manitoba’s Public Insurance Corporation Act and The Manitoba Hydro Act; both acts prohibit the Government from selling off those public assets without first going to a referendum and getting the approval of  a majority of citizens. Manitoban’s, with their public system, enjoy some of the lowest hydro rates in the country.