With Hydro One's deal to buy and merge with American energy producer Avista, Ontario families are paying billions to once again own coal-fired power generation – an environmentally devastating business Ontarians have already paid to get out of.
“Kathleen Wynne is spending billions so that Ontario can once again own a dirty coal plant – that’s incredibly frustrating,” said Peter Tabuns, the NDP’s Energy, Environment and Climate Change critic. “By selling off Hydro One, she ensured that Ontario would lose control, and this merger shows just how little control the government has over a privatized Hydro One.
“She set us up for this type of deal – one that’s so environmentally unsound, it wouldn’t even be legal in Ontario.”
Coal-fired power was outlawed in Ontario in 2015, but Kathleen Wynne is now signing off on using Hydro One cash in a deal that includes partial ownership of one of the biggest coal-fired power plants in America. The massive Colstrip operation emits 13.5 megatonnes of carbon dioxide annually.
“The hypocrisy of Kathleen Wynne is astounding,” said Tabuns. “I think Ontario families have made it clear that they want her to stop privatizing hydro. They want her to stop driving up their bills. And they want to do their part for the environment. With one swoop, Wynne betrays us again on all three counts.”
The Avista merger, which will cost Hydro One $6.4 billion, is yet another step in Wynne's privatization of hydro.
Ontario's Conservative party first pitched selling off Hydro One and OPG, before Kathleen Wynne and her Liberals took over and sold off most of the former Crown corporation, driving hydro bills sky-high in the process. The merger with the American corporation further ships out Ontario's ownership and control.
While the Conservatives say they would keep Hydro One privatized, Andrea Horwath and the NDP’s plan will reverse the privatization, bringing hydro back into public ownership so the province has more control over hydro prices again. That plan will lower hydro bills, and result in profits being returned to the provincial coffers to help pay for services families count on, like hospitals and transit.