September 21st, 2015

Tabuns: Poll confirms that most Ontarians expect their bills will rise faster with privatized Hydro One

NDP Energy critic Peter Tabuns today said that a new poll conducted by Campaign Research on behalf of the Ontarian Energy Association confirms that nearly 80% of Ontarians believe their hydro bills will rise faster because of the privatization of Hydro One. Tabuns said the poll also confirms what other polls have previously found: that a majority of Ontarians “strongly oppose” the Liberal government’s plans to privatize Hydro One. 

“More Ontarians believe Elvis is alive than believe a privatized Hydro One will save them money,” said Tabuns, noting that the poll found that only 5% of Ontarians believed their bills would be lower as a result of the sale. “This poll shows that almost 80% of Ontarians expect their hydro bills to rise even faster as a result of the privatization of Hydro One, and most Ontarians ‘strongly oppose’ the sale. The Liberal government needs to stop catering to its Bay Street friends, and start listening to the vast majority of Ontarians who oppose the sale of Hydro One.”

Last week, the Liberal government released a preliminary prospectus outlining details of the Hydro One sale. The prospectus revealed that executive pay at Hydro One will skyrocket after privatization, with the CEO receiving a target salary of $4 million per year, more than five times what former CEO Carmine Marcello received in 2014. These salary increases are ultimately paid for by electricity consumers on their hydro bills.

Despite this, Liberal ministers Charles Sousa and Bob Chiarelli both claimed that Hydro One privatization would save people money. The government has refused to release any studies or evidence to back up this claim, and has refused requests from the Financial Accountability Officer for documents that could show whether the Hydro One sale is a good deal for Ontarians.

“This poll shows that Ontarians understand what a privatized Hydro One will mean for their electricity bills. They are going up. More money will flow out of consumers’ pockets and into the pockets of Hydro One executives and the Liberal government’s Bay Street friends,” said Tabuns. “There is still time to stop this madness. Kathleen Wynne just needs to listen to the majority of Ontarians, and cancel her reckless and shortsighted plan to sell off Hydro One.”