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Is Hydro Sale a Repeat of Ford’s Waterfront Gaffe?

For Immediate Release
October 28, 2011

Toronto: Rob Ford may be charging ahead to sell part of Toronto Hydro, in the face of existing Council policy, leading public opinion and established Council processes.

“This bears a striking resemblance to Ford’s Waterfront Plan blunder a few months ago,” commented John Camilleri, President of CUPE Local 1, who represents Toronto Hydro workers, “I thought he would have learned his lesson about not blind-siding Council and the public with proposals they historically oppose.”

The Mayor’s proposal to sell part of the utility short circuits the budget process led by Budget Chief Mike Del Grande and an assets review process led by Executive Committee member Michael Thompson. Most of Council is on record opposing any sale of Toronto Hydro.

“A majority of sitting Councillors responding to our election survey agreed to keep Toronto Hydro publicly owned,” stated Emily Alfred, spokesperson for the Toronto Environmental Alliance. “They made an election commitment because Council needs full ownership to realize the utility’s potential to meet Toronto’s green energy and local economic development goals.”

The Board of Trade denounced the move yesterday saying that it is unsound to sell off assets that bring in revenue. According to a presentation made by Toronto Hydro CEO to the City’s Economic Development Committee, the utility has contributed $2.1 billion into the City’s coffers since amalgamation.

The proposal to sell part of Toronto Hydro is due to be debated on Tuesday at the Mayor’s Executive Committee. TEA’s election survey combined with a City Council vote taken on the issue in July 2010 puts a majority of Executive Committee members, including the Mayor on the public record as opposed to any sale of the utility.

“There is so much the City can do make Toronto Hydro even more profitable, reduce customers energy bills and meet our sustainability goals,” commented Alfred, “we are counting on Councillors to stick to their guns on Tuesday.”

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For more information, contact:

Emily Alfred, Toronto Environmental Alliance: 416-596-0660
Katrina Miller, on behalf of CUPE Local 1: 647-272-5024

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