On November 1st 2011, the Executive Committee considered a staff request to sell 10% ownership of Toronto Hydro. Read the staff report here. The rationale for the sale is to use the potential proceeds to finance capital purchases (eg. TTC equipment, road repairs) instead of borrowing more money.
Thankfully a majority of Councillors expressed unease with selling off 10% of Toronto Hydro and decided to wait until January to revisit the staff suggestion, as part of the city's budget discussions. Read the final decision here.
TEA is opposed to the full or partial sale of Toronto Hydro, as it does not make financial or environmental sense. Toronto Hydro is a money-making business that has a strong record for implementing energy conservation for its customers and developing green power alternatives. Once a portion of Toronto Hydro is sold to supposedly deal with budget pressures, it's highly likely future budget pressures would be used to sell off the rest of Toronto Hydro.
If the real goal was to help Torontonians save money, the best option is to direct Toronto Hydro to invest in more aggressive energy conservation programs to bring down hydro bills permanently for its 600,000 customers.
At the November 1st Executive Committee meeting, TEA's Executive Director, Franz Hartmann spoke to the Committee. Following his deputation, he was questioned by Councillors for 35 minutes, seeking in-depth explanations for his remarks.
Seven of the fourteen Executive Committee members had publicly stated in 2010 that they did not support the sale of any part of Toronto Hydro when the issue of selling it came to Council in July 2010
See TEA's 2010 Councillor report card here
The majority of all current City Councillors committed to keeping Toronto Hydro public in the fall of 2010 in TEA's election survey.
In response to the staff report, TEA put out two media releases:
October 25 - Hydro Sale “Reckless” says Environment Group
October 28 - Is Hydro Sale a Repeat of Ford’s Waterfront Gaffe?