Politicians try to stop sale of remainder of Hydro One



Sarnia Councillor Brian White and Petrolia Councillor Grant Purdy want the people of Lambton to just say no. The pair are leading the local initiative aimed at stopping the privatization of Hydro One.

White held a public meeting in October to gather volunteers and build momentum against Premier Wynne’s plan to sell 60 per cent of the public utility to private investors.

Saturday, the councillors began their petitioning campaign at Heidi’s Independent Grocer in Petrolia to gather signatures supporting the Hydro One Not for Sale initiative.

Fifteen per cent of Hydro One shares have already been sold. “If it reaches 51 per cent, then any public oversight is lost,” says Purdy. “Electricity is an essential service for everyone. We feel it should stay in public hands.”

White says that in provinces like Nova Scotia, where the electric utility has been privatized, accountability is not the only thing lost. Reliability goes down rates go up, he says.

The Wynne government is promoting the financial benefits of the sale, with plans to use the funds for transportation infrastructure. Purdy says this plan will result in “short term gain and long term loss,” citing a loss of $750 million annually in revenue for the province once the utility has been privatized.

The politicians also want people to write letters directly to the Premier. The note can be as simple as “We’re not happy with the sale of Hydro One. This will cost you your vote,” says White. By marking the envelope with “private and confidential,” White says the letter will make it directly to the Premier’s desk.

“A lot of people feel like it’s hopeless at this point,” says White. However, White and Purdy feel like there’s still a fighting chance. “We’re very optimistic that we can make a difference,” says White.

Amy and Chad Harwood from Kincardine were visiting relatives in Petrolia over the weekend and took a few minutes to add their names to the petition and speak with Purdy and White. “The money from that kind of industry should be going to the province,” says Amy Harwood. “They’re losing their ability to regulate properly,” she says.

The pair collected 120 signatures in two hours Saturday and plan a door-to-door push as well.

“Until 51 per cent of the shares are sold, we still have a fighting chance,” says Purdy.


  1. This loonie premiere has to be taken to court….Please someone file a legal suit against her based on are we a democracy or not ? The majority of Ontarians don’t want Hydro sold !

  2. Thanks for petition suggestion. I’m going to use to canvass my own neighborhood.
    Here’s a letter I wrote a few days ago to my local Conservative MP, Lisa Thompson. She will forward to the Liberal Minister of Energy.. Feel free to use it if you wish.
    Paul Coulter
    Kincardine ON
    N2z 2n1
    (519) 955-1893

    Dear Mr. Chiarelli,

    First, I, and many of my friends and neighbours are appalled by the outrageously expensive cost of electricity in Ontario. Since 2007, rates have increased by 70%.

    Two, it is almost a certainty that in adverse weather, a black-out will happen. Five years ago, these where uncommon, today they are to be expected. I have bought a gasoline fueled generator to keep my critical loads maintained. The grid is not being maintained as it once was.

    Three, the Liberals policy on “Green Energy” is not a prudent expenditure of our money. The capital costs of putting up a windmill will only be theoretically recouped by a incredibly long pay back window. Likely never. A business case that no successful investor would ever undertake out of his own pocket.
    I can only conclude my tax dollars are not real world dollars in funding these ill-advised forays. I must challenge if your party is genuinely interested in best serving the needs of the vast majority of Ontarians.

    Four, the most egregious betrayal of our trust in you as public servants, is your policy selling out of Ontarians by the selling off Hydro One. Most of the fire sale pricing will fund transportation upgrades for Toronto (high density votes) that has little or no value to other Ontarians outside the GTA.
    Further why have you legislated gag orders on the Auditor-Generals office, which up to now has been the impartial watchdog on the efficacy of your energy policies? Having the vested interest of the OEB to oversee your spending appears to be “sharp” accounting.
    Once the Chinese, or whoever end up owning the grid that you are planning to offer at a garage sale, who knows how much worse the current situation may get? Safe bet it’s not going to get better.

    As to item One, last month for example, I used $70.93 of metered electricity. I worked very hard to keep 72% of metered usage “Off-peak”. This accomplished by my own austerity program:

    Cooking hot meals after 7 pm or in one case, before 7 am to roast a Christmas turkey in the oven at 4 am.
    Hot showers involve opening the electrical breaker in my service panel to prevent the water tank elements energizing during peak hours, (which of course is most of the day).
    The house temperature is kept between 62 and 65 degrees F (16.8 to 18.3 C) through the day, (This is not a vacant step back setting on a programmable thermostat- I’m here through most days, and this is what the house temperature set to).
    Using the vacuum cleaner, washer and dryer all used off hours as well.
    Extra bedding necessary overnight.
    Allow me to suggest to your and your colleagues to implement my conservation techniques for yourselves and families. I’m sure these strategies will be warmly embraced by all.

    Getting back to the bill, that metered amount of $70.93 ended up as $163.37. 43% of the overall bill was charged for actual electricity consumed, yet the overall billing is $163.37. Every month well over half my hydro bill are for fees to pay for non-metered charges!
    The actual kW/hr rate is not 18 cents. It’s closer to 48 cents kW/hr! Not even California’s electrical rates at the reputed highest in North America even remotely near this.
    Please explain to me how this is good value for myself and the Ontarians?

    Please explain the other concerns as well.
    We are far from sanguine, (both figuratively and literally) as a result of your energy decisions.

    Paul Coulter,
    Kincardine, ON

  3. Our hydro one is not for sale Wynne! get the key word OUR HYDRO ONE !
    It is not yours to sell we get to speak on the sale!

  4. Way to go Brian White and Grant Purdy for undertaking this to try to prevent the sale of Hydro One. I think it is deplorable what she is doing to our province and hydro is just one. Our rates are horrendous. Please keep up the good work. I hope people don’t just sit back and do nothing. I have been writing letters and signing petitions.

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