Union says FAO report should be "final nail in the coffin" for utility sale
TORONTO—Following the release of a “scathing” Financial Accountability Office report, the Canadian Union of Public Employees is calling on Ontario Premier, Kathleen Wynne, to stop the sale of Hydro One before it becomes the “next Liberal scandal.”
“This privatization plan has been a mistake from day one,” the union’s Ontario president, Fred Hahn, said. “Now the financial accountability officer has made clear it will not only take away public control over electricity, it will also drive up the province’s debt.”
“Hydro privatization is a lose-lose deal for Ontario,” he added. “It’s time for Kathleen Wynne to pull the plug before Hydro One becomes a scandal to dwarf the gas plants or the 407 deal.”
The FAO, an independent body headed by Stephen LeClair and responsible for analyzing Ontario’s finances, said it is difficult to determine how the provincial government came up with its valuations for the sale because the Liberals have withheld certain information. While the FAO refused to take an official position in the report without the full story, it said selling Hydro One would result in an initial drop in debt, but the positive impact could be short term because of lost revenue.
“Selling any part of Hydro One means public revenue will become private profit,” Hahn said. “There is no public benefit to this privatization whatsoever. If the premier has any interest in public good, she will do the right thing and end this fiasco before it becomes a tragedy of historic proportions for our province.”
CUPE has been a vocal opponent of the planned privatization since the sale was announced.