The urgency of The Society’s campaign to keep Toronto Hydro public increased this week after Toronto mayor John Tory gave a speech calling for privatization of the city’s electric utility. The Society is calling on members and other supporters to send an e-mail opposing privatization to Tory and city councillors through FairHydro.ca.
The Society launched the FairHydro.ca campaign in August. President Scott Travers explained why The Society is launching the campaign now:
“We saw with Hydro One that once there’s a recommendation to privatize a utility on the table it’s almost too late to stop it. So we know that the experts are studying a Toronto Hydro privatization right now and that’s why it’s the time to let decision-makers know how we feel.”
The decision to get started early was a wise move. In a September 21 speech to the Toronto Board of Trade, Tory announced his support for privatizing a minority share of Toronto Hydro. Tory has not provided any other details of his plan but claims that the money raised from a Toronto Hydro sell-off is needed to fund infrastructure upgrades to Toronto Hydro, as well as for transit, housing and other priorities.
Tory’s support for privatization preempts a series of consultations the City of Toronto had planned that were to include gauging the public’s interest in a range of measures including a hydro sell-off. The report on these consultations outlines in-person meetings, online surveys and statistically valid public opinion polling that will be completed throughout the fall of 2016 and spring of 2017.