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Hydro’s future

The Windsor Star
May 18, 2012

STILL A POLITICAL FOOTBALL

The reinvention of Conservative Leader Tim Hudak started early this week when  he announced, with much fanfare, one of the key planks in his party’s summer  platform to reinvigorate Ontario’s economy.

Why not, he said, sell off parts of Hydro One and the OPG to public-sector  pension plans? Wouldn’t getting rid of that nasty albatross help keep  electricity prices in check?

While Hudak felt he was having a lightning bolt moment, it was more like déjà  vu all over again for veteran members of the legislature.

Surely the leader wasn’t attempting to bring back a privatization plan  floated by Mike Harris in 2001; a plan that caused electricity prices to soar  before being quashed by newly minted premier Ernie Eves just seven months  later?

If this was all Hudak had to offer after letting victory slip through his  fingers in the last election, the Conservatives were officially on the fast  track to nowhere.

But that’s exactly what he was doing, and both the Liberals and NDP were  quick to remind him the idea of selling off hydro was just as much of a  non-starter today as it was a decade ago.

Providing electricity is, and always will be, an essential service in this  province. While it can’t be given over to the private sector, it can’t continue  to operate without accountability. It can’t be a political football.

People are snickering at Hudak because his just-released white paper on hydro  is a waste of time. Everyone knows it won’t fly, and trying to turn back the  clock was just plain dumb. But McGuinty and company shouldn’t be so smug.

This government has no reasonable solution either, and for the overburdened  ratepayers of Ontario, that’s a crime.

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