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.