Samsung deal a typical example of privatized electricity generation

TORONTO, Jan. 21 /CNW/ - Premier Dalton McGuinty's choice of a venue to announce his electricity deal with Samsung is very telling. The Toronto Stock Exchange is not a place where ordinary Ontarians spend a lot of time. And the deal he is announcing is certainly not in the interests of the people of Ontario.

The Ontario Electricity Coalition (OEC) fully supports windmills and green jobs. But the OEC is not in favour of private power deals which will hurt the people of Ontario for decades.

"The Samsung deal is not just about manufacturing wind turbines. It is a private scheme to generate electricity at outrageous (and therefore secret) rates - for years to come," said OEC spokesperson, Paul Kahnert. "Every penny of Samsung's mega profits will come out of the pocket of Ontario's electricity consumers and business owners. Ontario's public electrical utilities can buy, install and maintain made-in-Ontario windmills - without the likes of Samsung - at a much lower cost."

The Samsung announcement comes on the heels of Premier Mr. McGuinty's revelation that he might sell off Hydro One. He has no mandate to privatize Ontario's electricity system and in fact promised "public power" in the 2003 Provincial election. On Sept. 5, 2003, Mr. McGuinty said, "Deregulation and privatization hasn't worked and we can't go back there. I've drawn a lesson from that. Number one, we've got to keep Hydro public."

The OEC calls on Mr. McGuinty to keep his promise to scrap privatization of our Hydro utilities, scrap private electricity generation deals and scrap deregulated Hydro rates.

"This deal will serve as a wake up call for the people of Ontario because it is typical of the backroom deals in a privatized Hydro system," added the OEC spokesperson. "The silver lining of the Samsung scandal is that now it will be much harder for George Smitherman and Rocco Rossi to convince the people that it is a good idea to sell Toronto Hydro or any other part of our public electricity system."

SOURCE ONTARIO ELECTRICITY COALITION

For further information: For further information: Paul Kahnert, Spokesperson, Ontario Electricity Coalition, (647) 654-9084, pkahnert@rogers.com

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ONTARIO ELECTRICITY COALITION

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