Electricity coalition brings campaign to stop hydro privatization to Niagara

    TORONTO, Oct. 3 /CNW Telbec/ - The Ontario Electricity Coalition brings
its campaign for public power to the Niagara region tomorrow.
    OEC spokesperson Paul Kahnert will meet media at a news conference at
11:00 a.m., Thurs., Oct. 4 at the Sir Adam Beck 2 Generating Station on the
Niagara Parkway.
    That evening, Kahnert will kick off a debate on Ontario's electricity
future at a public meeting at 7 p.m. at the Thorold Public Library, 14 Ormond
St. N., Thorold.
    Support for public power remains high in Ontario, according to polls
conducted for the coalition in three cities - Ottawa, Windsor and Thunder Bay.
Out of 1,408 households contacted by telephone, 83% said they would get a
lower price on electricity from a non-profit, publicly owned utility than from
a private, for-profit corporation. Asked which would do the best job on energy
conservation and protecting the environment, 85% said a publicly owned
    The Liberal electricity plan released in August, however, talks about the
evolution of the electricity sector toward a "workably competitive market."
    "Under the Liberal government, the Ontario Power Authority has released
an electricity plan that energy minister Dwight Duncan described as probably
the largest peacetime expenditure in this country's history," said Kahnert.
"Yet, there has been no public consultation, no debate on a plan that is going
to expand electricity privatization and subject Ontario to yet another
expensive experiment with deregulation.
    Both deregulation and privatization are bad news for consumers and the
environment, said Kahnert.
    "Show us one deregulated electricity market that has worked," he said.
"Why do they keep trying to make deregulation work here? It hasn't worked
anywhere. The debate on deregulation is over in the U.S. with 25 states
closing electricity markets and re-regulating rates."
    The Ontario Electricity Coalition is touring the province to raise clean,
public power as an issue in the October 10 election.
    "The Sir Adam Beck 2 Generating Station is an important stop on our
tour," Kahnert said. "Sir Adam Beck, the father of public power in Ontario
said on his deathbed, 'I wish I could have lived long enough to build a band
of iron around Ontario Hydro to keep it safe from the politicians."

For further information:

For further information: Paul Kahnert, (416) 407-0077

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