Electricity coalition challenges energy minister to debate Liberal plan for private power

    TORONTO, Sept. 21 /CNW Telbec/ - Ontario Electricity Coalition
spokesperson Paul Kahnert says he is ready to debate Energy Minister Dwight
Duncan at a time and location of the minister's choosing following Duncan's
denial that the Liberal government plans to privatize Ontario's energy supply.
    In a story in today's Windsor Star, Duncan calls the coalition's
statement that the Liberals are privatizing by stealth "laughable."
    "I can guarantee that this is no laughing matter for Ontario voters,"
Kahnert said. "Ontarians recognize a broken promise when they see it. Besides,
the minister is on record touting private power. I heard him myself in August
2004 when he told the Empire Club, 'all new generation will be private.'"
    Prior to the last provincial election, in November 2002, Dalton McGuinty
declared, "The market is dead, deregulation is dead, privatization is dead."
Yet, once in government, the Liberals introduced Bill 100, which relies on
private investors to bring new supply into a "mixed" electricity market. The
gradual reduction of public power generation - privatization by stealth - is
reinforced in the recently-released integrated power supply plan, which
describes the "evolution of Ontario's electricity sector towards a workably
competitive market."
    "Competition, deregulation and privatization are the three pillars of a
Liberal policy that is only bad news for consumers - whether at home, in
industry or in cash-strapped public institutions like schools and hospitals,"
Kahnert said. "Competition leads to higher prices, not lower ones, as our
neighbours in the U.S. have found."
    "We want our electricity supply to be reliable, we want it to be
affordable and, more than ever, we want it to be environmentally responsible.
The Liberal plan lets Ontario down on every one of those fronts. I'm prepared
to debate Minister Duncan whenever he's ready."

For further information:

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

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