Thunder Bay residents say public power is best for consumers and environment

    THUNDER BAY, ON, Oct. 1 /CNW Telbec/ - In a telephone poll conducted by
the Ontario Electricity Coalition, most Thunder Bay residents said they think
publicly owned, non-profit utilities are better for consumers and the
environment than private corporations.
    "Ownership and control of our electricity supply matters," said OEC
spokesperson Paul Kahnert. "We need a debate on Ontario's energy future
because the plan that has been developed under the Liberal government will
mean more privatization and another expensive experiment with deregulation."
    Of almost 600 Thunder Bay households polled by the OEC, 88% 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, 87% said a
publicly owned utility.
    Yet, the Liberal electricity plan released last month talks about the
evolution of the electricity sector toward a "workably competitive market."
    "Just like the Conservatives before them, the Liberals are promising
lower prices through competition," Kahnert said. "But a competitive market
only functions with deregulation and privatization. As our neighbours in the
United States are discovering, the costs for consumers - both at home, in
industry and in institutions like schools, hospitals and libraries - only go
    Voters should be asking their local candidates where they and their
parties stand on keeping electricity public and regulated in Ontario, Kahnert
    "The Liberals have called their plan the largest peacetime expenditure in
Canada, more than any new money they have promised for health care or
education. Yet Energy Minister Dwight Duncan is unwilling to join me in a
debate on this issue," said Kahnert, who issued the challenge to Duncan in
Windsor last week. "Meanwhile, workers right across Northern Ontario have been
losing jobs as mills close because of high electricity prices."

                                  REPORT TO
                           IN THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO
                            September 22-23, 2007


    Residential phone numbers randomly selected from every Thunder Bay,
    Ontario postal code were called via an automated voice broadcast system
    on Saturday, September 22 and Sunday, Sept 23, 2007.
    Call recipients heard the following introduction:

    "Hello. This is a call from the Ontario Electricity Coalition. We are
    conducting a two-question survey on the future of Ontario's electricity
    system. To participate, please stay on the line."

    Participants were asked to indicate their responses by pressing the
    appropriate button on their phone keypad. If no response was registered
    within five seconds after a question was asked, the question was
    automatically repeated.


    596 call recipients answered both questions. The results are detailed

                                            Publicly-owned        Private
                                            utility               corporation
    "Which do you think would give
    you a lower price on electricity -
    a publicly-owned, non-profit utility
    or a for-profit, private power
    corporation?"                           88% / 526             12% / 70
    Which do you think would do the
    best job on energy conservation
    and protecting the environment -
    a publicly-owned, non-profit utility
    or a for-profit, private power
    corporation?                            87% / 521             13% / 75

For further information:

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

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