Tories, NDP warn rates will soar if Liberals sell off Hydro One
Wynne dismisses concerns, says the Ontario Energy Board will still set electricity rates.
TORONTO — Ontario’s opposition parties warn that the Liberal’s plan to sell a majority of Hydro One will drive up electricity rates and reduce government control over the major utility.
Premier Kathleen Wynne insists the government must sell 60% of Hydro One to fund badly needed public transit and infrastructure projects.
The Progressive Conservatives and New Democrats predict electricity rates will “go through the roof” after a Hydro One sale, which they warn will slash future government revenues from the transmission utility.
And they say the government could be out-voted on any Hydro One decisions by the private sector companies who will own 60% of the shares, even though no one owner can hold more than 10%.
But Wynne dismisses the opposition concerns, and says the Ontario Energy Board will still set electricity rates, not Hydro One.
A government-appointed panel that reviewed Crown assets concluded the province could raise $9 billion by selling 60% of Hydro One.
The Tories say all that money is supposed to go to pay down hydro debt, but Wynne says the Liberals will change the law so $4 billion from the sale can be used to fund transit projects.
© 2015 The Canadian Press