How we can #KeepHydroPublic

By: Denise Martins (Communications Officer)

On September 14th 2016, CUPE Ontario announced that they’ll be launching a lawsuit against the Ontario Government (Premier Kathleen Wynne, Finance Minister Charles Sousa and former Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli) for malfeasance for their move to privatize our hydro systems without consent from the public.

CUPE Ontario’s move to fight in courtrooms is a good one and we should support these types of actions where possible. However, we must also ask questions when we don’t see the campaign reflected in our neighbourhoods.

We need to remind our leaders that fighting against privatization is about more than preparing for elections in target ridings. We need to continue to push for progressive campaigns that fight against privatization and remind our labour leaders that this is more than about ridings, elections, and getting e-mail lists. This is about mobilizing all Ontarians against a capitalist agenda that seeks to reap profits from our pockets.

We need to constantly remind ourselves that while there are election issues that we should push on come election time, it is just as important to make demands clear through mobilization and action on the streets.

Some might say this is a question of resources but as this is the largest privatization in the history of the province, we should also be calling on all labour leaders and other community activists to take on this issue.

CUPE Ontario’s determined support for the campaign is important because despite the fact that there are no CUPE jobs in Hydro One, there are CUPE homes impacted by Hydro One. It is important because it shows a union fighting on behalf all of us.

Let’s not forget that if Hydro One was so desperately failing us, the shareholders, then there wouldn’t be a long list of banks waiting to grab every piece Wynne is willing to sell off.

If you think Hydro One is expensive now (and it is), wait until there is a monopoly being driven strictly by profit.

This article was published in the November 2016 edition of the CUPE 1281 newsletter. Click here for a PDF of the full newsletter or here to browse the website for other articles in the newsletter.