Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown Seeks to Built Party in Northern Ontario

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Ontario Election


THUNDER BAY – Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown is working to build a PC Party that includes Northern Ontario. In an interview with NetNewsLedger, Brown says that the North matters, and Northern issues matter.

Brown states that mining and other northern issues have not been heard loud enough in Queen’s Park.

Brown sees the selloff of Hydro One as a prime example of how the Ontario Liberals have got it wrong. The PC leader calls Hydro One a “natural monopoly” and says that the utility was founded with a demonstration in Kitchener that lit a sign that said, “For the People” and with the proposed selloff, that is no longer the case.

The PC Party Brown states will fight the proposed selloff.

Brown says under a privatized HydroOne, building new transmission into communities in Ontario’s far north simply would never happen. “Power is linked to the mining sector”, stated Brown.

Brown states, to NNL that he made ten trips to the north during the leadership campaign, and has made two trips to the north, including a visit with MPP Vic Fedeli to the Ring of Fire. That is a sharp contrast to former leader Tim Hudak who did not come to the Northern Leader’s Debate in Thunder Bay.

Brown outlined three main concerns with the sale of Hydro One: the secrecy of the entire process, majority ownership not staying public, and the lack of independent, public oversight. “The decision to sell Hydro One was made without public input and now, with the government’s recent budget amendment, we find out that the sale will be done in complete secrecy. This process is being rushed to suit the Liberal Government’s own political purposes,” he stated.

Additionally, the fact that all independent public oversight of Hydro One will be lost upon passage of the budget is an enormous issue. “As long as more than 50% [of the company] is publicly owned, the public has a right to have its officers look out for its interests,” Brown declared. “With no public oversight and a monopoly service, Ontarians are vulnerable to higher hydro rates.”

“At its inception, the province’s hydro system was said to be `for the people’. With the sale of a majority of the company through the misguided actions of the Liberal Government, it means that Hydro One will no longer be ‘for the people’,” said Brown.

The PC Party leader has launched a petition to help send a message to the Liberals on Hydro One. Brown says, “The decision to sell Hydro One was made without public input and now, with the government’s recent budget amendment, we find out that the sale will be done in complete secrecy. This process is being rushed to suit the Liberal Government’s own political purposes”.

“Today, I outlined three main concerns with the sale of Hydro One: the secrecy of the entire process, majority ownership not staying public, and the lack of independent, public oversight. With no public oversight and a monopoly service, Ontarians are vulnerable to higher hydro rates,” added Brown.

The PC Party has launched a website, www.StoptheHydroFireSale.ca, to allow Ontarians to show their opposition to the sale of Hydro One.