(QUEEN’S PARK) – For the second straight day at Queen’s Park, Prince Edward-Hastings MPP Todd Smith pressed Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli about potential job losses that would result due to the sale of Hydro One. And for the second straight day the Minister didn’t have an answer.
“The Minister, in this House and in committee yesterday, stated repeatedly that the government would retain control over Hydro One.” Smith stated. “However, when the Minister was asked about Ontario jobs that could be lost to overseas companies due to the Hydro One Sale, his answer was that he couldn’t speculate about what future boards would do. So, when Ontarians are worried about rate hikes, the Minister brags about how much control the province has. When he’s pressed about potential job losses, suddenly the board has all the control.”
The jobs Smith was referring to are at Inergi LP, a company that has had an agreement in place with the province since 2008 to ensure that jobs it performs for Hydro One are performed by people who are ‘employed and reside in Ontario’. The most recent version of this agreement was signed by Minister Chiarelli in October 2013 and protects hundreds of jobs in Markham and London.
“The Hydro One offering terminates the province’s offshoring agreement that protects the jobs of hundreds of people at Inergi in London, Markham and Toronto.” Smith argued this morning. “Before the sale is even closed, the province’s directive that their jobs must stay in Ontario is gone. That’s hundreds of good, middle class jobs on the block because this government can’t sell Hydro One fast enough.”
Smith said putting these jobs in the hands of the new executives at Hydro One worries him.
“When you look at this board, they’ve got a history of sending jobs just like these overseas.” Smith concluded. “And the fire sale at Hydro One lets them do it again.”
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